Working remotely has become the new standard, bringing both opportunities and challenges. As organizations navigate this digital landscape, it’s crucial to prioritize remote employee engagement to ensure their level of commitment, passion and dedication. In fact, understanding the unique challenges of remote work is the first step towards building an engaged team.

In this sense, distance and limited face-to-face interaction can hinder communication and collaboration. However, by leveraging innovative strategies like gamification, we can transform these challenges into opportunities for connection, motivation, and productivity.

Additionally, a positive company culture fuelled by gamification, strengthens team cohesion and promotes a shared sense of purpose, even in a virtual environment.

So, If you are an HR professional wondering how you can boost remote employee engagement, look no further. Throughout this post, you will find 32 stunning ideas of virtual activities and online games that will ignite the spark of connection and collaboration among your remote team.

If you work in a hybrid, don’t miss our new guide with activities on employee engagement, for both remote and in-office work. Let the fun begin!

Remember to keep in mind something very important: there is no point in launching initiatives if you don’t measure your employee engagement levels before, during and after!

20 Virtual employee engagement activities

Ensuring remote employees remain engaged and connected with the organization can be a challenging task. For this reason, it requires thoughtful strategies to promote commitment and cohesion among your remote team.

In fact, having a unified workforce enhances teamwork and collaboration. And it is one of the benefits of promoting employee engagement.

In this section, we present a collection of creative ideas that will serve as a source of inspiration. These virtual employee engagement activities are designed to foster a sense of belonging, encourage collaboration, and boost team morale.

So pay attention to the following list. It contains 20 perfect virtual icebreakers for remote employee engagement that also will help you reach a great remote culture:

  1. Virtual coffee chats.
  2. Team building video conference.
  3. Team bonding sessions.
  4. Fitness challenges.
  5. Cooking classes.
  6. Book clubs.
  7. Virtual happy hours.
  8. Employee recognition programs.
  9. skill-building sessions.
  10. Team challenges.
  11. Virtual volunteer opportunities.
  12. Home tour.
  13. Guided meditation.
  14. Birthday parties
  15. Themed days.
  16. Brainstorming sessions.
  17. Language classes.
  18. Feedback sessions.
  19. Learning circles.
  20. Talent shows.

1. Virtual coffee chats

Whether it’s a quick chat in the morning or a virtual coffee break in the afternoon.  These informal interactions promote strengthened relationships among team members, even from a distance. Coffee chats offer a break from work-related discussions, allowing employees to engage in lighthearted and meaningful exchanges.

Unlike formal meetings, virtual coffee chats require no preparation. They create a relaxed atmosphere where colleagues can share personal experiences, discuss hobbies, or simply catch up on the latest news.

2. Team building video conference

A team building video conference is an effective way to bring remote team members together and foster a sense of unity.

At Nailted we have a daily 15-minute break called “Tortilla”, where team members can gather virtually. While attendance is not mandatory, it provides an opportunity for employees to disconnect from work-related tasks and engage in casual conversations.

During these sessions, team members can share updates on their work progress, discuss challenges or successes, and simply catch up on each other’s day. “Tortilla” serves as a valuable time for team members to stay informed about each other.

3. Team bonding sessions

Team bonding sessions are an excellent way to strengthen relationships among team members. These activities revolve around prepared questions that aim to help employees get to know their colleagues on a deeper level

Some example questions could be: “What is your favorite movie?”, “What is your favorite food?”, “What are your goals and aspirations in life?”

The purpose of these sessions is to create a comfortable environment where team members can share personal insights and discover common interests. Also, team bonding sessions can be organized with any desired frequency, whether it’s a weekly event, a monthly gathering, or on special occasions.

4. Fitness challenge

Engaging in fitness challenges not only promotes physical well-being but also contributes to overall employee engagement and productivity. These challenges serve as a catalyst for promoting healthy lifestyle habits within the team.

Fitness challenges can take various forms, such as step challenges, virtual workouts, or wellness competitions, and can be tailored to accommodate different fitness levels and preferences.

For example: it can be interesting to measure how many steps we have taken daily and to keep a ranking of who has taken the most steps.

By participating in fitness challenges, employees can improve their physical fitness, reduce stress levels, boost energy levels, and enhance their overall quality of life.

5. Cooking classes

Virtual cooking classes provide a unique opportunity for employees to showcase their culinary skills and indulge in a shared passion for food. Cooking classes also promote creativity, collaboration, and cultural diversity as they explore a wide range of cuisines and flavors.

Employees can share their favorite recipes and also create engaging content by submitting videos of themselves preparing their beloved dishes.

Also, participants can exchange cooking tips, offer feedback and ratings on each other’s recipes, and even organize friendly cooking competitions to add a touch of excitement.

Una mano sostiene unos libros sobre un fondo blanco

6. Book clubs

In a book club, employees can form discussion groups, recommend interesting titles, and propose dates for collective book reviews. This interactive experience allows individuals to explore different genres, perspectives and authors.

Additionally, book clubs can create a virtual library of recommended books, making it easily accessible for any employee to explore and discover new literary treasures at their own pace.

By embracing book clubs as a part of your employee engagement strategy, you encourage personal and intellectual growth, promote meaningful conversations, and contribute to a culture of continuous learning within your organization.

7. Virtual happy hours

Virtual happy hours provide a digital platform for colleagues to come together, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company, even from different locations.

For example, during virtual happy hours employees can connect after work hours to share a drink. During this time, they have lighthearted conversations. It’s like the traditional post-work drink, but in a virtual setting.

Whether it’s sipping on a favorite beverage or simply catching up on the day’s events, the key is to create an enjoyable atmosphere that allows employees to relax and have fun.

8. Employee recognition programs

A little recognition can go a long way in creating a positive and supportive remote work environment.

For this reason, Nailted offers an employee recognition program that allows organizations to recognize and celebrate their employees’ accomplishments on a regular basis, even remotely!

One such feature is our Friday Claps, where team members can send virtual feedback to commend their colleagues’ outstanding performance throughout the week.

The Friday Claps is a special moment where employees can express their gratitude, admiration, and support for their peers. This virtual form of recognition allows employees to feel valued and acknowledged for their efforts, contributing to their overall job satisfaction and engagement.

9. Skill-building sessions

Skill-building sessions are designed to promote continuous learning and professional growth. For example, one activity within our skill-building sessions could be a “Lunch and Learn” session, where employees gather virtually to explore a specific topic or industry trend during their lunch break.

This informal setting allows for relaxed and interactive discussions, enabling employees to enhance their expertise and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.

10. Team challenges

Team challenges provide an exciting opportunity for employees to showcase their skills, and work towards a common goal.

One popular type of team challenge is the “photo challenge”. In this activity, team members are encouraged to share their best vacation landscapes, stunning nature shots, or any other visually captivating images.

The challenge can have specific themes, such as “most creative angle” or “best use of colors,” to add an element of excitement and creativity.

Besides photo challenges, team challenges can take various forms depending on the interests and preferences of the team. It could be a trivia challenge, or it could be a virtual escape room. The possibilities are endless, and organizations can customize team challenges to align with their values and team dynamics.

Una chica trabaja con su ordenador y por la ventana se ve un paisaje verde

11. Virtual volunteer opportunities

Virtual volunteer opportunities allow employees to contribute to charitable causes. These opportunities provide a way to give back to the community, and strengthen their sense of purpose and engagement.

Needless to say, organizations can explore various virtual volunteer opportunities based on their employees’ interests.

One example of a virtual volunteer opportunity that fosters team engagement is “virtual skills mentoring”. In this activity, for example, a team of marketing professionals can offer guidance and advice to a non-profit organization on how to improve their digital marketing strategies.

Through virtual meetings, emails, or online platforms, employees can help the organization achieve its goals.

12. Home tour

A home tour allows employees to showcase their workspaces and share how they have set up their home offices.

It provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, tips, and recommendations on how to create an optimal work-from-home setup. Needless to say, a home tour activity should be voluntary and respectful of employees’ privacy.

During a home tour, employees can show their work desks, highlight any personalized touches or decorations they have incorporated. Also, even provide a brief overview of their daily routines and productivity hacks.

13. Guided meditation

Through guided meditation, employees are led by an experienced person who provides soothing instructions, visualizations, and calming techniques. This is intended to help participants achieve a state of mindfulness and calm.

During a guided meditation session, employees can find a quiet space where they can fully immerse themselves in the practice. Guided meditation sessions help reduce stress, improves focus and concentration, and promotes overall mental well-being. Keep in mind that this activity can be part of an employee wellness program.

14. Birthday parties

Virtual birthday parties offer a fun and interactive way to celebrate employees’ special day, even when working remotely. It’s an opportunity to show appreciation and make the employee feel valued and celebrated.

One example of a virtual birthday party could be hosting a video conference call where all team members join in to surprise the birthday person.

In advance, colleagues can coordinate sending virtual birthday cards or small gifts to the celebrant’s home. To make the virtual birthday party even more engaging, you can incorporate interactive activities.

15. Themed days

Themed days are virtual activities where employees come together to celebrate a specific theme or occasion, adding a touch of fun and creativity to the work environment.

One example of a themed day could be a Christmas-themed day. On this day, employees can dress up in festive attire and engage in activities such as virtual Secret Santa gift exchanges or holiday-themed trivia games.

Another example could be a “color day” where everyone in the team dresses up in a specific color. Also, companies can have a “company pride day” where employees wear branded merchandise or company t-shirts.

16. Brainstorming sessions

Brainstorming sessions provide a platform for employees to generate fresh and innovative ideas related to a specific topic or challenge. The objective is to identify areas or workflows that require improvement and find effective solutions.

Before the session, it can be beneficial to collect feedback from team members to gain insights into their perspectives and concerns. Feedback is important because it serves as a starting point for discussion. It also helps focus the brainstorming session on the most relevant areas.

During the session, participants can be encouraged to think outside the box and explore different possibilities. For it, moderators can use various techniques to stimulate creativity: mind mapping, role-playing, or random word association.

17. Language classes

It has been proven that gamifying educational processes is a great success. Therefore, language classes can have a playful component that makes them more fun.

In these classes employees can practice their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a supportive and encouraging environment.

For example, employees can be assigned group projects where they have to work together to create a presentation or solve a language-related problem. This not only fosters teamwork but also provides opportunities for employees to practice their language skills in a real-life context.

18. Feedback sessions

Feedback sessions provide opportunities for open and constructive communication between managers and employees.

One example of a feedback session is the one-on-one meeting. Both managers and employees have the opportunity to address any concerns, provide recognition for achievements, and collaboratively set goals and development plans.

Feedback sessions can take various forms, such as team feedback sessions, peer-to-peer feedback, or feedback surveys. The key is to establish a feedback culture where feedback is not only encouraged but also valued and acted upon.

19. Learning circles

In a learning circle, the format typically involves organizing regular 30-minute meetings where a team member takes the role of the “expert” and presents a topic they are knowledgeable about.

This topic can be related to work-specific subjects or even personal interests that align with the team’s overall learning objectives. It could involve discussing industry trends, sharing best practices, exploring new technologies, or delving into personal hobbies.

The purpose of learning circles is to foster team members to explore new subjects, broaden their perspectives, and acquire new skills.

20. Talent show

During a talent show, employees are encouraged to share any talent or skill they possess. From playing musical instruments to singing, dancing, performing magic tricks, storytelling, or even displaying artistic talents such as painting or sculpting.

The virtual talent show can be organized as a special event during a team meeting. For example, let’s say John, a software developer in the company, is an excellent guitarist. During the virtual talent show, John shows his guitar skills playing a popular song.

This not only allows John to share his passion for music but also provides a chance for others to learn more about his unique talent.

Una persona tocando la guitarra
Explore our curated list of the top 100 ideas and tips for remote and in-office employee engagement 

12 Examples of online games for employee engagement

Gamification is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance employee engagement within your organization. By incorporating games into various processes, you can capture the attention and interest of your employees, even in a virtual setting.

Whether it’s a friendly competition, a virtual scavenger hunt, or a team-based trivia challenge, online games provide an enjoyable way for employees to connect, have fun, and build stronger relationships.

There are a lot of online games that you can play as a team. Here is a list of the 12 awesome online games for employee engagement:

  1. Trivia Contests and Quizzes.
  2. Escape Rooms.
  3. Brain Teasers and puzzles.
  4. Murder mystery games.
  5. Role-playing games.
  6. eSports tournaments.
  7. Online bingo cards.
  8. Scavenger hunts.
  9. Two Truths and a Lie.
  10. Virtual Reality experiences.
  11. Collaborative storytelling games.
  12. “Employee Family Feud”.

1. Trivia Contests

In a Trivia Contest, players are presented with questions and are challenged to provide correct answers. The questions can cover a wide range of subjects, including general knowledge, pop culture, history, and more.

How to play: employees can form teams or compete individually, and the game can be conducted virtually through online platforms or video conferencing tools. There must be a moderator that reads out trivia questions about various themes like science facts, movies, history, etc. The team that gets the most questions right wins the game.

2. Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms offer an immersive experience where participants are challenged to solve riddles to “escape” a themed room within a set time limit. In an online Escape Room, the game is adapted for virtual participation, allowing teams to work together remotely to solve the challenges.

How to play: employees can form teams and choose an online platform that offers virtual Escape Rooms. Each team will be presented with a storyline and a series of puzzles, clues, and hidden objects that they need to manipulate to progress in the game. Communication and collaboration are key to unravel the mysteries and escape the virtual room.

3. Brain Teasers and puzzles

Brain teasers and puzzles are fantastic to challenge and stimulate the minds of employees. These games come in various forms, including riddles, logic puzzles, Sudoku, crosswords, and more. They require critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a bit of creativity to find the right solution.

How to play: HR professionals can distribute brain teasers or puzzles to employees through email or a dedicated platform. Employees can work on them during designated break times or as part of team-building activities. Alternatively, virtual puzzle-solving sessions can be organized, where teams compete against each other to solve puzzles within a specified time frame.

4. Murder mystery games

Murder mystery games offer an exciting and immersive experience where team members become detectives, unraveling a thrilling mystery. Each participant takes on a unique character and works together to solve the crime. An example of murder mystery game is “Murder in Egypt”.

How to play: guided by a facilitator, employees will collaborate in small groups. Each participant is assigned a character role with background information and objectives. Time is of the essence because it determines the dynamics of the game. During the game,  team members interact, share clues, and work together to uncover the truth. The game culminates in a thrilling revelation.

Unas manos con un mando de videojuegos

5. Role-playing games

Role-playing games are immersive experiences where participants assume fictional characters and engage in collaborative storytelling. One example is “War of the Wizards,” a multiplayer game that combines role-playing and storytelling.

In this game, a group of wizards and their minions work together to uncover the reason behind their long-standing war. Collaboration, strategic thinking, and creativity are essential to succeed.

How to play: Employees assume the roles of wizards’ minions, collaborating closely with teammates to collect magic items, cast spells, and overcome obstacles. By leveraging their character’s unique abilities, players forge alliances, outwit opponents, and strive for victory.

6. Words with friends

Similar to classic Scrabble, this game provides an opportunity for your team to exercise their linguistic skills and stretch their creativity in search of word solutions. To add more excitement, you can organize a tournament where players compete against each other.

How to play: each player gives seven letter tiles, which they must use to form valid words on the game board. The new words created must be connected to existing letters on the board, forming a continuous word grid. The game progresses as players take turns, strategically placing their tiles to maximize their scores.

7. Online bingo cards

Online bingo cards are a simple yet effective team-building game that is ideal for engaging remote employees.

Whether during moments of relaxation or virtual happy hours, this game adds an element of fun and excitement to your team activities. There are various online platforms available that allow you to play bingo in groups.

How to play: the game starts by selecting someone to be the virtual number caller. They will announce numbers, and participants mark their corresponding numbers on their bingo cards. The first person to complete a line, pattern, or full card shouts “Bingo!” to claim their victory.  To make the game more exciting, you can create a score sheet.

8. Scavenger hunt

Virtual scavenger hunts are excellent online team building games that require minimal preparation.

In a virtual scavenger hunt, the entire event takes place online, offering a unique twist to the traditional in-person version. Participants simply need to search for specific items or complete assigned tasks.

How to play: to make it more imaginative, participants can be challenged to take selfies with each item from a scavenger hunt checklist, with bonus points awarded for the funniest expressions or poses.

9. Two Truth and a Lie

Two Truth and a Lie is an entertaining online game that challenges participants to distinguish between real facts and cleverly crafted lies. It’s a lighthearted and humorous activity that allows team members to get to know each other better while having fun.

How to play: each member takes turns sharing three statements about themselves. Two statements are true, while one is a lie. The rest of the participants must listen carefully and try to determine which statement is the lie. The game becomes more engaging when players come up with obscure truths and craft a convincing lie that makes it challenging for others to guess correctly.

una chica con su portátil sonríe mientras sujeta un lápiz entre los dientes

10. The Impostor game

The impostor game, also known as “Among Us,” is an online multiplayer game that involves a group of players aboard a spaceship. Hidden among them are one or more impostors whose goal is to eliminate the innocent crew members and take control of the ship.

How to play: each player has a role, either as a member of the crew or as an imposter. Crew members must complete various tasks around the spaceship to progress, while the impostors must sabotage these tasks and eliminate crew members without getting caught.

The game continues until either the impostors succeed in eliminating enough crew members or the crew members successfully identify and eliminate all impostors.

11. Skribbl

Skribbl is like a Pictionary, but into the digital realm. Each team member will have their chance to showcase their artistic skills by drawing a word generated by the game.

How to play: one team member takes a turn as the artist, while the rest of the team tries to guess what they are drawing. The twist is that the drawings must be created using the cursor, adding an extra level of challenge and amusement. Team members race against time to correctly guess the word being drawn. At the end, team members with the highest scores emerge as the winners.

12. The Sponge game

This is a storytelling game. If players do not have an object available nearby or lack inspiration, they can tell a story about a sponge. Hence its name. While a lot of online team building games can be about competition, this one is perfect for boosting your team’s creativity.

How to play: give each player 30 seconds to find something random around them, 30 seconds to brainstorm an elaborate story about that object, and 60 seconds to tell the most exaggerated story they can about it. No matter what object they choose. They have to be able to come up with a funny story.

Un chico sonriente teclea en su portátil

Now that you have gained insightful and inspiring ideas to captivate your remote workforce in a fun and engaging manner, it’s important to complement these activities with effective employee engagement practices.

This includes promoting a culture of open and fluid communication. But keep in mind one important thing: you should promote asynchronous communication to work more effectively remotely.

If you’re thinking that Nailted is perfect for remote teams, you’re right. With our tool, you can establish clear routines, channels of communication, and transparent workflows. 

In fact, Nailted’s intuitive features automatically trigger relevant events and reminders at the appropriate moments, ensuring that remote employees stay connected and informed.

So, don’t wait any longer. Book a demo with our People & Culture team and discover how Nailted can help you to boost your remote employee engagement.