You don’t have to take expensive workshops or shell out cash for a company retreat to create tightly-knit, highly connected remote teams.
You also don’t have to waste a ton of time and resources coming up with ice breakers that your team is probably going to end up dreading anyway–there are tons of fun, free online games that can offer many of the same benefits as traditional team building activities.
Whether you schedule gaming sessions for an hour a day on a regular basis or in sporadic 15-minute increments, gaming can improve your team’s engagement levels and offers a whole host of benefits from new skills to lower stress–all of which are assets in a professional environment.
5 Benefits of Playing Online Games with Friends
Group gameplay is great for team building, even when the games aren’t specifically focused on it. It can help fill in socialization gaps that would typically happen in an in-person environment, which is critical for building positive work relationships. Here are just a few of the biggest benefits of playing online virtual games in a remote work environment:
- Lowers Stress
Playing games at work can help lower stress levels by allowing players to relax and enjoy themselves during a period where they’re usually preoccupied with productivity. Taking the pressure off every now and then can result in an overall more peaceful company culture.
- Encourages Group Problem Solving and Leadership Skills
Working with other players towards a common goal naturally develops leadership skills, and thinking strategically to beat opponents helps both teams and individuals enhance their problem solving abilities. Making these challenges more fun in a game setting can get players out of their comfort zone and allow them to grow!
- Creates a Sense of Community
Team gaming requires high levels of engagement. Taking breaks from work every once in a while to play games gives the team something to look forward to and creates a shared interest that can foster better professional relationships.
- Strengthens Communication Skills
Communication among teams can become routine and sometimes monotonous. Creating low-stakes, fun problems for players to solve together or in opposition can shake up the usual dynamic. This allows players to learn and explore newer, more dynamic methods of communication.
- Boosts Morale
Doing something entertaining at work makes the workday go by faster and breaks up hard-focus tasks, giving team members a chance to reinvigorate their interest in their professional goals.
Free Online Video Games for Remote Team Building
Try one of these popular online games the next time you want to let your team blow off steam and watch them become closer right before your eyes:
- Among Us
Among Us is a free online social deduction game that went viral in 2020 for its ability to connect people in a fun new format! Here’s the premise: players are crewmates on a spaceship that have to work together to perform tasks and complete their mission–except one of them is really an imposter in disguise.
The imposter’s goal is to sabotage tasks and kill crew members without being detected and kicked off the ship. The real crewmates have to work together to solve the mystery and rid themselves of the alien foe before the imposter wipes them all out.
- Gartic Phone
Gartic Phone turns the classic Telephone Game into a myriad of fun online doodling challenges. In the most basic challenge, players will have to create a sketch based on a word or phrase suggested by another player.
It goes like this: the first player creates the phrase, the second player sketches it. The next player then will have to guess what the original sentence was and pass their thought along to the next person who will sketch it.
This continues until all of the players have gotten a chance to either guess the sketch or draw it, and the final sentence is compared to the first to see how accurately the team was able to communicate and draw! Though there is no “winner” here, this is a great team-building game to help players work toward a common goal: try to guess the original sentence correctly at the end of the game.
This game comes from Ellen DeGeneres’ team that created the beloved party game, Head’s Up. In Psych!, players will submit false trivia answers to trick other players, earning points both when they guess trivia questions correctly and when they successfully dupe someone else. This game is fun to play on a voice or video call because of the hilarious banter that ensues.
- Free Online Codenames
Codenames is a popular card game that’s now available for free remote play online. “Operatives” will split up into two teams and select a representative to be the “Spymaster”, who will lead them in this game of word association. The Spymaster will give their teammates one-word clues to help them guess all of their own codewords while attempting to avoid the other team’s codewords. The first team to guess all their codewords wins!
- Mario Kart Tour
Bring the fun and nostalgia of Mario Kart to the team with a free app version of this timeless racing game! Players compete to race to the finish line, using tools to give themselves a boost or sabotage other players along the way. Make sure to play this one with video chat running to capture reactions in real time when someone takes a blue shell to the kart and loses first place.
Play Fun Free Games Online in a Customized Teemyco Virtual Office
Taking a gaming break every once in a while is great for team building, but so is a digital office from Teemyco! Create a space to work together without actually being together. 91% of Teemyco office users report feeling more connected to their team, which boosts morale, and increases happiness and productivity at the same time. Set up an online office and tailor it to your specifications–then set up an online gaming tournament for your team to break in your new virtual digs.