Building a strong team bond is of utmost importance. Not only does it create a sense of belonging, but it also enhances team performance. However, in our increasingly virtual world, the challenge lies in fostering authentic and meaningful virtual team building. As remote work continues to gain popularity, prioritizing virtual team building has become essential to maintain connectivity, productivity, and engagement.

To help you navigate this task, here are some constructive tips and advice on how to develop relationships within remote teams.

Why is employee engagement essential?  

Employee engagement proves central to building team rapport, which leads to better business relationships and outcomes. Let’s explore three specific reasons why companies must prioritize virtual employee engagement. 

Improves employee morale 

Community is a cardinal requirement for human beings, as it lies at the heart of our nature. Relationships are not just essential for us to function productively, but also for us to derive maximum enjoyment and fulfillment from our remote work.

A recent article by Harvard Business Review (HBR) spoke on the importance of healthy workplace relationships, showing that employees who have significant relationships with their coworkers are more likely to demonstrate high levels of engagement in their work. Conversely, those who do not establish meaningful connections with their colleagues may exhibit withdrawal and disengagement compared to their peers.

This demonstrates how engagement improves team morale, resulting in a plethora of benefits for the individual and business alike. 

Fosters a positive company culture

A company’s culture is greatly influenced by engaged employees who foster positive relationships with their colleagues. As outlined by Forbes, such a culture can have a direct impact on the company’s future, leading to employee retention, innovation, and increased productivity

Increases collaboration and productivity 

The relationship between virtual engagement and collaborative efficiency can be considered synonymous, as relationships and familiarity foster both trust and an understanding of working patterns. 

This trust and understanding between colleagues provide the necessary environment for creativity to abound, ideas to be shared freely, and for each individual to contribute their unique perspectives and skills. 

Trust among colleagues enhances virtual teamwork, which, in turn, improves output. Therefore, virtual engagement and collaborative efficiency are key components of a successful virtual team, necessary for achieving optimal outcomes in any project or endeavor.

How do virtual and in-person team building differ?

Back view of male employee have online video call on laptop with diverse multiethnic colleagues, man worker involved in webcam conference or virtual event on computer with multiracial businesspeople

Virtual and in-person team building differ in several ways. As such, remote team leaders must find new methods to build camaraderie among their teams. Here are some of the key differences. 


In-person, the ability to read body language, make eye contact, and read the room all serve as significant advantages. Virtual team building relies on videoconferencing, chat, and other online tools, making it harder to pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues.  Also, in-person teams experience more opportunities for casual social interaction, while remote team building needs to be intentional.


Virtual team building relies on technology tools, such as gamification software, virtual whiteboards for brainstorming, and polling features. It also requires access to those tools. In-person team building only requires a physical location. 


Team building activities offer a fun way to build company culture. In-person activities may include puzzles, board games, or community service projects. Virtual team-building activities require a bit more creativity and include online trivia, digital scavenger hunts, or even virtual karaoke. 

Virtual team-building games and activities 

A virtual team-building exercise can help form bonds between remote staff. Ultimately, all team leaders aim to initiate a virtual environment where each member of the team feels comfortable making their voice heard — online activities help with that.


Gamification is a broad term encompassing a wide range of virtual team-building activities, such as polls, quizzes, and leaderboards. Gamifying virtual work events as a team-building activity is highly effective in boosting employee morale and fostering team spirit.

Ensure that the virtual team-building activity you host is people-centric, rather than things-centric. For example, two truths and one lie is a popular, engaging remote team-building activity, allowing participants to have fun and get to know their teammates in the process. 

All-in-one event management technology can offer a variety of gamification features, including live Q&A sessions, interactive game leaderboards, and real-time polling, all of which can be displayed through a live interface.


Icebreakers are the age-old trick adopted by event moderators to quickly engage audiences, and serve as an excellent virtual activity. The icebreaker you should use largely depends on your team—it’s important to take into account personality types before getting the conversation rolling. 

For instance, if your team is small and close-knit, you may be able to incorporate in-depth icebreakers, such as discussing personal topics like family, lifestyle, and goals. On the other hand, if your team is large or if relationships are still developing, a simple icebreaker activity, such as having everyone share their favorite animal, may be sufficient.

Participants’ engagement is the most important aspect, regardless of the icebreaker activity chosen. Choose an activity that fits the mood of the meeting and helps to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere. 

Coffee catch-ups

The key to effective remote team building can be summed up with one word: relationships. How are relationships often formed in this day and age? By networking over coffee. 

Setting aside just 15 minutes during the work week to catch up with team members virtually over a cup of coffee, either one-on-one or with multiple team members, can be an effective way to build rapport. It’s best to keep the conversation casual rather than focusing solely on work-related topics, as this helps to create a relaxed, personable atmosphere.

Tips for virtual team building 

Virtual Wine Tasting Dinner Event Online Using Laptop

Virtual team building is a balancing act, combining psychological, technological, and relational aspects to form a rapport that yields great results. 

Catering to different personalities, balancing work and play, and using the right technology fosters a sense of collaboration, promotes creativity and innovation, and improves overall team performance — all from the comfort of your team’s own homes.

Keep personality differences in mind 

Some are introverted and may keep more to themselves, whereas others are extroverted, and may drive the virtual meeting. Some are conscientious and will do well in the area of self-drive, whereas others may need a little more structure to their workday.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone’s the same, and working remotely can accentuate these differences. The key to understanding differences in personality is building individual relationships. Once those relationships are established, it becomes easier to determine how to leverage each team member’s strengths to benefit the team as a whole.

Balance work and play 

There’s a time for everything. Some tasks require intensive and comprehensive strategic analysis, demanding a significant level of mental acuity. And other times call for laid-back and comfortable environments, allowing team members to freely participate in casual conversations.

It likely goes without saying that the goal isn’t 50% work and 50% play, rather, it’s a balancing act. While games and activities are valuable for building engagement, true remote workforce bonding can also occur when members collaborate with each other and face challenges. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that incorporating engaging gamification can also bring a sense of enjoyment and lightheartedness into virtual work, making it an essential ingredient for successful remote team building.

Choose the right technology 

The best icebreaker serves little purpose without the right technology to facilitate it. When making a decision on what remote work technology to adopt, there are two main considerations:

1. Is this technology all-in-one?

Ideally, you don’t want to switch to one technology for live streaming, followed by another software for video breakout rooms. It’s crucial to ensure that all your meeting needs can be fulfilled by one enterprise event management platform

2. Is this technology simple to use? 

Again, even the best icebreaker may serve little purpose if a meeting only has a 50/50 chance of taking place due to technical difficulties. By assessing online reviews and demos, you can evaluate the ease of navigating the software, alleviating the burden of technology from your shoulders.

Webex Events lays the groundwork for virtual teams

Utilizing innovative and intuitive event management technology provides more opportunities for virtual team building, which is a powerful catalyst for unlocking your team’s full potential. With Webex Events, an all-in-one event management software, you can seamlessly build your virtual team and foster strong connections with features like gamification, video breakout rooms, and more.