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Six adults paddling a raft through the Sturgeon River rapids, the fastest river in Michigan's lower peninsula.

With many saying remote work is here to stay, it’s never been more challenging – and important – to find ways to keep virtual teams connected. If you’re struggling to come up with fresh ideas, you’re in the right place. The Treetops crew has always made employee satisfaction and team-building top priorities. We have compiled some of our favorite fun ways to build work relationships, improve communication, and get creative juices flowing.

Team-building at Treetops Resort

When you’re ready to get your group back together in person, Treetops works with you to plan a productive and meaningful retreat with in-person team-building activities for your group.

  • The Amazing Race. This fun activity takes your team from one end of Treetops Resort to the other, combining physical challenges, trivia, and often hilarious collaboration exercises.
  • Paint-and-Sip Parties. What’s better than sipping wine, enjoying good conversation, and getting a little creative? Well… we could also bring a few members of our spa staff to provide chair massages and pedicures.
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting. Our culinary team would love to create an experience that introduces the wine enthusiasts in your group to all the best local wines, cheeses, and more.
  • Exciting Off-Site Excursions. Allow us to transport your group off-site for horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, fly fishing, or a host of other fun excursions. We’re in northern Michigan, so your outdoor recreation options are nearly limitless.

If these activities are not quite your crew’s speed, consider enjoying a round of golf, an afternoon on the slopes, or relaxing services together at our spa.

Virtual Team Building Activities

What can you do to unite your team until you’re ready to resume in-person events? When you want to try some new remote team building activities, we hope you find this list to be helpful. We have gathered some of our very favorite activities and categorized them for easy reference.

Virtual Icebreakers for Small Teams

  • Something in Common. For this simple icebreaker, the group must find one specific thing they all have in common. Depending on the size of your team, you may need to get into Zoom breakout rooms. Consider putting some boundaries in place: for example, forbid obvious common traits such as, “We are all male” or “We all work at the same company.”
  • How Well Do You Know Your Team? Before your next virtual meeting, have each team member submit a few “about me” question ideas. The facilitator will select a handful of these questions and ask each team member to submit their answers (only to the facilitator). At the next team meeting, the facilitator will present the questions and anonymous answers. The team must guess which answer came from which colleague.

Creative Team-building Activities

  • Draw Something. This free virtual drawing game gives players the opportunity to draw objects, guess what other players are drawing, and score points. Each round can be played quickly during a Zoom call, making this a great way to energize the group at the beginning of a call or blow off a little steam at the end of a long week.
  • Craft Time. Pick a theme and then ask each participant to create something related to the theme using items they have on hand. Sketches, inventions, poems, food – nothing is off-limits! At the end, each person shares what they created.

Communication Activities

  • Can You Hear Me Now? In this drawing contest, one person acts as the speaker and the rest of the group will draw. The speaker chooses a random image but doesn’t share it with the group. He or she must verbally describe the image to all the drawers. The drawer whose artwork most closely resembles the random image wins.
  • The Origami Game. One person serves as the speaker, and everyone else is a listener. Each listener needs one standard-size sheet of lined or printer paper. The listeners close their eyes while the speaker gives step-by-step instructions to the group to fold their paper into an origami figure. Once instructions and folding are complete, everyone opens their eyes and shares their origami, all of which will probably look different. Then the group can discuss what would have improved their origami shapes.

Just-for-Fun Team Building

  • TypeRacer. Who’s the fastest, most accurate typist on your team? There’s one fun way to find out: hold a type-racing tournament!
  • Donut Meetings. If your company uses Slack, use the Donut extension to put participating colleagues into pairs or groups. Each Donut group then schedules a Slack call to get to know each other. Encourage participants to go easy on the shoptalk during these calls – the goal is to get to know one other on a more informal level.
  • Virtual Lunch Hour. Your office break room might be quiet these days, but lunchtime at home doesn’t have to be lonely, too. Set up a virtual call at lunchtime and invite the whole group to join. If the conversation is slow to get going, try adding a quick and easy activity, like the Five Finger Showdown (see below).

5-Minute Team-building Activities

  • Five Finger Showdown. Each person on your call holds up one hand with all five fingers up, and team members take turns calling out life experiences. You can play this game two ways: participants may put a finger down if they share that life experience, or if they don’t. The winner could be the last person with any fingers up or the first person with all fingers down. It’s up to you!
  • Virtual Show and Tell. You can run this classic elementary school activity in several different ways. Choose a theme for the objects people share, or ask everyone to bring something that is special to them. Or, try a spur-of-the-moment, within-arm’s-reach challenge, having each participant show and talk about something they can grab immediately.

In-person Team-building Events at Treetops

To start planning your upcoming corporate event with Treetops, just complete our Meeting RFP form. A member of our events team will get in touch with all the details you need for a memorable and successful company retreat.