Trainer Support Materials

Virtual team building activities overview

A collection of 5 online group exercises to engage remote learners and help teams work better together

7th November 2023

Virtual team building activities overview
Any successful learning and development programme design starts with setting clear learning objectives. Team building programmes can often include learning objectives such as building trust within teams, ensuring clear and frequent communications, building inter personal relationships and developing critical thinking skills.
In the context of remote working and global teams what activities does Experiential Learning Tools offer that caters to these type of team building learning objectives?

Celtic Cross
Celtic Cross is a popular and challenging team problem solving activity with powerful messages about managing team communication - teams need to create a process to manage and categorise individual contributions and shared understanding. They also need to demonstrate critical thinking skills in order to evaluate the information they are presented with.

All communication between participants in this task are verbal and strategic thinking skills are essential. Each participant is provided with a link to view their individual task information contained on images of playing cards.

This exercise demands both task and group leadership. It also requires critical thinking - simply sharing the information will not uncover the answers, rather the information contained on each information card must be combined, and then used to deduce the answer to the question posed in the activity brief. This allows the group to be involved in a significant virtual team-problem solving activity, and quickly mirror problems that real-life teams face in the workplace.

This is a perfect early team exercise or ice-breaker to establish how a team works together and is ideal for groups not previously experienced in working as a virtual group or team. 

This activity was developed by Derek Fox and this online version is provided to Experiential Learning Tools customers thanks to Derek's generosity!

Unlock the power of effective communication and team building with the online adaptation of the renowned and award winning Colourblind® game. This experiential learning activity is designed to highlight and address the challenges of imprecise language and communication in virtual teams. It's not just a game; it's a transformative experience that hones active listening and verbal problem-solving skills in a group setting. Success hinges on a range of skills: effective listening, precise questioning, adept group management, clear summarization, and consistent feedback for understanding.

Easily facilitate the activity on popular online meeting platforms like Zoom, MS Teams, Whereby or Google Meet. With video cameras off, participants rely solely on the quality of their verbal communication. The group works together to gather information that will allow them to solve a puzzle. A number of team and individual skills are required to be successful: information and team management, effective listening and questioning, strong chairing skills, the ability to clarify and summarise and the need for feedback to ensure understanding.

Ideal for 6 to 28 participants. For optimal engagement, we recommend a maximum of 14 participants per session. For larger groups of 28, consider running two parallel sessions.

Emergency Delivery
Emergency Delivery is an immersive team-based activity designed to simulate high-pressure scenarios where participants must produce top-tier results within stringent deadlines. The exercise pushes teams to efficiently process information, make informed decisions rapidly, and collaboratively devise and refine strategies. With the clock ticking, participants must navigate challenges, adapt to feedback, and ensure optimal outcomes.

Post-activity, teams often exhibit improved collaboration, having learned the importance of trust, role delegation, and mutual support in high-pressure scenarios.

Teams also learn the value of flexibility, understanding that in real-world scenarios, feedback must often be integrated on-the-fly, and strategies must be adjusted accordingly.

Seeing the Point
Seeing the Point serves as an ideal ice-breaker or introductory exercise, fostering innovation and assisting teams in tackling complex challenges.

At its core, Seeing The Point visually encapsulates the principle of 'doing more with less'. It contrasts the linear, step-by-step problem-solving method with the expansive realm of 'breakthrough' or 'blue-sky' thinking. This engaging activity is perfect for introducing concepts like 'alignment' and 'synergy'. While the initial challenge is intriguing, subsequent tasks demand a shift in thinking and collaborative dynamics to arrive at a solution.

A prevalent sentiment among teams is the daunting task of achieving more with fewer resources. This activity challenges that notion, prompting learners to adopt a fresh perspective, transcending apparent constraints and conventional solutions.

Broken Squares
The success of the Broken Squares game hinges on fostering relationships among team members, cultivating an understanding of others' needs, and demonstrating a readiness to share resources—all without verbal communication. This positions it as a prime tool for Emotional Intelligence training. The activity sharpens participants' problem-solving abilities, bolsters virtual team cohesion, and enhances trust within interdependent virtual groups.

For online teams to thrive (comprising 4 members each), they must adhere to two foundational principles:

  1. Mutual Awareness: Prioritize the needs of fellow team members as much as your own.
  2. Collective Completion: The task isn't complete until every member has achieved their goal.

At its core, Broken Squares is a digital exercise centered on the principle of 'giving'. Post-activity reviews can delve deep into individual emotions, actions, and choices, emphasizing the importance of being attuned to the needs of virtual colleagues. This awareness can then be channeled into constructive workplace behaviors.

Get Started
These 5 activities have proven to help teams of various shapes and sizes function better. It's really simple to use these activities:

  1. Choose a subscription plan that suits your organisation: we offer a range of subscription options to suit the needs of various organisations. From small teams that can use the Solo tier to the Max plan that is well suited to large teams with a need for multiple trainers and the need to run multiple sessions at the same time. Pick the plan that suits your organisation's needs. Note all tiers have access to all activities on the platform.
  2. Create your organisation: add your account details (email address, password) and organisation name to create your organisation
  3. Enter payment details: To get started with a subscription plan you can pay with an organisation credit or debit card or PayPal using our secure payment provider Paddle. Paddle will also help ensure VAT is charged at the correct rate for the country you are located in.
  4. Setup your first session: create a session and pick from one of our great team building activities get started on improving how your remote teams are functioning.

If you have any questions or if you would like a demo of the platform first please get in touch with the team at


Michael Hayes @experientialLT

Head of Product at Experiential Learning Tools

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