The challenge at hand: remote work poses a significant obstacle to fostering social connections with your colleagues.

Without the ability to gather at a bar, interpret body language cues, or engage in spontaneous chats, the traditional avenues for team bonding are severely limited in a remote setting. However, online games offer a solution to many of the hurdles inherent in remote team building.

Games possess unique qualities that make them ideal for cultivating strong relationships and building camaraderie among peers. They have the power to:

- Facilitate casual social interactions

- Create shared experiences that are exclusive to the team

- Establish a secure space for meaningful conversations

- Provide a structured framework for group interactions

- Optimize video calls with limited bandwidth

- Encourage teamwork in a low-pressure environment

Moreover, it's much simpler to garner interest in a lighthearted trivia night or an entertaining game than another mundane Zoom happy hour. Let's delve into why the dynamics of games are so effective in fostering online connections.

With the right game you can create a conversational structure that is much more inclusive and ideal for team boding. Additionally, game conversations are frequently turn-based and lend themselves naturally to online conversation with larger groups.

Games teach teamwork in fast, low-risk environment

A high-functioning remote team will be able to work cohesively toward a single goal. The members will understand their strengths, understand how to communicate with one another, and be able to work as an effective and coordinated whole. Learning to do this can take a lot of time.

Games offer a fast iteration cycle with lower consequences of failure, providing an ideal environment for learning to work as a team.

Playing games not only simulates the social cooperation required in the real world but also mirrors the communication and interpersonal challenges faced in a professional setting. Games provide a platform to navigate through numerous teamwork scenarios, offering more opportunities for learning how to collaborate effectively compared to working on actual projects with real-world repercussions.

Games offer a safe space to talk about real things

Developing genuine friendships among team members demands a level of vulnerability that may be challenging to reveal during everyday interactions, especially in the context of video calls.

Friendships within a team typically commence with light-hearted conversations and gradually evolve into a bond built on trust and intimacy over time. This organic process often takes a considerable amount of time and requires significant interaction, with the proportion of meaningful conversations to casual chit-chat being relatively low.

According to psychologist Arthur Aron, who you might know from the popular NY Times article 36 Questions to Fall In Love, the key to forming close bonds is a gradual increase in mutual vulnerability (real conversations):

“One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.”
— Aurthor Aron, et. al. The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness

From a corporate team building perspective, it's essential to recognize that forming strong bonds within your team will inevitably involve team members embracing mutual vulnerability and engaging in authentic conversations.

In a physical office setting, interactions naturally flow and relationships develop organically. However, in a virtual work environment, creating meaningful connections requires a deliberate and focused approach that emphasizes genuine dialogue and the sharing of personal experiences.

Games play a crucial role in providing a structured framework for these conversations, fostering an environment where team members can comfortably open up and engage in real, impactful discussions. By designing games that encourage self-disclosure and promote authentic communication in a fun and approachable manner, teams can strengthen their connections and build trust even in a remote setting.

Games help overcome the lower fidelity of video calls

Interpersonal communication is a complex dance of observing body language, subtle vocal tones, facial expressions, and spatial awareness in real-time. However, when attempting to converse over video chat, the richness of these nonverbal cues diminishes significantly, leading to a breakdown in effective communication. Experts widely acknowledge the phenomenon of Zoom fatigue, attributing it to issues like latency, limited bandwidth, and the loss of natural information exchange, such as eye contact, between participants.

“For somebody who’s really dependent on non-verbal cues, it can be a big drain not to have them,” — Andrew Franklin, assistant Professor of Cyberpsychology at Norfolk State University

Due to the limited bandwidth in online communication, many teams naturally gravitate towards a "transactional only" approach during meetings. While this can have its advantages - shorter calls, reduced fatigue, and a more defined work schedule - it often leads to a lack of relationship building. While some established teams may function well in this mode, for many, the absence of team interaction poses a significant challenge.

Games offer a solution to these bandwidth and latency issues by providing a structured framework for communication. With rule-based interactions, participants no longer need to constantly gauge the room for cues on when to speak or what to say. This structured approach in games eliminates the need for the complex dynamics of group conversations, allowing team members to focus on the substance of their communication rather than the turn-taking aspect.

By incorporating structured communication, games can also minimize conversational errors, such as people speaking over each other, and maximize the efficiency of communication in a low-bandwidth environment.

Games lower social barriers and create buy-in


Asking deep or open-ended questions during a video call can often lead to silence, as individuals may shy away from sharing personal information in front of their peers to avoid feeling vulnerable. However, games offer a structured and safe environment that encourages participation and self-expression. While many may hesitate to disclose personal details in a group setting, the rules and dynamics of games create a space where individuals feel more comfortable opening up.

Whether it's doing a farm animal impression or playing a round of charades, games provide a fun and inclusive platform for team members to engage and connect, making it easier for everyone to let their guard down and enjoy the experience. Unlike traditional team-building exercises, games naturally draw people in and spark excitement, making them a more appealing and effective way to foster camaraderie among remote teams.

Games create shared social memories

Reflect on a recent interaction with your friends or colleagues. How often have you heard someone say, "Remember when we did that thing?" or "What was the name of the movie we watched together?"

This exchange of memories is known as Transactive Memory, a vital element in building strong relationships and establishing a cohesive team dynamic. In a highly collaborative team, each member contributes to maintaining a shared group memory, enhancing individual strengths, addressing weaknesses, and working together towards a common objective.

Games play a crucial role in creating these collective memories by immersing team members in new experiences and prompting everyone to engage, recall information, and collaborate. These shared experiences become memorable events that team members can reminisce about, fostering deeper understanding and stronger connections among colleagues.


Research is that these transactive memory systems are a key component of effective teamwork, and training them is a core element of quality team building.

TGG provides a range of programs and activities tailored to suit your company's needs, and elevate your team's communication, skills, collaboration, and enhance everyday performance.

 Let's work together to create a workplace where passion, purpose, and employee experience intersect!