How I Managed A Team Building Exercise With A Remote Working Team

Based on an idea I saw on TikTok, I have been hosting a team-building exercise under the guise of an interdepartmental battle - Ribble Rivals. It was time our Customer Service Team and our Showroom Team got to know each other a bit better. 

I meticulously planned a five week knockout tournament, created a set of rules, and sprung it upon everyone in a Teams group chat one random Friday. Week 1 aside, the challenge would be presented at 10am on Monday, the entries had to be in by 3pm on Friday. The winners of that round would be announced at 4pm on the same Friday. Once participants had been eliminated from the competition, they could be called upon to support and assist other players if required. Or they could jeer from the cheap seats… whatever was their preference. 

Round 1 - Draw a perfect circle : everyone was invited to participate in the first game but there were only 32 places available.  First come, first served. You snooze, you lose! Using the website they had to draw a perfect circle, screenshot the result and send it to me by Teams direct message. They had a week to practise and their private message to me was their one and only entry. I concocted a system to randomly allocate battle partners and 16 people made it through to the next round.

Round 2 - Are You Ready For Your Close Up : I took 15 high(ish) resolution pictures of items from around my house and zoomed them in.  The 16 participants again had to submit their entries to me in private and if there was a tie-breaker, then I would look at how specific the answers had been.  

Round 3 - QUARTER FINALS : Dog Poo Golf : it is on occasions like this that I applaud the time that the members of b3ta put aside to make seemingly pointless but addictive games for nerds.  Dog Poo Golf was a ‘lowest score wins’ game but the tie breaker in this situation depended on what size dog you selected (size of dog, weight of poo bag).  

Round 4 - SEMI FINALS  : Singalong : I think I made this round too simple, if I’m being honest. I used Audacity to mash together 2-4 second clips from intros of popular songs from the past 40 years.  I didn’t announce how many songs were used but it was obvious from the first listen. The clips should have been shorter and merged better, and I should have used a ‘songs that sound like each other’ twist that I have talked about on my radio show, but I’ve had requests from participants to use it for their own family quizzes, so not all is lost and I didn’t get a full house from the four remaining participants. 

Round 5 - FINAL  - Paper Planes : I had to take it back to basics for the last round.  The two finalists had a week to research and practise the best fold for their paper plane and they were only allowed to use one sheet of A4 paper - no sellotape, paperclips or other weird and wonderful accessories.  The final throw had to be filmed and measured in a one-take shot to ensure there was no cheating and both attempts had to be completed indoors to allow for equal environments and no wind assistance. 

The two finalist worked in different areas of the business (one at HQ and one in a showroom) - it was the ultimate battle and the video evidence was comical, including a battle with a tape measure, doubt regarding whether the measurements were accurate and would be accepted, the involvement of family members and colleagues, and… of course… the tension!

The desired impact from each round was

  • Round 1 - icebreaker, accomplishment, friendly competition 
  • Round 2 - attention to detail, creative thinking
  • Round 3 - randomness, humour, strategy
  • Round 4 - simple entertainment 
  • Round 5 - skill, precision, creativity - plus tension, excitement

Overall, this exercise hopefully fostered team spirit, encouraged creativity and problem-solving, and provided an opportunity for employees from different departments to interact and get to know each other better. 

I would love to know if you’ve done something similar with your team. 

Resources : 

Perfect Circle 

Dog Poo Golf 



Prize :

A fidget toy pack to relieve stress