Remote work is here to stay, prompting businesses to get creative when it comes to engaging their now-distributed workforce. One such are virtual scavenger hunt ideas.
Virtual scavenger hunts are online games where players are given a list of items to find, or to complete challenges before time runs out. It’s a fun way to bring out everyone’s competitive side. It encourages the team to think fast and race towards goals. Such activities engage employees. In fact, a SMARP survey reports that companies with high employee engagement are 22% more profitable!
In this blog, we’ll attempt to recreate the office vibes you’ve been missing lately by taking you through a few fun virtual scavenger hunt ideas!
1. What is an online scavenger hunt?
A virtual scavenger hunt is an online experience-based hunt that challenges players to find a set of items in a given time. The main aim is to explore different ways to stimulate the brain like
- Analytical thinking,
- Problem-solving abilities,
- Learning to work cohesively towards a common goal
- Looking for a particular object.
The activities in virtual scavenger hunts are planned in a way to engage the participants physically and mentally. The time limit is designed to create that sense of urgency to collect as many objects as you can find. For example, A time travel-themed treasure hunt that requires you to find a hidden treasure using a map.
2. Is a Virtual Scavenger Hunt a Team Building Exercise?
A virtual scavenger hunt gets teammates to work together while exercising their neurons. So yes, it most certainly is a team-building activity! Scavenger hunts vary from simply finding and collecting to stumbling upon clues or hints.
Synergy is the key to solving games like online scavenger hunts. When the efforts of a team are unified, there is a feeling of belonging and togetherness. Today, companies working on virtual platforms need to encourage that sense of unity in their workers no matter where they are geographical.
Games like the virtual Scavenger hunt are easy to plan and execute with gaming apps and digital platforms. It helps the employees to unplug from the work-related stress and bond with their teammates. Virtual scavenger hunts are also known as online or digital scavenger hunts.
3. Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas for Team Building 2021
There is a multitude of websites and platforms that enable your teams to have surreal and enjoyable experiences. Let us explore some of them here :
3.1 The Zoom Dragon Slayer
There’s a dragon to slay! The question is, will your team be able to assemble themselves a weapon to vanquish this fire-breathing beast? Transform your regular zoom video conference into a themed scavenger hunt idea that your team can fully immerse themselves in.
Draw up a list of items to re-enact the drama of knights and dragons. Participants have to find everything under a timer. Set the limit for 10-15 minutes to give everyone sufficient time to hunt. The items can include something shiny and silvery to mimic a sword, or shield, helmet or an article of clothing or footwear. It should be something that everyone is likely to have lying around their house. Extra marks if they sport whatever they find! The team that makes it first with all the items to kill the dragon wins before the timer buzzes!
The team can get creative in the items they bring. Think about how funny it would be to see someone with a fruit basket turned upside-down over their head, brandishing a butter-knife to be a makeshift sword!
3.2 Social Media Scavenger Hunt
This is a trip that helps you put together memories. The social media scavenger hunt idea starts by creating a list of pictures everyone needs to unearth from the deep recesses of their social media profile. It can be anything, such as a team outing at a picnic, playing laser tag, a picture of you wearing red, a picture taken at a recent event or the first photo you ever posted on Facebook. Set a time limit of 5 mins or 10 mins depending upon the number of pics, and the participant who shares them all downloaded within the time limit is the winner.
3.3 C: geo- Geocaching Gaming App
C: geo is a free download app for all android phones. It is a fun way to try outdoor scavenger hunts. The app features interactive compasses and maps, making it easy to conduct location-based scavenger hunts.
You can create a list of items and hint at possible locations they would be in. Make sure that these hints are moderately easy to solve, considering the given time frame.
3.4 Trivia based scavenger hunts
A customizable or Do It Yourself (DIY) way of conducting scavenger hunts. To win this virtual game, participants must solve logical and analytical problems to proceed with every game stage. Every trivia gives a clue and the direction to move, and finally, the player who solves all problems is the winner.
Ideally, based on the difficulty level, you could have 5 -10 questions- the last one being the toughest. Social Scavenger’s Team Edition tailors their team building activities to requests, and includes trivia, videos, photos or stickers. The game experience lasts for 30,45 or 60 minutes and teams have to complete as many challenges as possible in this time. The more creative the team’s submission, the more bonus points you are awarded by Social scavenger’s very own judges!
3.5 Netflix based Nature scavenger hunt
Let’s accept it; with the Covid restrictions and lockdowns in place, we have no choice but to stay indoors. We miss nature walks and exploring plants and animals; the only entertainment is either Netflix or Youtube.
So here is a scavenger hunt that carries us virtually outdoors and brings back the memories of mother nature. Download a checklist from the “Doing good together” website. You could start ticking off the list by casting a nature-based episode of “Our planet” or “Night on Earth,” etc.
3.6 Food Based Scavenger Hunt
This is a call to all the group’s foodies, a virtual scavenger hunt could take your teams on a yummy riddle ride. Divide your participants into groups of 3 or 4 and pose the questions from the list of FoodRiddles.
The website has all the answers, with the questions all related to food. For example, the answer to the question: Which is the wealthiest nut? Is the cashew nut. You’ll find wordplay everywhere, which is interesting and fun!
3.7 Google-based scavenger hunt by Sessions
Besides their standard online scavenger hunt, Sessions Lab has virtual scavenger hunt ideas for students, kids and adults. The rules include not leaving your location, submitting only one item per entry and submitting photos and responses within the given time. Here are the steps to follow to play SessionLabs’ treasure or holiday-themed hunts;
Create a list of things you want your participants to find online. Make it fun with a peculiar GIF or funniest youtube video etc. To have it more on your organization’s lines, you could make a related list like memes on your industry- so that your employees relate to it.
If yours is a software business- you could ask your participants to find examples of the best “client’s expectations and delivery” memes as one of them. The list could be about 20 such items.
Break participants into separate groups. If the event is over a zoom call, divide them into individual breakout meetings and ensure they have collaborative tools like G-docs or whiteboards to upload all the items.
Start the timer and set your participants to begin the hunt. Ideally, a 10 -20 mins time limit should suffice.
Ensure your participants have access to the primary call while being moved to individual meetings. The team that collects all the items must announce their finds in the main room.
They must keep in mind the time limit and be savvy with the tools. You could run a mock session beforehand to familiarize everyone on board with how the tool works. They can make sure their audio and video works fine. Once they get used to the digital gaming platform, it will be easier to play and participate in the virtual scavenger hunt.
Post collecting; it is time for a debrief. With a time limit of 3 minutes, each group presents their set of items.
Take the participation to the next level. If you are using whiteboard tools like Miro or mural, it can be put to fun use too. Inter-team voting with Miro plugins’ help could bring about greater participation and interaction in the whole event. The rule is – they cannot vote for their own.
3.8 The Ultimate Virtual Scavenger Hunt: Treasure hunt
In this quest, the participants follow clues to escape a mysterious cabin in the woods. The engaging backgrounds and sounds bring out the best experiences to all. Escape game – divided into either a small -2-8 member game or a 9 to infinite member game. All the members work towards a shared goal; escaping the virtual room in a set time period.
With customers like Google and Netflix trying them out, it is sure to drive your team engagement up! Do remember to book slots in advance, as rates vary for weekdays and weekends.
3.9 Selfie scavenger hunt
This virtual scavenger hunt can be either an indoor event or an outdoor event, and the outfits and the whole theme can be planned and executed in line.
Outdoor Adventures: with over 1000 reviews and 5-star ratings, LetsRoam offers incredible journeys and team-building activities that your team can enjoy. With service available in 400+ cities around the world, Let’s Roam’s outdoor scavenger hunts feature passes for 2,4 and 6 member teams.
Indoor Adventures: If you decide on indoor-based selfie scavenger hunts, Pinterest has some amusing ideas that your team can attempt. Let’s Roam’s Roam-From-Home comprises trivia and themes for challenges. There are virtual team building, birthday parties, date nights and game nights!
3.10 Tool Enabled Virtual Scavenger Quest
Device and OS-compatible websites for virtual scavenger hunt ideas ensure that everyone can access the game from the device of their choosing. The Cluekeeper is one such platform with one of the best pre-designed hunts best suited for team-building activities. This location-based clue hunt uses Augmented Reality to provide the best experiences.
If you are out of preparation and ideas to host, this is one of the best options. You can receive clues on your mobile and submit answers. The online leaderboard tells you how many points you scored against the opposing team. The game is compatible with iPhone and Android.
4. How to host the perfect virtual scavenger hunt?
The first step to hosting the perfect virtual scavenger hunt is to decide when and how long it should go on for. Take care to give teams a heads up so that they can make themselves available to participate and enjoy. Here are some tips to help you conduct it without a hitch;
4.1 Plan Ahead:
4.1.1 Select a theme –
From the famous movie-based ideas like Indiana Jones to DIY ideas, there are many concepts to choose from.
4.1.2 Participants & outfits –
Inform the participants to dress up based on the chosen theme.
4.1.3 Gifts & Rewards –
Decide on the form of a prize to be awarded to the winner, be it a digital certificate, redeemable gift coupons or something more personalized, like an engraved trophy or memento.
4.1.4 Time –
The most critical aspect of the hunt and the deciding factor is the time limit. Keep the list of activities in mind before setting the time limit- even better if you can run a mock drill and double-check if they can complete within the specified time.
4.1.5 List of activities –
Customize the team’s activities by theme and purpose. For example, the goal of adventure quests is to send your team on a virtual time machine and have fun while doing so! You can start small with a DIY hunt for common items and then move on to bigger challenges.
4.1.6 Conduct as per the activity list –
Stick to the time and activities no matter what. If you are using tools, have the user ids and passwords shared in advance. Running a mock drill can make you confident while conducting in bigger groups.
5. Theme Ideas for the Virtual Scavenger Hunt:
A theme sets the ambience and structure for your event. Adding fantasy can make the experience more memorable for virtual scavenger hunt participants. Additionally, you could take screenshots or photos of the event for your teams to look back on. Members can choose to decorate their workspace or an entire room in line with the game’s theme.
To make it easy for all, use items that everyone has at home. Here are some simple virtual scavenger hunt theme ideas:
- Toilet paper Spooky party: be it the long hanging tissue curtain or upcycling the inner roll– the toilet tissue has multiple uses. Color, paint or wrap the leftover cardboard tube for a Boo-tiful Howl-o-ween ambiance. Soak the paper in black ink, draw some eyes & teeth and hand them upside down – they make some spooky bats. You could conduct murder mysteries to make the game apt for the theme.
- Mario theme: You could draw & cut up some mushrooms in the background and put on bright T-shirts.
- Retro theme: Have everyone dress up in the ‘80’s attire with bold colors, polka dots, and elaborate hairdos to set the mood. Treasure hunt theme: Deciphering the cryptic clues on Treasure Island is perfect for your team. Unearth the buried riches by putting on eye patches, hats, and go crazy, me hearties!
6 Virtual Scavenger Hunt Sample List:
Not sure what challenges to include in your next virtual scavenger hunt? Here are some ideas that are a good choice for everyone from individuals to students and corporate professionals.
Standard virtual scavenger hunt list ideas:
- Show off your culinary skills: The exemplary cooks within the team can share a short video of them making homemade brownies or their favorite dishes with teammates.
- Wishlist: Make a “wish list” on your favorite online shopping site and share it with the group. It should include items that would explain your personality to people.
- Fancy dress competition: We all have at some point participated in fancy dress challenges during our school days. Why not replicate it? Teammates can dress like Santa, retro actors, superheroes, and more and have a banter.
- Show off your personal skills: If you are a musician, painter, dancer, or a gymnast it would be great if teammates can share a short video of them performing any physical activity. For instance, how about performing a handstand? Cool, right!
- Bilingual Ensemble: Find somebody that speaks another language in your team and ask them to teach some basic language greetings to everyone and have fun.
- Perform a TikTok dance: Individuals can either record a funny TikTok video or do it directly in a group conferencing call. You can also ask the non -dancer employees to find two funny TikTok profiles and share them with the teammates.
List of Virtual scavenger hunt ideas around the house:
- Pet selfies: There are always some people in your team group who are always fond of pets.
- Home office setup: Share a photo of your home office setup or your favorite corner of the house. You can also create a short video that shows off your bookshelf, music equipment, gardens, terrace, etc.
- Best photo/videography contest: Take a 10-second video of the weather outside at the moment and share it with the group. You can also take a picture that shows the view from your window.
- Recreate an old family photo: It will be fun to recreate an old family photo and share it with others.
- Home olympics: Add some spice to your remote work life with the home olympics, a series of games and challenges. From cleaning rooms to watering plants and cleaning dishes, there are many contests that you can choose from.
- Easy DIY selfie contest: Simply ask all employees to click a list of selfies. It can include challenges to take morning selfies, food eating selfies, favorite outfits pictures or snap selfies with their vehicles or family.
List of Virtual scavenger hunt ideas within the team:
- Group selfie: Take a zoom group selfie, share it with everyone and ask them to edit in a way that it looks like a frozen camera glitch. The picture with the best edits wins the challenge.
- Photobomb: Share your worst selfie with teammates and let everyone have a gig over it.
- Hidden Gems: Task people with finding specific taglines, information, keywords, or pages on the company website. The deeper the page, more time will teammates take to find it and better will be the fun.
- Share your views: Ask teammates to search for the company’s Google My Business page or different social media pages and share if they’ve got any suggestion for improvement.
- Play a riddle-style hunt: Share the banter with teammates with this fun challenge. You may ask questions like: Work, work, work, with no time for play. The answer is- Computer/PC. You can also include food riddles, mind teaser, workplace riddles, etc to make it more interactive.
- The new normal: Ask teammates to share a video story about something they’re grateful for now in work from home times. They can also take a picture of the area where they spend most of their day.
- Fun Trivia: Organizers can also throw some open ended questions to employees like what is their favorite thing about the company culture?
- Letter hunt: Have a huge team? This hunt is sure to bring some fun moments. Ask your team to find colleagues whose names begin with the same alphabets as theirs and write a 5 liner funny letter to them.
7. Feedback and Questions about the event
Understanding what your team feels about your effort to bring them together is crucial. Conduct post-event surveys, or encourage them to mail or leave comments in the chatbox. If you’re going with a specific vendor, players have the option to leave feedback on their experience. This can help game coordinators improve the gameplay, design and accessibility of the hunt.
Feedback is also a means for teams to share virtual scavenger hunt list ideas and suggestions that you can play for the next event you organize!
The main aim of a team-building activity like the virtual scavenger hunt for coworkers is to help your team relax, destress and bond with their teammates. Be it a team retreat, a team member’s birthday party, or a remote employee farewell, a virtual scavenger hunt can be a great way to involve all your team members.
Which of these virtual scavenger hunt ideas are you looking forward to trying?