15+ Incentive Motivational Activities and Games for the Lunch Break

Lunch break activities

According to teambuilding statistics, more companies are now paying attention to virtual team-building activities during lunch break. In fact, the numbers have soared by 2,500%. 

America takes the second spot when it comes to the number and variety of employee motivational games. This way, successful managers and team leaders try to establish an inextricable connection between team members and set people in the proper mood for efficient work.

Let’s dive into the lunch break motivational activities

As alleged by Harvard Business Review Research, the connection between a remote worker and his team is poorer than that of teams that work together in the office. TeamBonding, in turn, calculated that about 65% have never had team-building experience.

Team building sessions are underestimated in vain since they are great at establishing and strengthening relationships in any team, especially remote ones. In addition to networking, this helps each individual employee feel like an important part of the team, influence its life, moods, and decisions, and plunge into the philosophy of the company.

If your employees are motivated, then they will work even better and harder, which in turn cannot help but affect the profit of the entire enterprise. What’s more, according to Teamstage statistics, team-building sessions are a great way to boost work ethics and innovation.

You-are-awesome channel to motivate employees

One of the most popular and fruitful employee motivation ideas during lunchtime is to create a #you-are-awesome channel on your team chat app. You can also use this hashtag in an email thread when communicating with other team members.

This channel may become a separate place where any employee can praise his or her colleagues for hard work, intelligence, timely assistance, and more. Make it a very friendly environment where any team member can express gratitude and admiration in a sincere manner. Besides, encourage your workers to use not only words but also emojis and images.

Healthy habits challenge

Employee motivation games can be of different types and those combining in-team interaction with healthy lifestyle promotion are definitely worth trying. It is a wonderful idea to run a monthly health challenge. 

For instance, you can ask your remote workers to devote 15 minutes during lunch time to yoga or stretching and submit daily reports for tracking the progress. On the last day of a month, you may define a winner based on the spreadsheet. 

Since the focus is on developing healthy habits, you need to choose prizes that are in line with that goal. So, you can present a winner with a sports bag, jerseys, balls, etc.

Company yearbook


Every year spent together is worth celebrating. You can do that by creating a company yearbook in any of the following yearbook design software: Adobe InDesign, Shutterfly, or Canva. 

Utilize your lunch time to design and get these yearbooks signed or filled out by the employees. People can write anything they want – funny stories, short quotes, words of praise, etc.

After it’s complete, you can give a copy to every worker either during a live meeting or send it by mail.

Mini virtual hackathon during lunch break

Time: 60–90 minutes

Some companies claim that organizing internal hackathons helps unite teams and make them operate synchronously. This idea will yield great results, especially if you have tech-savvy workers who are fond of complicated conundrums.

If you want to engage team members from different departments or those with soft skill sets, you can still adapt this activity to their needs by using simpler development platforms. The main idea here is to give them a particular problem and ask them to work together to find a solution. 

When people exchange thoughts and listen to each other, they build an invisible link indispensable for remote work. For instance, you can give them the task to “compare several apps and choose the best one for making a shopping list,” “make a basic tracker for reading books,” or “create an app that is bound to interest moms on maternity leave.”

Online motivational games for employees

Time: 60–90 minutes

No matter what strategy for effective team collaboration you stick to, it is highly advisable to play online employee motivation games 1-2 times a month. You can investigate crime cases, solve puzzles, and hunt mystical creatures. The main thing here is to do it together.

There are several online team games you can try during lunch time:

  • International Monster Hunter by Team Building
  • Clue Virtual Murder Mystery
  • Murder in the Queen’s Court
  • Virtual Team Pursuit
  • Games by Weve

The Email incentive games to motivate employees

You can use a purpose-built email game online tool to turn simple email checking and responding into an amusing activity. It integrates with Gmail and Google Apps, encouraging workers to send emails back within a predefined period. Those who manage to cope with the task promptly get points as rewards. 

Virtual quizzes between departments

Time: About 5 minutes per person on each team

Define the departments that will participate in the quiz. Next, prepare a list of questions, send it to both teams, determine the time for submitting answers, and start a battle. Don’t make the list of questions too long; 10 questions will suffice.

Alternatively, you can organize an online quiz in Chanty. Select a host and arrange several rounds and one final battle. Make sure every team has a digital sheet for writing answers. After each round, players need to submit that sheet to a host, who will calculate points. Such a competition is sure to be fun and encourage a healthy competitive spirit. 

No matter whether team members take part in this activity via Chanty, Zoom, Slack, or any other platform, they will have the feeling of belonging to a bigger system. That is the main reason for running motivational games for employees. Of course, you need to name winners, and you may even prepare small gifts for them.

Virtual escape rooms

Time: 60–90 minutes

Even working from different places, your employees can still feel the fun of visiting virtual escape rooms during lunch time. With the help of such online services, you can motivate them to be team players and fulfill different tasks with offbeat approaches. 

There are different virtual escape rooms, but the most popular are:

  • Alice Escapes Wonderland by Team Building
  • Virtual escape rooms by The Escape Game
  • Lost In The Arctic Escape
  • The Redemption Games

Virtual team trip during lunch break

Time: About 60 minutes

To boost productivity at work, you may give your employees a temporary respite by arranging an online trip to Europe, North or South America, or tropical islands. 

For instance, you can find an interesting location in Woyago’s catalog. This could be a romantic French city with ancient streets and bustling cafés. Or, you can flick through Unexpected Virtual Tours and “take” your team to New York, Los Angeles, or Texas. 

Remote dance party to increase motivation

Time: About 5 minutes (or the length of your chosen song)

Not only employee motivation games but also celebrations and parties can help you build better relationships between workers. Assign the person who will host the party, which mainly means selecting songs and creating an atmosphere. There are lots of cool soundtracks on YouTube and Spotify. 

“Do you know your team?” game

Time: About 10 minutes

Even people who work together in an office for a long time don’t know everything about each other, let alone remote workers. So, to make your team members feel closer, you can send them a list of questions and ask them to prepare answers. 

This can be something like:

  • Do you have a large family?
  • What is your favorite animal?
  • Are you an extrovert or an introvert?
  • How do you usually spend your free time?

At the meeting, you can reveal the answers without specifying the person who gave them. Ask workers to match answers with the right person. This activity will surely cause much laughter. If there are some extraordinary answers, you can ask a person to explain them to the group.

Tours of remote working locations during lunch break

Time: About 5–10 minutes per person

Another way to establish a bond between remote employees is to give them a short peek into each other’s working environment. Ask every team member to record a 5-minute video in his or her home, showing favorite spots and items. 

For instance, a person can focus on a favorite collection of books, demonstrate a picturesque view from a window, etc. When we “let people in” our houses, we immediately become closer.

The Wheel of Wow employee motivation games

People like getting presents, and you can spur your team’s motivation by preparing special gifts for them. To show what goodies are awaiting hard-working employees, you can purchase a spinning prize wheel or make one yourself. Conduct a brief online meeting to demonstrate the wheel, or take a photo of it and send it to your colleagues.  

A typical wheel has 14 sections where you can indicate presents. Make sure to change the gifts from time to time. 

For instance, you can use something like

  • A £5 gift certificate 
  • Shorter working day 
  • A bottle of champagne
  • A beautiful cup 
  • A dress code-free day
  • A free lunch
  • A guaranteed parking spot for the week
  • A stylish knick-knack 
  • A pair of slipper socks they can wear at their desks
  • A shift swap

Virtual book clubs

Time: About 15 minutes per person.

A book club can be a fantastic activity, especially if people on your team like reading. You need to choose a new host for every meeting so that all participants can feel motivated and show their organizational skills. 

Snapshot virtual icebreaker

Time: About 5 minutes


Among motivational games for employees, this one is especially popular because it involves several channels we use to share and perceive information. Firstly, every worker needs to take a photo of anything he or she wants to show to others. These can be a sofa, ancient cutlery, sports equipment, kids’ toys, etc. 

Next, it is necessary to upload these images to a shared online whiteboard or a document. Spend time during lunch break attempting to guess who took each photo, complimenting them, and sharing stories about the photographed objects. 

Holiday-themed motivational games for employees

Choosing a game related to a particular holiday or sports event is a fantastic idea. The rewards employees receive for fulfilling a task within the allocated time frame should be in line with the essence of the chosen holiday. For instance, if you initiate a game in the run-up to Christmas, you can award team members with chocolate fir trees, while games dedicated to St. Valentine’s Day should end with candy hearts.

You can also prepare several types of prizes in accordance with the diligence and speed of the task competition. For example, you can get candy hearts in big, medium, and small sizes for your workers. You can also announce bonus prizes, such as an additional day off or a bigger salary. 

Useful tools for virtual team building

Remote teams can be very productive if they regularly play employee motivation games during lunch break. Fortunately, there are lots of feature-rich team collaboration tools that simulate in-office interaction and help people solve tasks together as efficiently as possible. Moreover, using the tools described below, you can add excitement to distant communication.

You can also take Chanty’s productivity course to maximize your effectiveness at work.

Chanty. It is an online service for boosting communication competence. There you can find tools for communication, project management, and task automation. This app for group communication will fit the bill if you want to get in touch with your team members in a quick way, start one-on-one audio or video calls, share your screen, as well as integrate different third-party apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, and many others. 

Besides, it is possible to monitor team workflow by using a Kanban board and watching YouTube videos, GIFs, and social media content.

Strava. If you regularly undertake healthy lifestyle challenges, this tool will surely come in handy. With it, you can define a challenge and keep tabs on every participant’s progress.  

Trivia. This platform abounds with amazing games for teams. You can play them on Chanty or Microsoft Teams in real time. The range of games is huge, including standard quizzes, trivia, and more. The best part is that you can see how every player is doing and immediately define a winner.

Jukebot. This instrument will meet your needs if you want to create Spotify playlists and share them with your colleagues. 

Sococo. This is actually a full-featured online office with separate rooms where people can chat, exchange voice messages, and enable screen sharing.  

Pick the best lunch break activities for your team

If you want your company to be successful, you need to care about all of its employees. It is possible to express gratitude and appreciation in different ways. You can start by playing motivational games for work during lunch time. However, it shouldn’t be your only method. Be creative and use different activities. 

Ammara Tariq

Ammara is a Marketing Manager at Chanty - a collaborative team chat, with a plan to take her team to new heights. With an everlasting love for marketing tactics, she’s also very fond of research writing and hopes to spread delight and knowledge to her readers.

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