Using virtual icebreakers when working remotely can help team members to get to know each other and build stronger relationships. Helping everyone feel comfortable discussing their lives and work in a virtual setting also helps build a positive company culture.
Don’t choose conversation starters that are boring or come off as forced. Here are 10 virtual icebreakers to choose from that your remote teams will actually enjoy.
1. Ask a Random Question
At the beginning of every meeting, ask participants to answer a unique question, such as:
- If you were in the Olympics, what sport would you compete in?
- If you could only listen to one song forever, what would it be?
- Do you collect anything?
This virtual icebreaker is a great conversation starter to kick off the day.
2. Monthly Highlights
At the end of each month, ask all team members to share their best workplace moments in an open chat. Then, share the answers on the screen and discuss each one. Remembering the good aspects of work and praising everyone’s effort is great for employee morale.
3. Weekend Photo Contest
At the beginning of every new week, have a weekend photo contest where teammates submit the best photos from their weekend. This can get people talking and help them learn more about each other’s life away from the computer.
4. Show and Tell
This activity isn’t just for first-grade classes anymore. Help your team members connect and get to know each other by hosting a show and tell meeting. Ask participants to bring something to share with their co-workers. Give them time to explain their object and answer questions from others. This helps co-workers learn about each other and discover what they have in common.
5. Rose, Thorn, Bud
This virtual icebreaker is a great way to highlight things that are going well and also discuss issues in the business. Go around the virtual room and have everyone share a rose (something that’s going well), a thorn (something that’s challenging them), and a bud (something they’re looking forward to). This encourages teams to focus on the positive and discuss issues openly with each other.
6. Virtual Trivia
There’s nothing like a little low-stakes competition to inspire friendly rivalry with remote teams. You can host a trivia hour with company-related trivia questions or choose another topic. For example, the theme can be Star Wars, 80’s music, or Harry Potter, based on the interests of your team.
7. Most Unique
Each day have one person be the subject of the “Most Unique” game. They have to say something about themselves that they think no one else in the group will have in common. If someone else does, then they have to keep sharing things until they find a fact or talent that’s completely unique to them. It’s a great activity for getting to know each other.
8. Whose Workspace?
Most virtual team members feel like they need to keep a super professional workspace at home, which can be challenging, to say the least. Instead, use this icebreaker to highlight how everyone’s adapted to working from home. Ask participants to share photos of their home-work setup and guess whose is whose. This will help employees’ bond over their at home workspaces and feel supported and accepted by their colleagues.
9. Mood Poll
Why not take advantage of your polling feature at the start of each meeting? Create a Mood Poll asking participants how they’re feeling are on a scale of 1 to 10. Share the anonymous results on the screen for everyone to see. The results can set the tone for the meeting and give everyone a look into each other’s days.
10. Schedule Virtual Breaks
After everyone has taken a break away from their computer screen, plan an on-screen virtual break where team members can chat and enjoy each other’s company before getting back to work. Plan 10 or 15 minutes for people to have a coffee and discuss the latest non-work news to help them relax and build remote relationships.
Change It Up
There are lots of great icebreakers you can use to change up your virtual meetings and encourage remote teams to communicate with each other. No matter what conversation starters you use, pay attention to which are the most effective with your unique team. Always change up your icebreakers to keep team members on their toes and looking forward to the next conversation starter.
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