Working remotely can make team meetings a bit awkward. Sometimes people speak without realizing they’re muted, or no one is sure who should speak first. Without a good way to break the ice and get everyone talking, the sound of crickets can become very evident.
Fortunately, there are lots of enjoyable and quick ways to break the ice at your next virtual meeting. Here are 10 fun and easy ones.
10 Fun and Easy Icebreakers for Virtual Meetings
1. Share a Picture of…
There are many variations of this game, and it can help everyone get to know their colleagues a little better.
Ask everyone to share a picture of something based on a theme. It could be their desk setup, the view from their office, or even what shoes they are wearing.
These pictures will give you a quick peek into where and how people work by helping you see their life in real time.
2. Tell Me Where You’re From Without Saying It
This fun game requires a bit of creativity on the part of the team. Ask them to name the town they’re from (or currently reside in) without saying the name. You can ask them to give the town’s nickname (“The Big Apple”), a food the town is known for (deep-dish pizza), or even the weather (it’s a dry heat!).
3. Two Truths and a Lie
A classic icebreaker, ask team members to give two truths and one lie about themselves, then have everyone else guess which statement is the lie. Not only does this help build team cohesion and collaboration, but it also allows everyone to get to know each other a little bit better on a personal level.
4. This or That?
When you’re pressed for time, this virtual icebreaker is quick, easy, and revealing. Ask team members, “This or That?” And learn a little bit about their preferences along the way.
- Dog or cat?
- Hot or cold weather?
- Beach or camping vacation?
5. The Good Old Days
While business is all about looking forward, you can gain some insight into your team members by asking about their past. Ask questions about their childhood or teen years, like:
- What was your favorite band?
- Who was your favorite/least favorite teacher, and why?
- What was the craziest thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
6. Home Scavenger Hunt
What’s great about this icebreaker is that it gives everyone a chance to get up and get moving! Ask team members to find something around their house in a set time (30 seconds or so) and share it with the group:
- Find something that’s yellow
- Bring an item that’s older than you are
- Show us the softest thing you own
7. Name That Sound
This activity takes a little longer than others, but it could get your team’s creative juices flowing.
Have participants turn their cameras off but leave the sound on. Then, one person makes a sound close to the mic using something around their workspace, and everyone guesses what it is.
8. Guess Who?
Though there’s prep work to do for this icebreaker, the results could be well worth the effort.
Before the meeting, send out a survey asking the team several questions. Have them send your answers only to you. Here are some examples:
- If you had a pet flamingo, what would you name it?
- What’s one place on your bucket list you haven’t visited yet?
- What is the craziest hair color or hairstyle you ever rocked?
Then, during the meeting, share the responses one at a time to the question while everyone else tries to guess who said what!
9. Trivia Round
Trivia questions are a fantastic way to bond as a team and learn some interesting facts! You can keep it simple with one round of questions, then head into the meeting. It’s also a very low-risk icebreaker because no one is being asked to share personal information about themselves.
10. Virtual Snack Break (or Coffee Break)
Everyone has to eat eventually (or else they may get hangry). Consider starting your virtual meeting by sharing a snack or coffee. To help encourage participation, consider sending gift cards to help defray the cost. You can even consider going all in and making it a lunch meeting.
Warm Things Up
An icebreaker can help kick off a meeting by encouraging the team to participate and share. And by sharing a silly experience (you had a mohawk? There are how many windows across Seattle?), your team will have a bonding experience that can help them work more cohesively as a unit.
To learn more about leading a remote team, read our Q and As from remote company leaders.
By Jessica Howington | November 1, 2021 | Categories: Work Remotely