Ice breakers for virtual meetings
Find out the best ice breakers for virtual meetings to help you have fun, engaging, and productive team meetings.
Meetings, particularly those hosted on a recurring daily or weekly basis, can quickly get tiring and monotonous. It can prove challenging to get team members engaged, willing to contribute, and actively participate in a virtual setting. For new employees, meetings can also be awkward as first-time interactions.
In that context, ice breakers for virtual meetings can help get the conversation started and get everyone more comfortable, excited, and engaged right from the start.
What are ice breakers for virtual meetings
Icebreakers are short activities designed to get a conversation started and make people more relaxed and comfortable. For workplace meetings, particularly in virtual environments, they help team members get to know each other, encourage active participation and break the monotony of daily work.
Benefits of ice breakers for virtual meetings
1. Boost team energy
Icebreakers are great to ramp up team energy and make everyone feel more motivated and engaged. As a result, they are particularly relevant for work periods that may be stressful or when the workload is intense.
2. Team bonding
It can prove challenging to socialize with colleagues in the virtual workplace as interactions are usually more focused on work-related matters. In that context, icebreakers can make everyone know each other and strengthen personal relationships.
3. Improve communication
Interactions with fellow team members can be awkward, especially for new recruits. Icebreakers can make everyone feel more relaxed and thus be more open to sharing their ideas, opinions, or experiences with others.
10 Fun icebreakers for virtual meetings
- Two truths and a lie
In this classic icebreaker, ask each participant to provide three statements about themselves, two being true and the other a lie. Then, the other participants have to guess which statement is a lie.
While this is a relatively simple icebreaker, it allows team members to get to know each other and start meetings on a lighter note. It is a great icebreaker to introduce new team members and make them more comfortable in their new environment.
- Take a picture
In this icebreaker, ask everyone in your team to post a photo in your office communication channel or board. Team members could share a picture relating to a specific topic – such as their pets, food, WFH desk set up, or view from their window – or anything they would like to share from their weekend.
This icebreaker encourages team members to open up and give a sneak peek into their lives for organizations that operate an entirely remote workforce – making meetings more enjoyable and promoting team bonding.
- This or That
This icebreaker not only reveals a bit about everyone´s preferences but is a quick and light-hearted way to start meetings.
Set up a live poll with two options (e.g., dog or cat, beer or wine, hot or cold, beach or mountain) and ask everyone to choose their favorite. Similarly, you can opt for “Would you rather” questions such as travel to the future or the past, give up the internet or air conditioning, read a book or watch a movie, etc.
- Virtual Trivia
Kicking off meetings with a trivia game is a sure-fire way to light up the team mood and encourage active participation.
You can set up a quiz with multiple choice or true/false questions using a virtual workplace platform. The questions can cover themes relating to the workplace, such as interesting facts about team members or the company. Otherwise, you can set up a trivia quiz with questions relating to pop culture, sports, geography, or whatever topic best fits the company culture.
- Guess Who
Like two truths and a lie, the “guess who” icebreaker is an excellent way for employees to learn about each other. Before the meeting, ask your team to fill out a survey. In the survey, you can include a series of icebreaker questions such as “what would you do if you won the lottery” or “what is your favorite song.” Then, during the meeting, set up a live poll including the responses where every participant has to guess which team member it relates to.
- Virtual scavenger hunt
A virtual scavenger hunt is a fun and interactive icebreaker where employees have to complete a challenge within a limited time. The challenge does not need to be intricate or overly complicated. It can be as simple as asking everyone to get their favorite mug, a magazine, or a magnet from their fridge. The main idea behind it is to get people moving in a fun activity away from their screens.
- Mood barometer
This icebreaker is an excellent way to take the pulse of your team and promote participation. There are several ways to check your team´s overall mood. You can set up a poll asking “how are you doing today” with answers ranging from 1 to 10. Alternatively, you can ask team members to describe their feelings using a single word, typing on the live chat. Or, more creatively, you can invite your team to post an emoji expressing their state of mind.
- Week highs and lows
A great icebreaker to boost employees´ motivation asks each member to share their week´s highlight. It is a way to celebrate people´s achievements and bring a positive feeling to the workplace, even during demanding or stressful projects. Additionally, you can also ask employees to share their low moments, but always consider how this leads to learning or improvements. This icebreaker is a great practice to encourage transparency and open communication in the workplace.
- Speed networking
Speed networking is a great icebreaker to encourage employees to get to know each other and foster friendships in the workplace. This icebreaker is all about creating serendipitous connections, which can prove moderately challenging in a virtual environment. Using a virtual workplace platform, team members get paired with a colleague on a video call within a limited amount of time.
- Describe Your City Without Actually Naming It
This icebreaker is especially relevant for organizations with a diverse and global workforce. Ask each team member to describe their city without naming it, either by stating some facts about the town, saying what it´s known for, or its nickname. By doing so, everyone can learn a bit about each other culture and get an impression of their personal lives.
In brief, ice breakers are a great way to kickstart team meetings, helping people feel more comfortable and connected. They can get people talking, establish trust and improve communication. We´ve provided a list of 10 fun ice breakers for virtual meetings that should give you a good starting point. But we want to know, what ice breakers do you use for your meetings? Do you have any favorites we have missed? Let us know in the comments below!
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