The feeling of disconnection in the workplace is startlingly common and is a leading cause of frequent employee turnover. Additionally, higher turnover can cost businesses up to $1,200 per employee—just from a lack of engagement in the workplace! You can help prevent and mitigate this risk by encouraging your employees to get to know one another, participate in meetings, and be confident about sharing new ideas with their team. A simple way to do this is by integrating virtual icebreakers into the start of your meetings when your team is already gathered to collaborate.
- What are virtual icebreakers?
- 75 icebreakers for virtual meetings
- How to create the best virtual icebreaker questions using AI
What are virtual icebreakers?
Virtual icebreakers are a helpful way to connect and engage your meeting attendees at the start of each call. They can be short games or questions that encourage meeting participants to speak up and be comfortable engaging with the other team members in the meeting. To help prepare your attendees, you should include virtual icebreakers in the meeting agenda so that they can see and think about their answers ahead of time. With Fellow, you can build and collaborate on the agenda with multiple people, which makes it easy to brainstorm or document icebreakers remotely.
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75 icebreakers for virtual meetings
- Quick virtual icebreaker questions
- Large group virtual icebreakers
- Virtual icebreaker games
- Virtual team-building activities
- Fun virtual icebreakers
Quick virtual icebreaker questions
- What was one thing you did recently that was fun?
- What was the last book you read and what would you rate it out of five?
- Where is your dream holiday destination?
- Who in this meeting have you known the longest, and how did you meet?
- What is the next place that you are traveling to?
- What was one thing that surprised you when you started this job?
- What is the hardest part about your job and what helps make it easier?
- Which ice cream flavor is the most underrated?
- At the moment, what is one thing you’re looking forward to?
- Do you prefer writing with pencils or pens?
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
- Who here is the most likely to survive the apocalypse and why?
- What is your go-to drink while you’re working?
- If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be?
- When was the last time you listened to a podcast?
Large group virtual icebreakers
- Ask all attendees to find something red (or any other color) and show it to the camera. Get a few people to unmute themselves and share what they’ve found.
- Do a poll to see what attendees think about pineapple on pizza!
- Ask team members a question about one thing they’re most excited about in the meeting and ask them to put their answers into the meeting chat.
- Give meeting participants five minutes to find and add a video background that fits a specific theme—like outer space, a cozy winter igloo, or their dream holiday destination.
- Use reactions to measure how team members are feeling this week.
- Take a short survey to see which departments or industries attendees work in.
- Encourage a few participants to unmute themselves and share a shout-out about another team member.
- Create a meeting chat for everyone to write one piece of recent good news in.
- Do a quiz about the company’s products to test the team’s knowledge!
- Break the large group into smaller breakout rooms and ask each group to return when they’ve found at least two things in common amongst all participants in their room.
- Ask what qualities are most appreciated in a great roommate.
- Play guess that city.
- Submit a “hot take” or unpopular opinion (you can use an anonymous survey form if you’d like).
- Play music or movie trivia.
- Get attendees to comment on one out-of-the-box idea for the company, even if it doesn’t relate to their role or expertise.
Virtual icebreaker games
- Within two minutes, create a new version of the company logo and then vote to see which is the best.
- Do a short Kahoot! quiz about something in common between all meeting attendees.
- Enter participants who engage during the meeting into a draw. “Spin the wheel” at the end for a prize!
- Play a race in Mario Kart.
- Do an online drawing competition.
- Engage in a murder mystery! You can organize it yourself or through a third party.
- Try a digital card game.
- Start a virtual mad libs where you take turns adding an extra word to eventually form a funny sentence.
- Host a mini employee awards ceremony to honour various superlatives—like “Most likely to bake the best cookies”!
- Play bingo!
- Play Heads Up!
- Create smaller groups and start a game of Scattergories.
- Add captions to a set of photos—the funniest or most creative wins!
- Try a virtual escape room.
- Attempt the Count to 20 game where participants need to shout out numbers 1 through 20, in order, without two people saying something at the same time.
Virtual team-building activities
- Ask team members to introduce another person on the call based on what they know, to see how well your team knows each other.
- Play a quick game of “most likely to” by asking questions and getting attendees to put answers in a chat or poll.
- Ask a few members to host lunch-and-learns about a new skill they’ve learned recently.
- Host a simulated virtual office for team members to hang out in throughout the day.
- As a team, collectively agree on which superpower matches each person on your team.
- Learn about the holidays that your team members celebrate.
- Get each person to draw their own coat of armor and explain the significance.
- Talk about your Myers-Briggs personality type.
- Have each participant list a rose (something good), a bud (something they’re looking forward to), and a thorn (something that didn’t go as well as planned) about their day or week.
- Have everyone share one goal with the team and have the other members contribute ideas to achieve the goal successfully.
- Try the Donut meetings tool on Slack.
- Do online yoga together.
- Try a cooking class with an online instructor where everyone cooks from home.
- Do a fitness challenge where team members can track progress on a shared app like Strava or MoveSpring.
- Have all employees bring something of meaning to the call and do a short show-and-tell.
Fun virtual icebreakers
- Play two truths and a lie.
- Play a creative “if you could” game. For example, “If you could live on any planet, which would it be and why?”
- Ask everyone to draw a picture of themselves as a superhero.
- Take a random BuzzFeed quiz together.
- For cross-departmental teams, get one department to try a task that another team would find easy or do regularly.
- Swap recipes with another attendee.
- Share a favourite meme that you’ve seen recently.
- Tell a dad joke.
- Have each person play a theme song that suits their life or personality.
- Ask what someone would do if they had access to a time machine.
- See who can get the highest score on a typing test.
- Try to solve a sudoku or crossword puzzle together.
- Find a photo of an animal that you think represents you.
- Do a virtual tour of a museum.
- Play Among Us.
How to create the best virtual icebreaker questions using AI
It can be hard to think of engaging virtual icebreaker questions for meetings. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to create your icebreaker questions is an easy way to generate a ton of new ideas without taking up a lot of time or brainpower! Fellow’s new AI meeting assistant will create fun ways to engage your team and automatically add them to the meeting agenda. Since these icebreaker questions are added as part of the collaborative meeting agenda, attendees can quickly view the questions and think of their answers ahead of time.
If you’re using your icebreaker time for brainstorming, make sure to document the answers to use them later. Another perk of Fellow’s AI meeting assistant are the meeting summaries that automatically record the meeting and key points for efficient knowledge sharing. This is also a great way to relay the meeting to any team member who wasn’t able to attend.
As a manager, it’s important to think of new ways to keep your team interested and motivated. An additional benefit of having icebreaker questions at the beginning of each meeting is that teams get to know each other better, which makes it easier to collaborate, align on goals, and feel happy at work. When building and adding new virtual icebreakers to your routine, remember to be considerate of how games and questions may be perceived by participants. If you’re ever unsure how a team member may feel about a specific icebreaker, it’s a good idea to check in with them beforehand to ensure everyone on the call will be comfortable. After all, the main goal of the exercise is to keep teams happy, engaged, and confident about working with their colleagues!