1. What are Virtual Icebreakers?
Virtual icebreakers are interactive activities that help connect attendees during or throughout a meeting. They’re useful in situations where people are unsure of how to start a meeting. Virtual icebreakers can calm nerves and enable everyone to feel psychologically safe to share their ideas during a meeting. It lightens up the mood, making the team feel equally comfortable.
Breaking the ice with casual conversations and good virtual icebreakers can help the meeting attendees loosen up. More importantly, it enables the rest of the discussion to flow more naturally, thereby helping teams bond.
When it comes to virtual icebreaker games, Hooray Teams is one of the coolest platforms with amazing games and activities designed to help your team connect, engage, and have a blast together.
2. Importance of Team Building
Virtual team building activities weave collaboration into the very seams of a company’s remote work culture. It comprises of activities such as virtual icebreakers to bring everybody together, thereby bettering engagement.
According to research by HBR, about one-third of remote workers don't indulge in any face-to-face interaction with their teams. This lack of connection can hamper employee engagement and disrupt team collaboration if they don’t have any virtual avenues to connect with their colleagues. Ultimately, it can lead to employees giving sub-optimal productivity or, worse, quitting. This is why it is important to focus on virtual icebreakers.
3. Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
Before you start with your meeting, you can help lighten the mood through icebreaker questions. Some of our favorite ones include;
- If you could have any superpower for a day, what would it be and why?
- What's your favorite book/movie/TV show and why?
- If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you want with you?
- Share a fun fact about yourself that most people wouldn't know.
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
- What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
- If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What's your favorite way to relax and unwind after a busy day?
- Share a memorable childhood story or experience.
- If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What's a skill you'd like to master in the next year?
4. Quick Virtual Icebreakers
4.1 Table Topics
You may think you know your team, but chances are that you only know the tip of the iceberg. For instance, you wouldn't know who has a great singing voice or can name all the 50 states of America in under 5 minutes! ‘Table topics’ is an easy pick for us from the list of fun virtual icebreakers where members can ask one another personal questions that will help improve team bonding. Here are some examples of questions that one may ask:
- What was the last song you searched for?
- What's your favorite international dish?
- What is your biggest pet peeve?
4.2 Two Truths and a Lie
This is a popular mainstay on the list of best virtual icebreakers and a fun icebreaker, especially for those members who are not as acquainted with one another. It helps in improving collaboration and engagement among team members.
We have experience with this game as well. We played it after we had hired two content writers for our team. Let me share what we did.
I explained the game to everyone and told them that everyone has to tell two truths and one lie about themselves. The others have to guess the lie. I went first and had the others guess the lie, and only one of them got it right! We went on until everyone had a go. Lastly, we declared the winner who guessed the most lies (that was me!).
4.3 Quick Questions
This game is a great warm-up exercise before any meeting and makes a welcome addition to virtual icebreakers for virtual meetings. Additionally, it is one of the best virtual icebreakers for colleagues to interact casually by asking fun, personal questions.
All you have to do is prepare some funny questions and ask each member before the start of the meeting. Some of these may be:
- What is a secret skill you have?
- How do you generally spend your weekends?
- What was the last meal that you had?
These virtual icebreakers help lighten the mood and help energize and motivate employees. You can change the questions for each session.
4.4 Dream Destination
This is a game where members have to write about their dream destinations, the reasons why they chose that destination, and how they want to travel there.
We played the game last week on a Friday catch-up and found it fun. The meeting organizer shared with the team some travel books and holiday brochures. Following that, we selected the best destination and wrote a few lines about it. We also provided details about the traveling accommodations.
These kinds of virtual icebreakers spark discussions and help everyone get reacquainted with those they hadn’t spoken to in a while.
4.5 Say it With an Emoji
In this entry to our list of virtual icebreakers, you are required to express what you are feeling with an emoji. It acts as one of the best icebreakers for hybrid meetings, as it is simple to play. All the participants need to do is answer a question with the help of an emoji. It is a simple, inclusive game.
4.6 Draw Your Mood
Another great addition to the list of icebreakers for hybrid meetings is to draw your mood. Instead of the usual stoic answers of “I’m good”, you can let people creatively express themselves through drawings.
4.7 Name that Song
If you are looking for more guesswork-based virtual team icebreakers, then name the song is a great option. All you need to do is compile a list of karaoke tracks from popular tunes. The person who guesses them the fastest wins.
4.8 Video Background Challenge
Video conferencing apps allow you to pick creative backgrounds for your chats, and you can use them as a game. Ask your employees to pick their favorite movie, vacation place, animal, etc, as their background and see how the conversation flows. This is one of the most fun icebreakers for hybrid meetings.
5. Virtual Icebreaker Activities
5.1 Icebreaker Games with Hooray Teams
Hooray Teams is a virtual team-building marketplace where people can choose whichever facilitated icebreaker activities they would like. The most awkward thing about an icebreaker activity is trying to figure out who would be the first one to talk. All of this is solved through this option, as when you book an activity, they also get a professional to host it. The only thing you need to do is sit back and enjoy.
GENSMAK! Digital trivia is a fun and engaging way for remote teams to come together on screen and bond over shared knowledge and experiences. Players can test their trivia skills on a wide range of topics, from popular trends and music to historical events and cultural phenomena. The host shares the questions on the screen. You will also get some hints to answer the questions.
The hints written by comedians add an extra layer of humor to the game. This game is easy, and the free online gameplay allows the participation of up to 12 players, which makes it a great option for remote teams looking to build rapport and have fun together. You will enjoy nostalgia, stories, laughter, and surprise on every level.
5.3 Virtual Dance Off
There's no better way to start a meeting than with a dance-off! The organizer should let invitees know to bring their "dancing shoes." This works as fun icebreakers for hybrid meetings and remote workspaces. You can create killer playlists and let everyone showcase their favorite moves. A dance party as an icebreaker can help boost energy before a long company meeting. Not just that, an impromptu jig works well to loosen up and blow off some steam on those hectic days so it's a winner not just on our list of fun icebreakers for meetings but for Fun Fridays too!
5.4 Where in the World?
If your company has members coming in from different locations globally, then this is one of those must-try virtual icebreakers for remote teams. You can start the meeting by asking everyone where they are from and the best thing about their place. Take it up a notch and have the rest guess the place using clue-based questions rather than just having the person say it themselves. This helps in connecting the employees better. It’ll feel like you’ve been transported to that place!
5.5 100 Point Puzzle
The SorryonMute team had the chance to try out Dan Paech’s 100 Point Challenge, which features a Master puzzle that you can get to only after solving a series of riddles. Dan was our facilitator, and he sent the two teams into breakout rooms to come up with team names and discuss strategy. We then clicked on the game link and worked out the riddles. Although we didn’t crack the master puzzle, we used the old divide-and-conquer strategy to work out the individual riddles.
The entire experience lasted 40 minutes. It was quite enjoyable, which is why the team and I recommend trying it before getting into any longer-form meetings, such as strategic planning days! 100 Point has adapted to the current Covid situation and offers online experiences for hybrid and fully remote teams, so you’re sure to find something everyone will like! This is a game that will encourage your teams to work together and challenge their deductive reasoning and quick-thinking skills!
5.6 Personality Tests
We all like personality tests. They are great virtual icebreakers for meetings. After all, most of us are guilty of taking the ‘Which bagel am I’ quiz, right? But, jokes aside, personality tests are a great way to improve collaboration and interaction.
All you have to do is send personality tests to the members and ask them to take the tests. Then, they can share their experience in the meeting, and everyone can share a laugh or two. This also makes for great icebreaker games for hybrid meetings. Try to choose more lighthearted personality tests rather than anything more serious that might be a reflection of work styles (they are better suited for team-building activities).
5.7 The TRUMAN Show
If you ever feel that your life is a movie, then this game will entertain you!
The meeting organizer will send emails to the participants, asking them to prepare a write-up comparing their lives to a movie. The members can choose any film, but they have to explain why they chose that particular movie.
For example, I would choose the movie Mission Impossible, as I feel that I keep taking new job roles that are stretching me into career paths I didn't imagine for myself.
During the meeting, you can select members one by one and ask them to compare their lives to a movie and explain the reason behind it.
6. Virtual Icebreaker Games
6.1 The Emoji Song Game
In this virtual icebreaker game, you can split the members into two teams and ask them to select songs. Following that, a team will try to depict the theme through emojis, and the other team will figure out the song. The team with the most songs correctly identified wins! Make sure to include well-known songs within the song list.
6.2 The JAM Storytime
‘JAM or Just-A-Minute’ is a recitation game where a person has to talk about a given topic for one minute. First, you’ll have to divide the members into two teams. Following that, provide some topics to each group, or have them run suggestions by you. Announce prizes and gifts for the best performers.
Do what it takes to ensure that everyone takes part in these kinds of virtual team icebreakers. If there are too many members participating in the game, you can reduce the recitation time to make sure everyone gets a go.
6.3 Choose Your Favorite
Everyone has cravings. For me, it's a pizza with extra cheese. I am sure for most topics, all of you have something that is your absolute favorite. Well, this game is based on what you like.
All you have to do is ask questions such as:
- Which skill would you love to have?
- What is the best pizza according to you?
- What music do you love?
Members will answer “what it is that they desire” ( referring to Lucifer, one of my favorite shows!) and even interact with other members about their choices.
their personal life, work-related topics, play games, or make simple small talk.
6.4 Would you rather?
'Would you rather?' is probably one of the most classic virtual icebreakers. It helps members get to know each other better before starting your meeting. In this interactive game, you need to develop 5 to 10 questions for them to answer. Example questions include::
- Would you rather have a car or a bike?
- Would you rather have a pet dog or a pet cat?
You can split the team into two groups to let them explain their responses. For instance, if there are ten members in the meeting, you can group them according to their responses and reshuffle each time there’s a majority of responses.
6.5 Take a picture of...
In this game, ask members to take a picture of their room, pet, work desk, or anything else. Everyone can vote on their favorite picture and the one with maximum votes goes up on the team channel as its profile or gallery picture! This is one of the best virtual icebreakers to keep the conversation going, as members can discuss the subject of their photos and even find out if there’s an interest or hobby two or more members have in common.
6.6 Jungle Jumble
Good virtual icebreakers let you understand how observant the other members are. First, all the members have to switch on their cameras. After that, everyone will get thirty seconds to take in each other's room or workstation visually. Next, switch off the cameras and move any one item around the room to another location.
After about two minutes, everyone has to switch their cameras back on. The first person who finds the most items moved will win.
6.7 Sell your Space
If you are looking for virtual icebreakers that is also a fun and interactive game. where you can test the sales skills of every member. It is quite simple as far as virtual team icebreakers go. All they have to do is select a thing from their home and sell it to another member in the next 10-15 minutes. They can come up with the product name, price, and features. Each team member must then declare if they would buy that product. The one with the most sales will be declared the winner.
7. Icebreakers for Hybrid Teams
7.1 Trivia Hour
Virtual team-building activities aren't complete without members knowing everything about them. As the organizer, you can create trivia questions as virtual office icebreakers by reaching out to individual people to share a few fun facts about themselves. Based on that, you can pose questions about their favorite bands, their creative talent, and so on.
Following that, you can upload the quiz link before the meeting and encourage everyone to answer the trivia questions about one another. This makes for good virtual icebreakers for team meetings.
7.2 Wheel Decide
The ‘Wheeldecide’ is a spin on the classic spin-the-wheel virtual icebreakers. You can either use the wheel provided or modify your wheel. All you have to do is invite the meeting members and ask them to spin the wheel one by one. For a fun twist, customize the themes to create different options on the wheel for different games, events, giveaways, raffles, and more. These kinds of virtual icebreakers for meetings get the crowd talking and are a whole lot of fun.
7.3 Virtual Lunch
Virtual Lunch is a simple and fun way to interact with your team. All you have to do is invite everyone to a virtual lunch meeting. In that meeting, members can talk about their personal life, work-related topics, play games, or make simple small talk.
7.4 Guess Who
‘Guess Who’ makes for fun and straightforward virtual icebreakers. In this game, members have to identify a person based on specific questions. These questions can be about one’s attributes, likes, dislikes, etc. This is best played with small-sized teams. For larger groups, you’ll need to create multiple breakout teams and carry the game forward.
The meeting organizer has to send a survey or a poll consisting of questions such as:
- What is your favorite music genre?
- Where have you traveled to in the last 5 years?
- What was the last movie you saw?
During the meeting, you can post the questions alongside the answers provided in the survey. Based on that, members can guess who has responded to what.
7.5 Word of the Day
This game tests the listening skills of your team members. In this game, the organizer will announce that they will use an unusual word in the conversation at the start of a meeting. Then, the members have to guess that word and where the host used it. The word can be anything, for instance, “radish,” or “bug spray,” or anything silly that comes to your mind.
To ease the process, you can give them a hint. Then, the person who guesses it right has to exclaim: 'word of the day!'.
Last but not least- 'Pictionary.' We have all played Pictionary at some stage, either with friends or family.
For the uninitiated, Pictionary always makes an appearance on any compilation of virtual team icebreakers. The organizer will make two teams. One person will be given a word, and they have to draw it on a whiteboard. Since the team is virtual, you can do this on a digital collaborative platform such as Miro, Mural, or Stormboard. Then, the team members will guess the word with the help of the picture. The other team will do the same. Lastly, the team with the most guesses wins.
7.7 Personal Baseball
This constitutes as one of the best virtual team icebreaker ideas for all the sports lovers out there and can be played indoors. First, the organizer has to divide the members into two teams. Each member will take turns writing lesser-known facts about themselves. Then, when a team is up to bat, a member from the opposite team will read a point about a member. The batter has to guess who it belongs to. If someone gets it wrong, they will receive a strike. If one gets three strikes, they are out. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Guessing games like these are fun team icebreakers for virtual meetings since they engage groups and get the conversation started.
7.8 Trivia Game
I don’t think I would be wrong to say that Fridays are the best work day. After all, it’s almost the weekend. But what if you could amp up the fun? Say with a trivia game which is also a virtual team icebreakers game.
Trivia maker is one such game with its creative icebreaker questions for virtual meetings. You can play this game every Friday to take out the stress of the work week. You may choose from premade games or create your own trivia questions.
First, you have to divide the members into sub-teams. Following that, you can write the trivia question and provide four possible answers (if needed). Finally, members can select the answer after discussing it over the team channel. The team with the maximum number of correct answers wins.
You can even take it up a notch by making rules such as every member has to answer or that a member with the wrong answer will be eliminated. Based on that, you can give prizes and rewards to the winning team. If you are looking for icebreaker games for hybrid meetings, this is a great one.
8.1 How do icebreakers actually work?
Icebreakers help attendees catch up, relax or introduce themselves before a meeting begins. They help improve the efficiency of meetings by strengthening bonds between participants. In a nutshell, icebreakers help in improving team collaboration, team engagement, and employee communications.
8.2 How to liven every remote meeting?
A virtual team icebreaker or a fun activity will help liven the meeting. It makes the members more engaged and more interactive. An icebreaker at the beginning of a digital meeting freshens up the mood of the participants, thus, making them more active.
8.3 How to define good virtual icebreakers?
Good virtual icebreakers are the ones that make meetings something that participants look forward to attending. An icebreaker draws out attendees and engages them. It gives everyone equal opportunities to participate. They can even provide suggestions for activities and games to try at the next meeting, which deepens the interest. If undertaking a meeting with a specific purpose, a great icebreaker activity will be related to the purpose of that meeting (e.g., one that fosters creativity before a strategy-setting meeting).
8.4 How to select the best virtual icebreaker?
To select the best icebreaker, you must first understand the mindset of the participants. Moreover, you should also take the purpose of the meeting into account. Finally, as the organizer, you must know what you want to achieve with the icebreaker.
8.5 Are there any free icebreakers?
Yes, there are plenty of free icebreakers. Some of the notable ones from this list are:
- Two truths and a lie
- Table Topics
- Take a picture
- Where in the world
8.6 What are some hybrid meeting icebreakers?
Some hybrid meeting icebreakers are;
- Coffee Time
- Say it with an emoji
- Draw your mood
- Guess the song
8.7 What are some virtual getting to know you activities for work?
Here are some virtual getting-to-know-you games for work;
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Never Have I Ever
- Most Likely To...
- This or That