By Bond Collective Staff
Virtual icebreakers are the perfect way to start your next team meeting. They’re quick, simple, and fun games that help all attendees work together, communicate, and get to know one another so that the sense of community continues throughout the meeting.
In this article, we introduce you to the best virtual icebreakers that you can use anytime to bring your team closer together and strengthen their sense of camaraderie and unity.
8 Best Virtual Icebreakers
1) Virtual Icebreakers Q & A
Virtual icebreakers don’t have to be complicated to be effective. Just asking questions is sometimes enough to forge real bonds between coworkers.
That’s the idea behind this simple question-and-answer session. Set aside 15 minutes, ask the same question of everyone — or vary the question from person to person — and really get to know your team.
Here are examples of some great get-to-know-you questions:
Dogs or cats?
Thick pizza or thin?
What is your guilty pleasure movie?
What is your guilty pleasure song?
Do you fold your pizza?
What is your favorite decade and why?
What bucket list item do you most want to mark off in the next six months?
What is your go-to book genre?
Which song can you listen to over and over again?
Pancakes or waffles?
Where would you haunt for all eternity?
Which web browser do you use most?
What is the last book you read?
What is the coolest/most unique thing you have within reach right now?
What is your typing speed?
What is your WiFi name?
What is the last website you visited?
What was your first online username?
If none of these questions seem right, generate a list of your own or search online for other options.
2) First Light
First Light is a quick virtual icebreaker that you can include in any meeting to get everyone thinking, talking, and working together.
It’s not conducive to back-to-back meetings because your team members will tend to answer the same way every time. But, for meetings with different groups of employees, it’s a fun way to learn how people think.
Here’s how it works:
Tell your team, “You’re alone in a dark cabin. All you have is one match, an oil lamp, a fireplace, and a candle. Which would you light first?”
Allow a minute or so for everyone to think about and choose their answer.
Give each participant the opportunity to share their choice and the reasoning behind it.
Alternatively, you can break your team into smaller groups and ask them to come up with a consensus answer.
Whether you ask team members to answer individually or in groups, be sure to leave some time afterward for discussion.
3) Pick One Or The Other
This is a riff on the classic “Would You Rather…” and asks participants to pick one or the other:
The ability to read or the ability to speak
Talk to animals or know the history of the objects you touch
Good short-term memory or good long-term memory
Live the rest of your life in an RV or a sailboat
Wear a bathing suit every day or formal attire (i.e., a wedding dress or tuxedo)
As with the other virtual icebreakers, be sure to schedule in some time to allow each person to explain why they made the choice.
4) Collective Knowledge
Collective Knowledge is the perfect virtual icebreaker for new groups because it doesn’t put any one person on the spot right away.
Divide all the participants into small teams (three or four works well) and have them write down the questions you supply. Then, send each team to a breakout room and challenge them to answer the quiz based solely on their collective knowledge and without using the internet.
Ideas for questions include:
Correctly spell a difficult word
Guess the number of marbles after looking at a picture for one minute
Write pi to as many digits as possible
Name three models of a certain make of car (e.g., Toyota Corolla, Camry, RAV4)
Name a song based on the lyrics
When all teams are finished, bring everyone back together and present the answers to see who won.
5) Guess Who
In the first few minutes of the meeting, ask everyone — or 10-15 individuals, depending on time constraints — to email you an unexpected, unique, or strange fact about themselves.
One at a time, read a fact and challenge the group to guess who it refers to. Then, encourage the individual who wrote the fact to provide some background and allow other participants to ask questions.
6) Been There, Done That
This virtual icebreaker is a simple twist on the game Never Have I Ever. Create a list of statements that begin with, “I have…”
I have walked out of a movie
I have ridden a donkey
I have hitchhiked
I have read a novel in one day
I have juggled four balls
I have been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
I have been trapped in an elevator
If the participants have been there or done that, have them raise their hand. Then ask one or two individuals to tell the group about their experience.
7) Rock, Paper, Scissors
Among virtual icebreakers, this is one of the simplest and can be done with groups of any size. Plus, it doesn’t require any real skill or prior knowledge — it’s pretty much just chance, so everyone at your meeting can participate without feeling bad if they lose.
As everyone is joining the meeting, create a competition bracket (like one you’d use for the college basketball playoffs) with attendees assigned randomly to one side or the other.
Then, one pairing at a time so everyone can see, challenge all players to compete in the best two-out-of-three rounds (or a single round if you’re short on time) of Rock, Paper, Scissors with their opponent.
Eventually, you’ll work your way down to the final two, who will then go head-to-head for the title of Rock, Paper, Scissors champion.
8) Name That Emoji Tune
Name That Emoji Tune is one of our favorite virtual icebreakers of all time.
Here’s how it works:
Each person takes a turn sharing their screen.
Set a timer for three to five minutes.
Using a program that generates emojis (a text app, MS Word, Google Docs), the person types out the name of their favorite song (or the one most-recently played on their device) in nothing but emojis.
The other members of the team take turns trying to guess the name of the song until the timer runs out.
At the end of the time, if no one has guessed, reveal the song and share what motivated you to play it.
Alternatively, you, as the host of the meeting, could display the emoji songs and challenge the team to work together to guess the title.
This second option is often easier because it doesn’t require that individual attendees try to do things with software that they may not be familiar with.
The Best Way To Host Virtual Icebreakers
Want to ensure that your virtual icebreakers will be as effective and fun as possible? Choose the right space from which to host your virtual meeting.
It might not seem like it at first, but what your team can see in the background has a very real effect on their attention span, their engagement, and their enjoyment.
You want them focused on the game you’re playing — and on each other — not on the unmade bed behind you.
If you’re running the meeting from your home or apartment, position the camera so that it captures as little of your living space as possible — a blank or sparsely decorated wall is best.
The best option, of course, is to run all your meetings from a conference room or other professional workspace. The coworking spaces at Bond Collective are the perfect solution.
At Bond Collective, we provide:
Private meeting rooms
Private phone booths
Fast, reliable WiFi and Ethernet connections
Unlimited black and white printing
Access to other portfolio locations
And other industry-leading amenities
With access to those spaces and that infrastructure, your virtual icebreakers will go off without a hitch and bring your distributed team closer than ever before.
Visit any one of Bond Collective’s many locations in the United States, including workspaces in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas. Or call us today to find out more about everything we have to offer.
And while you’re at it, schedule a tour to experience first-hand how the boutique work environments at Bond Collective can benefit your business.