Easy virtual team building between team members in virtual teams
Today, many meetings happen via conference call in the “virtual world” rather than in an office space. This is because remote work is on the rise and often the entire team communicates via video call throughout the day.
In a remote team, it is not always easy to engage in team building and build a company culture. That’s why it’s very important to incorporate some simple team building activities into virtual meetings. This can range from some fun icebreaker questions (“What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever had?”) over creative ice breaker questions (“If you were left on a desert island with either your worst enemy or no one, which would you choose?”) to personal icebreaker questions (“Would you rather work from the beach or from a mountain hut?”).
These questions are ideal for getting to know your virtual team members better and fostering team spirit. Below, we’ve compiled the 20 best team building icebreaker questions for work, as well as some great suggestions for excellent and funny icebreaker questions in just a few steps!
By the way, do you know the best thing about ice breaker questions for virtual meetings? It’s about the interesting answers you can get, and some of them even might make your day!
How can virtual team building and team bonding be facilitated?
Virtual team building among remote teams is of great importance: Indeed, it has been observed that teams that know each other on a more personal level have a significantly positive effect on group task performance. Virtual ice breaker questions can also make the introduction of new employees into the group much more pleasant. They improve communication, foster team collaboration, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, encourage people to get to know each other better, incorporate fun opportunities for interaction into meetings, and simply help people feel positive and relaxed.
Fun and engaging questions for virtual meetings can thus contribute to team building and also promote team bonding!
What are virtual icebreaker questions?
Virtual ice breaker questions are activities or questions you can include into a virtual meeting to give teammates a chance to talk about themselves and thus break the virtual “ice” between them and other participants.
The goal of virtual ice breaker questions is to build trust, get to know each other better, and create a relaxed atmosphere at the virtual event – and, of course, get people talking!
What makes ice breaker questions for virtual meetings successful?
Good icebreakers make it easier to get to know each other and – ideally – reveal small personal things. In other words, they touch on the participants’ personal lives without getting too detailed or private. Great icebreaker questions and warm-up exercises are fun, stay in the memory and bring the participants – also virtually – a bit closer together.
The 20 most effective virtual ice breaker questions
In our list for virtual icebreakers, you’ll find suggestions for easy, medium, and slightly more difficult questions. Depending on the cohesiveness of the team, the familiarity of the participants, and the goal of the get-to-know-you session, you can use them in different ways. The context of the meeting and the timing are also very important for getting-to-know-you questions or general warm-up exercises. So make sure that your questions are tailored to the participants and that the introductory round does not take too long! Then nothing will stand in the way of a good start to the virtual meeting:
1. How many cups of coffee do you need to function?
Many virtual meetings take place in the morning. How about asking your colleagues about their coffee consumption? You can also find out about their morning routine (be sure to ask them about their favorite breakfast food as well) or more generally, whether they are a morning person or not!
2. What’s your favorite meal?
Around lunchtime, you could ask your virtual team members if there’s one food they couldn’t live without. Since many of them do remote work from home, you could also ask them what is their favorite food to cook!
3. What is part of your daily routine that you look forward to most each day?
This is one of the ice breakers that will get you to know your team members a lot better instantly! You can keep it more professional and ask about work related topics or include their personal life as well.
4. Do you have a bucket list?
This question is more personal, and since not all icebreaker questions are equal, it may be wise to ask it in small groups of colleagues you already know well.
5. What is your favorite TV series to binge-watch?
Virtual icebreaker questions like this lighten up the mood in the (virtual) room. You could also ask your coworkers about what their guilty pleasure TV show is or whether they have a favorite movie at the moment.
6. What is your favorite holiday movie?
It’s Christmas time? Ask your colleagues about that one movie they re-watch every year!
7. What is the best gift you have ever received?
This is also a great question for one of your final virtual meetings before the holidays. You can also ask this question in any other context, such as when it’s your colleague’s birthday!
8. What fashion trend needs to be revived?
Ice breaker questions like this are well suited in almost any context. You could also ask in a “would you rather”-way: “Would you rather bring back the 80s or the 90s?”.
9. What would your entrance theme song be?
You think this is one of those weird icebreaker questions? We don’t think so! We think this is one of the smartest ways to get your colleagues thinking about themselves and sharing something personal – albeit with a funny twist.
10. Which historical figure would you like to meet?
You could also ask which historical or fictional character your colleagues relate to most. You can even add: “If you could choose one person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?”.
11. In which fictional world would you like to live?
This question could spark a serious discussion and is one of those icebreaker questions that may be a little harder to answer.
12. Which fictional family would you belong to?
Ask your coworkers about their favorite TV families and which of them they’d like to be a member of!
13. What would your dream house look like?
You could also ask: “If you had a million dollars, how would you design the house of your dreams?”.
14. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
To find out a little more about personal habits, you can ask your new colleague if they are a night person or prefer to do their work in the morning.
15. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
This is one of the easiest ice breakers for virtual meetings! Use this to lighten the mood in the middle of a stressful meeting.
16. What would be the most surprising scientific discovery imaginable?
This is one of the best ice breaker questions, because the answers to it can be very different and give every person in the (virtual) room new perspectives or new inspirations to think about!
17. Who would you invite to your own late-night talk show?
You could also ask: “Would you rather invite the funniest or smartest person in the world?”.
18. What is the first thing you bought with your own money?
Check to see who remembers, and if they do, you might get some really fun answers!
19. If you had to wear a T-shirt with one word on it for a month, what word would you choose?
One of the virtual icebreaker questions that might get your whole team to laugh out loud. Try it out!
20. What is your favorite memory with your best friend?
This question is a bit more personal. You could also keep it light and ask: “If your best friend were to choose a tattoo for you, what would they pick?”.
What are fun virtual icebreaker games for remote teams?
As you can see, virtual team building can be achieved quite easily through fun ice breaker questions! Did you know that games can also be wonderful ice breakers? Instead of (or in addition to) virtual icebreaker questions, try these fun games:
- Try to find 5 things that all members of the group have in common.
This is great for team building!
- Take a quiz (e.g. on personality) and have everyone compare their results.
Quizzes in general are perfect ice breakers and can add some levity to a long day of virtual meetings or workshops!
- Plan a debate about everyday things like pizza or burgers.
This will immediately lighten the mood! Add some virtual icebreaker questions like: “Would you rather put pineapple on your pizza or never eat pizza again?”.
- Set up a virtual scavenger hunt that everyone can play in their own space.
This is a fun way to engage everyone in remote teams!
- Read a sentence on any topic and then have everyone write down one word that comes to mind about that topic and discuss what the group comes up with.
A great way to get some more in-depth thoughts!
How to create the best virtual icebreaker questions in only 5 steps
Depending on how well the group already knows each other, you can develop questions with different levels of difficulty. If the participants know each other little or not at all, it is advisable to work with simple and fun questions that everyone can answer without having to think much about them. For example, you can ask about their favorite food or drink at work. In any case, it is important that you clearly specify the order in which the participants should answer, so that there is no awkward silence and everyone can prepare for their task:
1. Keep icebreaker questions short and concise
Make your icebreaker questions as simple as possible, and it’s best to opt for self-explanatory questions. This way, you won’t waste time leading your team through a complicated team bonding exercise that will only make the ice thicker. Simplicity provides a quick path to engagement and enthusiasm!
2. Use technical tools
For example, you can use the breakout rooms in your video chat tool to improve your icebreakers. Breakout rooms can also deepen bonds, as the connections that small groups make are often stronger than those made by a large team. Tip: If your team consists of more than 15 people, always use group rooms.
Just an idea: Another great tool is a quick poll, word cloud or rating survey. There are plenty of survey and polling tools out there, e.g. Slido, Mentimeter, Surveymonkey, MS Teams. They are easy to use, some basic functions available for free.
3. Get started yourself
Even the most entertaining and simple ice breaker questions can be intimidating to timid team members. So lead by example. Feel free to answer any ice breaker questions first so others feel more comfortable doing the same.
Just an idea: You can also set-up an anonymous poll. Give your colleagues some time to submit the answers and ask the team leader or meeting organizer to comment. This is an easy and smooth way to sparkle a discussion.
4. Always find new virtual icebreaker questions
Ask other team leaders or teammates for new virtual ice breaker questions! If you are always on the lookout for new questions and incorporate them into your virtual meetings, the icebreaker experience will stay exciting longer.
Just an idea: There are a couple of ice breaker generators available online like https://checkin.daresay.io/
5. Use icebreaker questions on every occasion
Ice breaker questions don’t seem nearly as important as anything else? We think they already play a huge role in meetings in traditional, face-to-face office spaces, but for teams working remotely, they’re actually essential. So it’s best to always include them!
As you read in our blog post, ice breaker questions for virtual teams are a perfect way to make any team meeting more personal and fun.
Of course, not all virtual icebreaker questions are appropriate for every meeting. And (especially as a team leader or person organizing the meeting) you should always make sure that you don’t spend too much time on icebreaker questions and their answers. Because, obviously, the main goal of the meeting is to talk about work-related topics, and there should definitely be enough time for that!
– If you were a cocktail, which one would it be?
– What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
– Describe your current emotional state with an object in this room.
– What would you do with a million dollars?
– Would you rather live in the ocean or on the moon?
– Would you rather travel to the past to meet your ancestors or to the future to meet your descendants?
– Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly?
– Would you rather do without your smartphone or computer?
– Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the smartest?
– What is an important skill that you think everyone should have?
– There are 25 hours in the day now! How do you spend your extra hour?
– What is one thing you are looking forward to when you retire?
– What is one of your greatest accomplishments?
– What activity helps you relieve stress?
– What class did you take in school that helps you with your job?
– What did you want to be when you grew up?