20 Virtual Coffee Break Ideas in 2021

June 16th, 10:00 am

20 Virtual Coffee Break Ideas in 2021

Working with distributed teams requires more effort for you to create opportunities for people to see each other. Aside from game nights and company events, you can also incorporate team virtual coffee breaks in your happy hour or as part of your team-building efforts. In this article, we'll share some fun virtual coffee break ideas that you can try with your teams.

This list contains:

  • virtual coffee break games
  • fun virtual coffee break ideas
  • virtual coffee break Microsoft teams

List of Virtual Coffee Ideas

1. Swap Dinner Recipes

Since most of us now are cooking at home, why not take this as a conversation starter in your next virtual coffee break. Exchange tips on your next pasta dish or try on new recipes from the recommendations of your colleagues. After all, aren't we all foodies at heart? Conversations about this may even lead to a more significant activity, say a cooking class or a cooking contest, perhaps?

You can also have Lunch and Learnn sessions after sharing some recipes!

2. Mini Icebreakers

Coffee Break

Icebreakers are suitable devices of engagement since they expedite socialization. If you don't want to engage in a conversation but still want to do something fun with your team, then mini icebreakers may be for you. Some examples you can pick are This or That, Passions Tic Tac Toe, or Fortunately/Unfortunately.

Learn more about icebreakers and how to prepare some.

3. Thankful Thursday

Let gratitude be the central theme of your virtual coffee break. In a group, each one takes turns sharing what they are thankful for in the week.

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They can share about the presence of their families, having a job, or even waking up in the morning. It's going to be light yet meaningful conversation about perspective and appreciation for the small things. And of course, you can do it on any other day of the week, not just Thursday.

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4. Show home workspaces

Coffee Break

They say that your workspace defines your personality. If you're working remotely, you know there's some truth to this. So in your next virtual coffee break, why take turns showing your workspaces and letting people into where you cook up your best work every day. Then, get ready to open up your camera. Better to let this be a surprise activity so there's no time for your team to clean up!

5. Favorite place in the world

Here's a conversation starter that will take you to places. In your next virtual coffee break, float in this question: "What is your favorite place in the world?". Each of your team takes turns sharing about their favorite place. They can also add a few explanations of why it's their favorite and show a picture of it. This is an easy idea that is all about getting to your teams personally.

Use Icebreaker Sessions or Trivia Games to trigger more questions around your colleagues.

6. Feedback Friday

Coffee Break

Feedbacks are a great way to check on the pulse of your team. Too often, we forget that communication in organizations is always two ways. Giving and receiving feedback help us narrow that bridge and establish a culture of open communication. It's also an exercise to get to know a little information about what your team wants.

Get some fun but insightful Slack apps running in your organization.

7. Microsoft Teams Together Mode

Video platforms have now taken a step higher in terms of connecting people. For example, if you're using Microsoft Teams in your next huddle, you can enable the 'together mode' by going to 'settings' and check the 'turn on new meeting experience' option. Then, whenever you start a video call, click the three dots on the upper left corner and select the 'Together Mode'. There's a feel-good factor in this option wherein you'll be able to see your team members all at once, almost like sitting next to each other.

Combine the Together mode with Virtual Happy Hours, thank us later.

8. 10 Things in Common

Coffee Break

In this activity, each one takes turns sharing ten things about themselves. Anytime anyone identifies with either of the ten items, they raise their hand or do something. You can incorporate this in your happy hour sessions where someone takes in a drink every time they relate to what another team member is sharing.

Discover Zoom Games.

9. Baby Photos

Here's a trip down memory lane with a load of cuteness. Each team will pin their baby photo on an online board like Padlet and write in a caption without revealing who they are. Once done, each one takes turns to guess whose photo belongs to whom. The first one to guess wins a point. It's pretty simple and a conversation starter.

10. First/Worst Job

Here's a fact: the best topic to talk about while at work is about work. So for this activity, why not take turns sharing about your first job and your worst job. You'll be surprised to hear some unique stories and some funny ones. This is one watercooler discussion you'd want to try.

You can always run these topics when the atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly. Why not combine it with a cooking lesson?

11. Super Specific Office Trivia

Coffee Break

Elevate your virtual coffee break with a trivia of insider information. In this activity, gather details about the office culture and use these as your trivia questions. Examples are, "How many meetings have we had last year?", "What color is Brenda's Zoom background in every call?", "How many people work in the engineering department"? You can host your trivia over Zoom or Kahoot for more fun visuals.

Find engaging Game Shows your team won't resist.

12. Tea Vs. Coffee

Tea Vs. Coffee is an instructor-led session where your teams can hire a professional barista to learn how to brew their coffee. You can follow this with a tasting session where your teams can taste different blends of coffee or tea. An instructor can also send them packages or a kit for them to use in the actual session. If delivery of kits is not possible, they can also purchase the materials on their own.

Start a battle to see who is got the best Taste.

13. Fun and funny questions

Here's one that's so easy to prepare and requires little effort. With a few searches on the Internet, you can compile a list of quirky and out-of-the-blue questions meant to stir up laughter or debate. Here are some examples:

  • If you were a wrestler, what would your entrance theme song be?
  • If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
  • If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go?
  • If you could choose to stay one age forever, what age would you choose and why?
  • If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you prefer to be and why?
  • If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be and why?

14. Have You Ever

Coffee Break

This is another simple game that brings laughter to conversations. One person asks a question like, "Have you ever (insert remote-themed action)?" The rest of the group raises their hand if they have done that thing. Some examples are:

  • Have you ever forgotten a scheduled call?
  • Have you ever gone to the bathroom while on a call?
  • Have you ever multi-tasked while listening to a call?

15. DIY Coffee Tasting

Let's bring in the coffee for a virtual break. And if this is a virtual coffee break, there must be coffee, right? So, ask your teammates to prepare and drink a type of coffee that you have not tried yet. For example, your colleague who likes black coffee may trade-in for a latte this time. Or for someone who prefers to have their coffee hot, may try cold brew for a day. Then, take turns each to share how you feel about your coffee.

Up for more Tasting Ideas?.

16. Alliterative Name Game

Coffee Break

If you've played this in the first days in school, you know how it works. First, you introduce yourself to everybody with an adjective that starts with the first letter of your name followed by your actual name. For example, "Hi, I'm Joyful Jerry." or "Hello, I'm Charismatic Charlie." Then, to make it more interesting, call out names randomly or try going back to a person more than once.

17. Show-and-Tell Nearest Object

Without moving to another room, grab the nearest object to you that you can't live without. We did this in one of our huddles, and the sharing part was the best. Some grabbed their coffee mugs because they can't start a day without coffee. While some showed their pets, who were luckily staying nearby. This is a spontaneous activity that's a simple way of getting to know your team better.

18. Snacking Together

The best bonding is over food so for this activity, gather your favorite snack and just eat together. It's like a snack potluck, a snack show-and-tell, a showcase-your-snack activity. And, of course, what's in between snacks is natural, flowing conversation. Now, that's a virtual break.

Time to Snack Together.

19. Would You Rather?

Hilarious yet seconds after, you'd find yourself deep in thinking. That's why would you rather questions are always part of a group conversation. There is fun, yet there's a philosophical element to it. Here are some examples that you can also try:

  • Would you rather live without heat and AC or live without social media?
  • Would you rather always be slightly late or super early?
  • Would you rather talk to animals or speak all human languages?
  • Would You Rather Live One Life That Lasts 1,000 Years Or Live 10 Lives That Last 100 Years Each?
  • Would You Rather Have Bad Breath Or Smelly Feet?
  • Would you instead commute two hours to your dream job or live two minutes from a mediocre job?

20. The Weirdest Thing

Coffee Break

For a surprise activity, ask your teams to share the weirdest thing they own with the group. Be it a taco sleeping bag, a floating crocodile decoy, or their baby teeth! This is one way of getting to know your colleagues. Some may find others who own the same thing and realize that they are not weird after all.

In Summary

If you are working with distributed teams or your company may have moved to a remote-based work environment, then the chances of you getting familiar with the virtual space are high. However, engaging with your team will need a few intentional and consistent efforts. Making use of virtual coffee breaks and upgrading them once in a while with these ideas will help you maintain your relationships with your team no matter where your location is.

FAQs

What is a virtual coffee break?

Virtual coffee breaks are the online version of in-person coffee run-ins that you can have with your colleagues in a physical office. It is intentional and designed for teams to huddle and socialize with each other. As the word itself suggests, it encourages people to take a break. Ultimately, the goal of a virtual coffee break is to create trust and relationships within distributed teams.

What is a good length for a virtual coffee meeting?

Typically, coffee breaks can range from 15-30 minutes. If it's longer than that, your teams may feel that it is already dragging and some may become disengaged. Since there is only a short time allocation, consider doing your virtual coffee meetings with an intimate group. This way, you can give everyone a chance to share and participate.

What do you say in a virtual coffee break?

There are a lot of virtual coffee break topics that you can add to your discussions. For example, you can dive into each of your team's hobbies and interests. You can also float in questions about their personal life or their childhood. However, anything under the sun is acceptable, from favorite movies to what they ate for breakfast. The idea is to talk about non-work related topics.

What are some ideas for virtual coffee meetings?

There are many ways that you can make your virtual coffee work, depending on your team's definition of fun and relaxation. For example, you can incorporate quick stretching exercises, quiz breaks, or a casual coffee and tea drinking session. Some even implement the silent break where they ask their employees to intentionally take their coffee breaks at a particular time of the day. You can also add short icebreakers in your virtual coffee meetings for a bit of fun and team-building element.

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