15 Icebreakers Ideas for Remote Teams in 2021

April 20th, 10:54 am

15 Icebreakers Ideas for Remote Teams in 2021

Virtual icebreakers are a great way to get a conversation going. In a small group, you might be feeling intimidated or shy. Conversations might be difficult to kick off. But virtual icebreakers can help.

Doing an icebreaker at the beginning will help employees feel more comfortable and open. When your employees take part in a virtual icebreaker, they spend more time interacting with each other!

This list includes:

  • Fun Icebreaker Questions
  • Icebreaker Questions for Work
  • Fun Team Building Questions
  • Holiday Icebreaker Questions
  • Virtual Icebreakers for large groups

In this blog post, we list 15 fun icebreakers that you can do from anywhere.

1. Sell it 🤑

Sell it! It's a fun way to break the ice, and if you're in sales, it's even better.

This icebreaker works well for groups of all sizes. Just be sure to break employees off into small groups if you have more than 5 or 6 employees for the sake of time.

How it’s done

  • Time for a little office game! At the start of your meeting, ask each employee to grab any item on their desk and put it in front of them.
  • Once each employee has an item in their hand, tell them that they are going to try to sell it to the other members. They can set the price and have one minute to deliver a sales pitch and one minute to answer questions.
  • After all, pitches are made, employees will be allowed to use the poll to select one item they would “buy.”

The person who gets the most employees to purchase their product wins.

2. Group Storytelling 🔦

If you haven’t played Storytelling before, it’s a fill-in-the blank story that can lead to a pretty hilarious final product. Help your employees loosen up and connect.

Employees will need to partner up for this one. Teams of 3 are accepted if you have odd numbers on the team.

How it’s done

Before starting some preparation is needed. Find a story you want to use for the purpose, either a short children’s story, an article about your company, or some news.

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Create groups and assign one member as the reader and one as the writer. In breakout groups, the reader will ask the writer for a word that's an adjective, noun, or adverb, depending on what the type of blank space is.

Once you have finished, teams can return to the main room where you all can share the different creations. Some will be pretty wild so be prepared!

3. Bring Me… 🧭

Inject some movement and energy into a group chat by asking your colleagues to gather unique items prior to the meeting. Items will then be shown randomly at a moment when no one is paying attention.

And here is the trick, without telling anyone else, every time you see one item you need to run and find something similar in their homes. Some will be static because they didn't see it in the first place!

4. Failure Fridays

Take time to go over something you have failed during the week with your team. Don't let time but your failures. Expose them to your teams and improve your work strategy and productivity.

How it's done

Keep it short and intense. Everyone needs to think of small drawdown or failures and list the causes. once you have run through everyone, open up the reinforcement time by encouraging each other with words of affection and motivation.

It will be even more productive to also provide feedback or advice if you feel you can help on specific failures.

5. Introduce Your Partner 🤲

Partner up and divide your colleagues into break out rooms where each person answers the following questions:

  • What keeps them up at night
  • Their latest achievement
  • One thing about them no one can find online

Once you have completed both profiles, introduce them to the group. Presenting your partner allows for instant human connection, fun, and improves listening skills.

icebreakers

6. This or that 🤝

Perfect icebreaker if you’re pressed for time and have a group of people unacquainted with each other. Simply prepare two options, and the participant chooses one and tells you why they chose it.

  • Hamburgers or Hot Dogs
  • Email or Text
  • Laptop or Desktop
  • Beer or wine
  • Paris or London
  • Driver or Passenger

To generate ideas online at the click of a button, use the name generator “This or That”.

7. Emoji check-in 🚀

Replace team check-in with emojis that best describe how are you feeling at the moment. You can even modify this to be how they feel the sprint went or project, etc.

Little hack: If your team is a power user of Slack, you can customize your own!

8. “Two truths and a lie” 🤫

A simple, but a good one and very easy to do remote. Gather with your group and each person takes turns to say 3 things about themselves — two of those things are true and one is a lie. The group has to guess which of the 3 is a lie!

9. Picture Charades 🎞️

Forget the classic game of Charades. With our new Remote Twist, you have to use your remote control to describe a famous movie or book when they pick it. It's like real life charades!

How it's done

Similar rules, no talking, and the images cannot be directly from the movie or book. I normally put a limit of 5 images. Guess the movie?

A great variation on this one where you use emojis instead: “guess the movie 😷🐑🐑”

10. Play to Your Strengths 💪

To start, ask the participants to take this University of Pennsylvania Brief Strengths Test and save the results. It consists of 25 questions that measure people’s strengths—from humour to bravery to appreciation.

Then, during the meeting, have each attendee share what their top strength is and brainstorm one way they can apply it toward a particular work project.

11. Where would you go right now 🗺️

As the title suggests this activity is simply asking the question — “if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?”

How it's done

Here we present you with 3 variations:

  1. Use Google Slide to put an image of the world in the centre and get each person to put their name on the part of the world that they would rather be — it can be great fun to visualise!

  2. Use Miro or Figma. Following the same principle, have everyone add a picture collage or a pin into a specific geographic and explain why.

  3. The last variation, if you don’t have any of those tools available, you can simply get each person to google an image of the location and share it with the team — or just say it.

12. Remote Pictionary

The popular Pictionary now remote powered!

How it's done

  • Split the group into teams
  • Use a Pictionary generator to select a word
  • Ask one team member to draw that word using the whiteboard feature (ie. Miro)
  • Give teammates sixty seconds to identify the word
  • Award points if the team guesses correctly
  • Be sure to tally points, and give the winning team bragging rights until the next game.

You can in fact use a very different platform to communicate with your team. Microsoft Teams, Zoom and even Discord.

13. What Kind of Car? 🏎️

If your workplace was a car, what kind would it be? Tweak the ice breaker so it's a cool way to analyze your team and work environment.

A great tweak could be to ask what people would be if they were a car or even build your own team car with pieces from different brands!

14. Passions Tic Tac Toe 🎲

Cross your titles by finding colleagues that share similar passions! How it's done

  • Create a 3 x 3 grid for each participant and have them fill in each block with a different personal passion randomly.
  • After the individual work, create breakout rooms with 1-minute timer to find the same passion listed in both grids.
  • The winner is the participant who manages to have other people’s signatures on three lines (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal).

You can continue the game to have as many winners as you possibly can.

icebreakers

15. Fortunately/Unfortunately 🍀

The leader starts with a simple sentence. The rest of the group takes turns adding to the story. The kicker is that players alternate starting their sentence with either “Fortunately…” or “Unfortunately.” Here is how it might sound:

  • Leader: "You are in a dark forest."
  • Player 1: Fortunately, you see a light up ahead.
  • Player 2: Unfortunately, turns out it's just a flashlight in the hand of a grizzly bear.

Extra: Virtual Tours

Get a Virtual Tour somewhere in the world, without letting your colleagues know about it! Just sporadic and without prior notice. You can literally go anywhere these days with the internet! If you have some time, prepare questions to be made during the tour to the guide that you can relate with your colleagues.


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