Virtual ice breakers: The best ways to engage your remote team
We know that employees can experience fatigue due to their workloads and numerous virtual meetings needed to be attended daily. This fatigue leads to boredom, less engagement, and becoming more unmotivated over time.
Today, many companies practice having virtual ice breakers before proceeding with business affairs. Whether it is a fully remote team or teams that are forced to work remotely due to a pandemic, virtual ice breakers surely strengthen team member relationships.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at virtual ice breakers, their significance, and also what are the best virtual ice breakers for your team.
What are virtual ice breakers?
Virtual ice breakers are the games or activities conducted before the virtual meeting. These are fun, simple, and interactive activities that will surely help bring the teams together. It is also a great way to get to know new people in the team.
Although team members are not in the same physical location, virtual ice breakers can help break the communication barrier, which is an opportunity to bond with each other.
In fact, one study shows that work friends that know each other well have a positive and significant impact on group task performance.
With this, virtual ice breakers are a great way to improve communication and rapport between team members.
Why are virtual ice breakers important?
Virtual ice breakers are particularly useful for organizations, whether in team meetings or training sessions. It is strategically designed for team building to keep the camaraderie between the team members – which is more likely to increase productivity.
Even when offices return, there are still many companies employing remote workers. Remote staff, like the teams built by StaffWiz, will still appreciate these methods to bring them closer to the company culture.
With the health and safety protocols imposed, it has made it challenging for people to interact and get together. This could be worse for those individuals who live alone. Further, a 2021 American Psychiatric Association (APA) study revealed that most remote employees say they experience a negative impact on their mental health.
Ultimately, virtual ice breakers may help team members lessen the feeling of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety.
What are some virtual ice breakers?
To keep your company culture intact, here are some of the virtual ice breakers your team members can use in virtual meetings or even in team-building activities.
Ice breaker songs
Get to know your colleague’s music knowledge! For this virtual icebreaker, a team member will play a song, and another colleague will guess the song that is being played. Additional points will be given if the person who guessed can sing that particular song.
This is a fun icebreaker activity since music has the power to keep everyone in a good mood!
Home scavenger hunt
This virtual ice breaker activity encourages workmates to get out of their chairs. Team members will quickly fetch specific items in the comfort of their homes before time runs out.
Players will be instructed to find something that starts with the letter “T,” then they could fetch anything that starts with the letter T, like a towel or a tablespoon. The goal of the scavenger hunt is to encourage participation from the team members.
Spin the wheel
The Spin the wheel can be the perfect game if you want an easy, fun, and less hassle in virtual ice breakers. A spinning wheel is composed of different activities and questions that will be assigned to team members.
Once the wheel stops spinning, the team member will perform a specific activity or answer a particular question. Make sure your team members will be comfortable with the bunch of questions or activities to avoid awkwardness.
Virtual Bingo Card
Online Bingo is a type of virtual ice breaker that encourages team members to know and learn fun facts about each other. It is fun, easy, and can improve competitiveness.
A facilitator will send a virtual bingo card to all participants. The bingo card contains a grid of squares with a question on each square. Depending on the facilitator’s instruction, virtual bingo may be completed either horizontally or vertically.
A trivia game will unleash the competitiveness of the team members. In this type of virtual ice breaker, there will be a set of questions with three to four possible answers. The questions may also be answered by True or False.
The score may vary depending on the level of difficulty of the question. Virtual trivia games may be conducted individually or by teams.
This may be similar to the trivia game, but it has a little twist. A pop quiz is composed of questions that are entertaining and educational that the team member can relate to.
This is probably the best way to have a good laugh with your team and also a preparation for them before dealing with some serious things.
How to get started with virtual ice breakers
If you are a team leader or remote manager that are struggling to build rapport with your team members, conducting virtual ice breakers is a great way to strengthen connections with each other.
One of the goals of virtual ice breakers is to avoid awkwardness with each other. As a facilitator, host fun and competitive games that will level up the closeness between your team members.
However, virtual ice breakers are not ideal in a meeting with many participants. If a meeting has more than 15-20 employees, creating “breakout rooms” would be a great option.
In most cases, some participants may experience difficulty answering some questions. With this, it is important to have a back plan for everything to keep consistency in the game.
Thus, these virtual ice breaker ideas will surely improve communication within the team. Indeed, virtual ice breakers are an opportunity to have a bonding experience with colleagues.