We know that employees can experience fatigue due to their workloads, and numerous virtual meetings need 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, these activities are an opportunity to build team rapport through virtual games.
Let’s take a look at fun virtual icebreaker ideas that will surely boost the morale of remote teams everywhere.
What is a virtual ice breaker?
A virtual ice breaker is a game or activity conducted before the virtual meeting.
Virtual ice breakers are simple, team-bonding activities that help bring remote team members closer. These can also be used when introducing a new team member.
Although team members in a virtual environment are not in the same physical location, virtual icebreaker games can help break communication barriers. These are an opportunity for the whole team to bond with each other.
In fact, one study shows that work friends who know each other well have a positive and significant impact on group task performance.
With this, virtual icebreakers are a great way to improve communication and rapport among virtual teams.
Why are virtual icebreakers important?
Virtual icebreakers are particularly useful for organizations, whether in team meetings or training sessions, as they maintain camaraderie within a remote team.
These online icebreakers promote team bonding, encourage creativity, and allow people to continue with the virtual meeting or work day on a positive note.
Even when offices return, there are still many companies employing remote workers. Remote staff, like the teams built by StaffWiz, 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 are a fun way to help employees lessen their feeling of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety.
6 virtual icebreaker games to engage your team
To keep your company culture intact even in an online environment, here are some of the virtual ice breakers your team can use in online meetings or even in team-building activities:
1. 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!
2. Virtual scavenger hunt
This virtual ice breaker activity encourages workmates to get out of their chairs.
The goal is simple; the first person to fetch a specific item earns a point. Participants will quickly fetch said items in their homes before time runs out.
Players will be instructed to find something that starts with the letter “T,” and 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 all members.
3. Spin the wheel
The Spin the wheel can be the perfect game if you want something easy, fun, and less hassle in virtual ice breakers.
A spinning wheel is composed of different interesting activities and ice breaker 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.
Remember to maintain a relaxed environment. Make sure all the participants will be comfortable with the bunch of questions or activities to avoid awkwardness.
4. Virtual Bingo Card
Online Bingo is a fun game, and one of the most popular games played virtually.
It 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 containing icebreaker questions.
Depending on the facilitator’s instruction, virtual bingo may be completed either horizontally or vertically.
5. Trivia game
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 statements.
The score may vary depending on the level of difficulty of the question. Virtual trivia games may be conducted individually or in smaller groups.
6. Pop quiz!
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 and that the team members 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 who is struggling to build rapport with your team members, conducting virtual ice breakers is a great way to strengthen connections with each other through some team bonding.
One of the goals of virtual ice breakers is to avoid awkward silence during a video conference, training session, or team meeting.
As a facilitator, hosting fun virtual icebreakers encourages people to be more comfortable and helps level up the closeness between your team members.
However, virtual icebreakers are not ideal in a conference call 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 backup 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.