19 Fun Icebreaker Ideas for Virtual Team Building

By Oleander Johnson

Virtual team icebreakers are essential for team building, not just when a new employee is hired, but rather throughout the year. It’s important to establish collaboration within the workplace, even when it’s virtual. As you include more remote team icebreakers, you will also boost your company culture. Need virtual team icebreaker ideas? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

What is a Virtual Icebreaker?

A virtual icebreaker is a fun activity, game, or question that helps remote teams get to know one another and develop a sense of community and camaraderie. In the absence of face-to-face interaction, virtual icebreakers replicate a similar social experience but online. Like sitting at a round table sharing interesting personal facts or playing team-building games, introducing cool virtual team icebreaker ideas to an online meeting can encourage the same genuine connection and familiarity.

Benefits of Using Icebreakers for Virtual Teams

Virtual ice breakers provide a major benefit when it comes to remote and hybrid team bonding; they have universal appeal. People from all cultures and walks of life can participate no matter where they are. Virtual icebreakers help ease tension and create a more light-hearted and inclusive online atmosphere. This is especially useful when bringing in newer team members who might be shy or anxious.

Start a virtual meeting with a short icebreaker that's quick and easy, allowing remote team members to learn about one another before the hard work begins. They might even discover common interests and form personal bonds. For longer meetings, having a few icebreakers in between can relieve stress and give team members a break from the monotony. Boosting morale and promoting a healthy and positive team company culture are hallmarks of why icebreakers benefit virtual teams.

19 Virtual Icebreakers for Your Team

Virtual ice breakers are a fun way to encourage team building and keep employees motivated until the next virtual meeting. Most online icebreakers don't last very long, making them highly accessible in a fast-paced work environment. Based on popularity and ease of participation, here are the top 19 best virtual icebreaker ideas we think you and your team might like:

1. What's your favorite movie, t.v show, or book?

One at a time, have everyone name their favorite movie, television series, or book. They can answer any of them and briefly explain why it is their favorite. Due to being such an open-ended question, it is the perfect virtual team icebreaker.

2. Two Truths One Lie

One person says three interesting facts about themselves, with two of them being true and one of them being false. Everyone has a few minutes to consider the options and guess which one is false.

3. What's your favorite food?

Almost everyone has a favorite food, and there are many to choose from, so try and have attendees limit their answers to one food option. For smaller groups, each person can name two or two.

4. Would You Rather?

You present two opposing questions in this activity, but both are equally bad or equally good. Then members of your team have to decide which option they would prefer. This game is popular among younger adults.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The "which superpower would you choose" question is always fun and popular because it stirs an individual's creativity and imagination. It can even help them feel more powerful in completing their daily tasks.

6. Virtual Bingo

Virtual Bingo is a popular and excellent opportunity to encourage friendly competition. As the facilitator, using simple prompts for the bingo boards helps the game go by faster.

7. What's one item you would bring if you were stranded on a remote island?

Answers to this question can be as impractical or realistic as your team members want them to be. Have each person describe the item they would bring and why they think it's a good choice for them. 

8. What was your first job?

This question is a fun way to learn a little about someone's backstory and work history. But if someone can't remember their first job, have them describe their favorite or second job instead.

9. Scavenger Hunt

To begin this game, call out an item or list of objects, like "favorite book" or "something green." Then, everyone should search their home to present an item(s) that matches the prompts you gave. The first person to show all the suitable objects wins.

10. What's your go-to karaoke song?

Give everyone a few moments to think of a song they would sing at a karaoke bar. If someone needs help thinking of a go-to karaoke song, they can share their favorite musician or song instead.

11. One-minute Introductions

For this virtual team building exercise, have everyone introduce themselves in one minute, with no limit on what they can say. Set a timer for each person to ensure no one goes over.

12. Who is or was your celebrity crush?

Many people have a celebrity crush at some point, but not always. People who don't have a celebrity crush can describe a person they like, respect, or admire instead.

13. Storytime: Most Embarrassing Moment

Have each team member take turns briefly describing a really embarrassing moment in their life. While this activity is comedic in nature, some teammates might not be comfortable sharing, and that's okay.

14. Do you have any hobbies or special talents?

Your team members can answer one or both questions if applicable. A short demonstration or show-and-tell of their hobby or/and talent is also an option if it's something they can show in a virtual environment.

15. Throwback Photo Time

Have everyone show an old photograph and then explain how old they were and what they were doing in the photo at the time. This nostalgic activity is great for personal bonding.

16. What's your favorite animal?

"Favorite" questions are popular in small and large groups because it's a chance for everyone to share a fun little detail about themselves. It's also a question you can breeze through in under 10 minutes, depending on your team size.

17. Trivia Questions

Trivia can be about any topic, but starting with pop culture questions is usually the best option because they're easier for people to answer. The person who answers the most questions correctly wins.

18. Where is your dream vacation destination?

After each person shares their dream vacation destination, if money wasn't a factor, have them briefly explain why that is. All answers are valid, whether they want to go somewhere distant or closer to him.

19. What are you thankful for?

This wholesome question encourages a virtual space filled with gratitude and positivity. There's no right or wrong answer here, but set a time limit for answers, so everyone gets a fair turn to share what they're thankful for.

Tips for Successful Icebreakers

Though there are no metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to tell you if an icebreaker was successful, follow these tips to help ensure they're more enjoyable and "not awkward" for your participants:

  • Choose the right virtual office technology, like Kumospace, to guarantee a high-quality virtual event experience.
  • Demo a virtual office platform before you commit to using it for your online meetings.
  • Set a time limit on your icebreakers, so they don't take up too much meeting time or bore your remote employees.
  • Rotate who chooses the icebreaker at the next team meeting, so everyone feels more included and can select the ones that interest them.
  • Remember, icebreakers are unnecessary for every meeting.
  • Be mindful of your team's closeness when deciding what icebreaker question to pose.
  • Have a backup plan in case a participant can't think of an answer for the icebreaker or shows visible signs of discomfort in their voice or mannerisms. 

FAQs About Virtual Icebreakers

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Headshot for Oleander Johnson
Oleander Johnson

Oleander is a professional writer with years of experience spanning topics from real estate to marketing to technology. His writing appears on major corporate websites including CoStar Group, Indeed, and NCR. After hours, this self-proclaimed bibliophile can be found reading a book or working on his fiction novel.

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