Remote team meetings have a different style and feel from in-person meetings. Without the casual chit-chat or pre-meeting coffee runs, employees come in “cold” to a Zoom meeting. That’s why remote meeting icebreakers are so important to include in your team meeting planning.
Remote team meeting icebreakers are a way to, well, break the ice.
That can mean a few things, such as:
- Helping everyone transition from what they were doing before and get into “meeting mode”
- Warming people up who haven’t spoken to or interacted with their colleagues in a while
- Facilitating conversations to foster team building and collaboration
- Getting to know each other on a more personal level
There are many ways to break the ice with your team. Some are as simple as kickstarting your meeting with a quick round of icebreaker questions and conversation starters.
Others can be a bit more involved.
Choosing the right icebreakers for meetings comes to the size of your team, who’s in your meeting, and why you’re all getting together.
But when the time comes to kickstart your professional gathering on the right foot, we’ve got 47 remote team meeting icebreaker ideas you can try.
47 Remote Team Meeting Icebreaker Ideas
From simple and light-hearted, to in-depth and involved, there’s an icebreaker that suits your team and meeting. Here are 47 different ideas to try out.
5 Remote Team Meeting Icebreaker Games
If you have a bit more time in your meeting, consider playing one of these icebreaker games. They may take more preparation up front, but are worth it to build strong connections and community amongst the team.
1. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
How it works: Have team members find specific items within their surroundings and share them on camera. You can make up your own list of items using categories like “kitchen items” or “things that are green,” or check out these free printables for Amazing Race, Alphabet, Christmas, and Thanksgiving-themed scavenger hunts.
Why it works: Get everyone up and moving around a little bit to create some energy.
2. Travel Trivia
How it works: Conduct a trivia game with questions related to different countries and landmarks. Make up your own questions, or check out these 92 challenging travel trivia questions.
If your group is having fun with travel-themed icebreakers, you can also check out GeoGuessr, a game that virtually drops you into a location on Google Maps and you need to guess where you are in the world.
Why it works: Get people into “thinking” mode with this challenging and fun game.
3. Personal Brand Slogan
How it works: This activity can be done individually or in small groups to create a slogan that represents their personal brand or professional identity. You could also make this specific to the company to generate ideas. Participants can use a collaborative brainstorming tool like Miro to share their thoughts and ideas.
Some examples of a personal brand slogan include:
- Helping you build a big brand with your small business.
- It’s time to unleash your epicness.
- Be a unicorn in a sea of donkeys.
Why it works: This activity promotes teamwork and communication while colleagues work together.
4. Memory Association
How it works: Each participant shares the first word that comes to mind when a specific word is mentioned. You can use the Random Noun Generator to come up with a list of different words to use.
Why it works: This quick game gets people thinking and warmed up.
5. Ice Breaker Bingo
How it works: Create a bingo card, using this free card generator, that has different characteristics. Call characteristics out loud and have everyone mark off what applies to them on their card. The first one to five in a row wins.
Why it works: Get to know each other better.
9 Quick Remote Team Meeting Icebreakers
If your meeting agenda is tightly-packed, try one of these quick remote team meeting icebreakers. They’re light on preparation, can be done spontaneously, and spur on some fun, chatter, and laughter.
1. This or That
How it works: Generate a list of “this or that” questions and ask team members to choose between them. Some classic examples include:
- Coffee or tea?
- Sweet or salty?
- Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?
- Winter or summer?
- Wine or beer?
Here’s a giant list of this or that questions if you need some more ideas.
Why it works: It’s a quick game to get people talking and laughing with each other.
2. Pet Parade
How it works: Team members introduce their pets and share interesting facts or stories about them. Bonus points if their furry friends can join you on Zoom.
Why it works: Let’s be honest—who doesn’t love seeing a cute cat or dog?
3. Virtual Background Showcase
How it works: Team members change their virtual backgrounds to something interesting or meaningful. If anyone is unsure how to do so, share this tutorial from Zoom with them.
Why it works: Shake up the mundane with this simple and quick activity.
4. Motivational Quotes
How it works: Team members share a motivational quote that inspires them and explain why. We’ve generated a list of motivational quotes from legendary people if you need some inspiration. Here are some of our favorites:
- “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.” -Zig Ziglar
- “I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it—I believe life loves the lover of it. I live it.”-Maya Angelou
- “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life—and that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
Why it works: This activity can encourage other people for the day ahead. You can also collect all the quotes and post them somewhere for ongoing encouragement.
5. Language Challenge
How it works: Team members teach each other a useful phrase or word in a different language.
Why it works: Offer a chance for bi- or multi-lingual colleagues to share some of their language and culture with the team.
6. What’s on Your Playlist
How it works: Team members share a song that they’ve been listening to on repeat lately and why they enjoy it.
Why it works: Music is an easy way to connect with each other and warm up for a meeting.
7. Life Hack Exchange
How it works: Team members share a useful life hack or productivity tip they’ve discovered. This could also be a tool, resource, or app they’ve used at work recently. Here are some example life hacks:
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to manage time and take your breaks.
- Create templates for things you regularly do, like emails, messages, documents, or photo dimensions. This helps save a lot of time during the work day.
- Try the two-minute rule: if you can finish a task in two minutes, do it now—don’t procrastinate! This applies to sending an email, setting a reminder, or cleaning your counter.
Why it works: This is a very practical activity that leads to better insights and more productivity about what remote team tools will work for you.
8. Famous Birthdays
How it works: Have team members look up what famous people they share their birthdays with. On This Day is a great resource for checking out who you share your birthday with.
Why it works: It’s a quick, simple, and fun way to get into meeting mode.
9. Would You Rather
How it works: Pose a series of “would you rather” scenarios and have team members select an option. You can make them up yourself, crowdsource from the team and have everyone come up with something, or check out this list of 150 would-you-rather questions.
Here are some examples from the list:
- Would you rather never be stuck in traffic again or never have another cold?
- Would you rather be feared by all or loved by all?
- Would you rather be an only child or have ten siblings?
- Would you rather be able to speak every language on earth or communicate with animals?
Why it works: Simple, fun way to warm up for the meeting.
8 Creative Thinking Remote Team Meeting Icebreakers
If you’re planning a meeting that requires brainstorming and creative thinking, these next eight ice breakers might be for you. They kickstart creativity by getting participants to dream and think up some interesting situations.
1. Dream Dinner Party
How it works: Team members choose three famous people, living or dead, they would invite to a dream dinner party and explain why.
Why it works: This creative exercise helps team members get to know each other better.
2. Dream Job Discussion
How it works: Team members share their dream job and what they find appealing about it. Participants can also draw from their childhood dreams or what they hoped to do while studying at school.
Why it works: This opens up a great conversation about what people are looking for in a workplace and how you can strive together as a team to achieve it.
3. Bucket List Items
How it works: Team members share one item from their bucket list and discuss why it’s important to them.
Bucket list items can range from must-visit places and travel destinations to experiences like concerts, plays, or a dream restaurant. Other people might include family or relationships on their bucket list, too. Here’s a great list of 50 bucket list ideas for some inspiration if you haven’t thought of it before.
Why it works: A great way to get to know each other on a deeper level.
4. Childhood Memory Lane
How it works: Team members recall a fond childhood memory and describe it to the group. You can offer prompts like, “tell us about…”:
A fun summer vacation with your family
- The first day of Kindergarten
- Your best Halloween costume.
- A memorable birthday party.
Why it works: Get to know each other on a personal level.
5. Dream Vacation
How it works: Team members describe their ideal vacation destination and what they would do there. You can also talk about a favorite vacation you’ve already taken and would recommend to others.
Why it works: It’s something everyone can relate to and can be used as an important segue into the importance of work-life balance and taking time off.
6. Dream Home Tour
How it works: Team members describe their ideal home, including its location, design, and unique features. If anyone has a Pinterest or vision board, they can also show it to the group.
Why it works: This is a creative activity that gets people in the mindset for collaboration and brainstorming.
7. Childhood Dream Jobs
How it works: Team members share what they wanted to be growing up and discuss how their aspirations have changed.
Why it works: This is an interesting conversation around career aspirations and how they change over time. It requires colleagues to be introspective about their career path.
8. Outdoor Adventure Tales
How it works: Team members share an exciting outdoor adventure they’ve had, such as hiking, camping, or exploring a new place. Encourage team members to show a picture along with their adventure, too.
Why it works: Sharing ideas amongst colleagues is a great way to build community and rapport.
25 Get-To-Know You Remote Team Meeting Icebreakers
One of the biggest benefits of using icebreakers in your team meetings is that they help colleagues get to know each other better. This promotes bonding and better communication and rapport amongst colleagues. Here are 24 get-to-know you icebreakers to try out.
1. Two Truths and a Lie
How it works: This is a classic ice breaker and very simple to play. Team members share two true statements and one false statement about themselves, and others guess the lie.
Why it works: Employees get to know each other in a fun and engaging way.
2. Historical Figure Time Travel
How it works: Team members choose a historical figure they would like to meet and explain why.
Why it works: Learn more about your colleagues and their values.
3. Inspiring Mentor
How it works: Team members talk about someone who has had a significant impact on their life and how they’ve been influenced. Mentors might be parents, grandparents, other family members, a colleague, manager, or therapist.
Why it works: This opens an important conversation about mentorship and support in the workplace.
4. Superpower Revealed
How it works: Team members share what superpower they would choose if given the chance and explain why. And to move beyond the classic superpowers like flying or teleportation, stir up some creativity with this list of the 100 best superpowers. Some unique examples include:
- Super learning: The ability to absorb knowledge at super speed.
- Super-powered tattoos: The ability to manipulate ink and body art for physical strength or to conjure the form of the tattoo.
- Item-duplication: The ability to create a double of anything you touch.
- Animal control: The ability to ask animals to do your bidding.
Why it works: Fun, light conversation can help people transition into the meeting time.
5. Emoji Introductions
How it works: Team members introduce themselves using only emojis, and others interpret their meanings. You can leave it open-ended or provide prompts like, “choose an emoji that represents your favorite hobby” or “choose an emoji that represents your alter-ego.”
Why it works: It’s a fun and lighthearted way to get to know each other better.
6. Movie Quotes
How it works: Team members share their favorite movie quote and briefly explain why it resonates with them. You can also share about the most recent movie you saw in theaters or your favorite childhood movie.
Why it works: Easily relatable and lots of fun to share movie quotes.
7. What’s in a Name
How it works: Team members discuss the story behind their names and any interesting anecdotes associated with it. If they don’t know the meaning, share the Names.org resource with them to look it up.
Why it works: Get to know each other better.
8. Funniest YouTube Video
How it works: Team members recommend the funniest YouTube video they’ve ever watched. If you have time, watch a few of them together! If, for some reason, no one has any recommendations, play a couple of the options from this list of 20 funny YouTube videos.
Why it works: Laughter is a great way to have everyone warmed up and ready for a meeting.
9. Spirit Animal
How it works: Team members identify their spirit animal and explain how it reflects their personality. In some Indigenous traditions, spirit animals are a type of spiritual guide that, when you see them, you connect with and feel close to. You can learn more about this together as a team by reviewing these guides to discovering your Spirit Animal.
Why it works: Get to know each other better and learn more about Indigenous cultures and traditions.
10. Hidden Talent Showcase
How it works: Each participant demonstrates a unique talent they possess.
Why it works: A fun and silly way to get to know each other better.
11. Desert Island Tunes
How it works: Team members share their favorite songs and explain why they would bring them to a desert island.
Why it works: Learn more about your colleagues’ taste in music and, perhaps, curate a fun playlist together!
12. Show and Tell
How it works: Team members present and discuss a personal item that holds significance to them. This can be a personal belonging, photograph, or even a video that is meaningful.
Why it works: Just like show-and-tell in grade school, you learn a lot about other people through their personal belongings.
13. Fun Facts
How it works: Each participant shares a unique and interesting fact about themselves. Here’s a list of fun fact prompts to try out if you can’t think of anything. Some examples are:
- Your high school superlative (best of…).
- Your favorite food to make.
- The best free thing you ever received.
- How you found out about Santa Clause.
- Your biggest pet peeve.
Why it works: This is a quick way to get to know fun facts about each other.
14. Picture Perfect
How it works: Team members share a photo they’ve taken recently and talk about the story behind it. You could also give a specific day—i.e., show a picture from yesterday or from June 18, 2020—to add some randomness to it!
Why it works: It’s fun seeing pictures from the past, and colleagues get a glimpse into each others’ lives.
15. Book Club
How it works: Have each person share the title and brief summary of either a book they are currently reading or one they would recommend to the group.
Why it works: Gain insights into what everyone is learning about and curate a booklist to promote ongoing reading and education in the office.
16. Recipe Exchange
How it works: Team members share their favorite recipe or cooking tip. You can also create a recipe Pinterest board together to keep the recipes in one place.
Why it works: Learn something new from each other.
17. Remote Workspace Showcase
How it works: Team members share their remote work setup, including their favorite productivity tools or gadgets and time management techniques.
Why it works: Get a glimpse into your colleagues’ lives to foster better understanding and collaboration.
18. Funniest Work-From-Home Moment
How it works: Team members recount a funny or memorable experience that happened while working remotely.
Why it works: This is a very relatable activity and fosters better team unity.
19. Cultural Traditions
How it works: Team members discuss a unique cultural tradition they practice or have experienced.
Why it works: This activity promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace by offering employees a chance to share more about their unique culture and background.
20. Artistic Expression
How it works: Team members share a piece of artwork they have created, such as a painting, drawing, photograph, or sculpture.
Why it works: Get to know your colleagues’ talents and skills outside the workplace.
21. Personal Mantra
How it works: Team members reveal their personal mantra or motto that helps guide them through challenges. Here are some examples:
- I accept what happens in the present moment.
- I act today to improve my life tomorrow.
- My passion pushes me into action.
- I can handle whatever life throws at me.
Why it works: Encourage each other to build a stronger team bond.
22. Proudest Accomplishment
How it works: Team members share a significant achievement they are proud of and the journey it took to reach it.
Why it works: This is a great way to encourage each other and remember how far everyone has come.
23. Inspirational Role Model
How it works: Team members discuss someone they admire and explain the qualities that make them an inspiration.
Why it works: Everyone can learn what their colleagues value and strive to be more like that as a team.
24. Fictional Character Alignment
How it works: Team members identify with a fictional character and explain why they resonate with them.
Why it works: It’s a fun way to learn more about someone’s personality type.
25. Gratitude Sharing
How it works: Team members take turns expressing gratitude for something or someone in their lives and explain why they are thankful.
This is a powerful practice to do as a group, as research shows that gratitude is associated with greater happiness, improved health, and stronger relationships—all good for the individuals on your team and to build stronger team dynamics.
Why it works: Gratitude practices have many positive benefits, and it can set the team up for a positive work environment.
Remote team meeting icebreakers are a great way to ensure everyone is fully present and engaged in the meeting. It can foster stronger team building and collaboration while helping participants transition from what they were doing in the past.
So, what remote meeting icebreakers are you going to try today?
If you’re looking for a collaborative work environment for your team to do their best work, you’ll find it at Launch. Contact us today to book a tour or your local Launch Workplaces and see what we’re all about.