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With the traditional workspace being hit with a seismic paradigm shift due to the pandemic's ascension, many have started embracing the flexibility that comes with remote work. However, it has created an urgency in requiring the interference of the HR department to pivot into shaping the workplace in this amalgamated culture. 

A study by Forbes has shown that 12.7% of full-time employees are still working from home, while a significant portion, 28.2% of employees, have adopted a hybrid work model. Although such a stance gives rise to desiring flexibility, it has also increased the lack of connectivity between employees. 

The same study has indicated that 53% of remote workers struggle to connect with their co-workers. This staggering number highlights the need for effective team-building strategies, including activities to break the ice across team members in remote settings. 

With employees working distantly, some team-building activities have become more essential than ever. Here is a list of fun and exciting icebreakers to inspire virtual teammates.

But first, let’s get to know deeper about virtual icebreakers.

What are zoom icebreakers?

Zoom icebreakers are fun and simple activities and games employeesyou and your team can do on the Zoom platform to spark conversations and get to know each other better.

The Benefits of engaging in zoom icebreakers

Zoom icebreaker sessions improve team building, adding a bit of fun to daunting and monotonous work to develop happy and engaged teams.

  • It further helps boost productivity and keeps employees motivated, leading to better employee retention. Good work culture is visible over time, with employees less likely to feel overworked.
  • It eliminates the chance of greeting or having a quick coffee chat. While these are simple interactions, they establish confidence and forgo ties among colleagues
  • As per Balance Careers, ice breakers aid relationships between team members during meetings and training and boost communication. It makes the remote workers feel more connected and engaged with their teams, sharing updates and working their way out collaboratively.

How to make the most of zoom icebreakers?

If you have a big team working remotely, it is essential to plan accordingly. It will ensure that every member participates rather than some watching silently from their screens. Here are a few things to consider to make the most of your zoom icebreakers:

1. Always play simple

Make it as simple as possible so that more and more people can participate. Do not include complex preparations of pros and focus on trivia, guessing games, or personal opinions. You can perform icebreakers without working out a lot. For instance, try asking the members to select a zoom background of a country on their travel bucket list.

2. Understand the objective of the game

Whether it is a new game or reorganization, it is essential to identify the goal of the activity. A few instances of icebreaker goals involve developing higher collaboration, learning about each other deeply, and boosting team engagement.

3. Start light

The next step is to ensure every participant has a positive experience. Icebreakers work well when they are practiced with a fair question which is simpler to answer.

4. Appoint a zoom manager for icebreaker games

It is good to appoint a person to virtual zoom icebreaker games. You can choose a person who can responsibly pick a game, conduct sessions, and share the needed information with members. It is recommended for small and big teams.

5. Conduct poll sessions

When you conduct polls for feedback, you find out about the interest of everyone and narrow down the type of activity your team will love. It will ensure higher engagement, increase the chance for everyone to join these sessions, and boost the fun.

6. Take time and team size into consideration

It is essential to ensure that you choose a suitable icebreaker game for Zoom. It is crucial to assess the size of your team as things may not go as decided during the game. Plan those activities which are suitable depending on your team size. Sometimes the budget is limited, so it is suggested to go for free resources.

The most fun Zoom icebreakers for virtual teams

Here is a quick list of Zoom icebreakers that your remote team members can enjoy.

  1. What’s your favorite?

A good icebreaker is entertaining and straightforward to engage with. And this is why What’s your favorite poll is one of the most chosen.

Rather than jumping into a zoom team meeting, you can put up polls on entertainment and non-work related topics.

For instance:

  • If money is not a problem, what would be your ideal job?
  • Which breakfast should be called the best one?
  • What was the first thought that came to your mind when you woke up today?
  1. Waffles and pancakes

You have to begin with waffles and pancakes. The following person will eliminate one of those options and replace it with something they like.

So the steps involve:

  • Waffles or pancakes
  • The following person will remove the waffles and add cats.
  • Then the next person will choose between waffles and cats and replace cats with dogs.
  • Repeat the same process till everyone has played. The end answer is the winner.
  1. Rose, bud, and thorn

The game is highly known for its mindfulness in your zoom icebreakers.

  • Roses represent optimism and the victory you experienced
  • Buds signify new ideas that you want to explore
  • Thorns are the hurdles you’re facing

Share your personal experience to stimulate your old memories and develop rapport with your team. It is an excellent team-building activity

  1. One minute introduction

Small introductions are an excellent option to eliminate pressure off people and help them know one another. It is good to share some good information about yourself in one minute.

  1. Name your celebrity lookalike.

Question the members to share the celebrity they resemble the most and add a picture for reference. A zoom platform can enhance your experience and help you prove you as a convincing doppelganger.

  1. Two truths and one lie

State three sentences about yourself; two of them should be true and one a life. Let the team members guess which is a lie and which is true.

  1. Share the last three emojis you used on your phone

Given that you have thousands of emojis, this exercise is useful when describing your day or how your previous few hours were. It is suitable for clearing up any possible miscommunication across teams.

  1. Name the acronym

It is a tremendously fun icebreaker specially designed for today’s world. Every team member shares an online acronym, and the others have to guess. The person with the maximum number of answers wins.

  1. Name the tune

Play a song’s snippet or sing a few lyrics; the others have to guess the song. Make it difficult for everyone.

  1. Throwback pictures

If you want everyone to walk down memory lane, play this game. Make all the attendees send the leader an image of themselves as a child; the leader can put up any image, and the others have to guess who that is.

  1. What’s making you excited?

The future has endless possibilities for things to occur. But what’s keeping you excited for the following Sunday? Is it a sundae you have planned, or are you planning to visit your parents? Ask your team to share events that they’re looking forward to.

  1. Share your first job

Ask every team member to share what position they were assigned in their first job. Ask them to share funny stories related to that job. It will indeed create a lot of interest.

  1. Would you rather

Would you rather is a great zoom icebreaker game, but make sure you put up good questions. Some of the recommended ones are:

  • Would you eat a sandwich with a pickle or a sandwich with soy sauce?
  • Would you choose to sneeze for the rest of the day or enjoy hiccups?
  1. Team trivia quiz

Here you can collect interesting facts about your team and then share one of them, leaving everyone else to guess who that person could be.

  1. Home scavenger hunt

This icebreaker will make your team members get out of their chairs. They have 30 seconds to fetch something in red or get something softest around.

You can also play a virtual scavenger hunt. The leader will give the team 5 minutes to fulfill ten jobs, including:

  • Click your picture of yourself and post it on your slack
  • Change your zoom background to your picture
  • Bring a product that’s older than your age.

Seeing how many tasks the members accomplished in five minutes will be fun.

  1. Photo contest

You can run a photo contest and ask your teammates to share a cool photo they took from their weekend. Now put the pictures anonymously and ask your colleagues to vote anonymously. Whoever gets the highest vote wins the contest.

  1. Never have I ever

While hanging out with your virtual teammates, you can play never have I ever. Each of you can hold your hand, so your fingers are visible.

Now one of the members will read questions like “Never have I ever been to jail.” If someone has done it, they will put their finger down. It is an excellent way to know one another.

  1. Rock paper scissor

Start the game with a duel between the leader and a team member. Whoever wins the game can challenge the other members of the team. And it will continue till the final winner emerges.

  1. What are you thankful for?

It can be played before thanksgiving or as a morale booster. Ask people to mention what they are grateful for and if they want to thank someone from the team.

Display the submissions on the screen and let everyone know who wrote what. It is an excellent way to bond.

  1. Guess the desk

You can know your colleague better by looking at their home workstation. Collect pictures from your colleagues of their home desks and develop a slide. Now ask the team members to guess whose desk it is.

  1. Virtual wine tasting

Even if you’re far away from one another, you don’t need to give up an old wine or beer-tasting event. Of course, it will be tough. Just pick a brand or type and ask everyone to buy it. Then you can begin tasting on a zoom call for a great team bonding experience.

  1. Binging shows

Working from home has enhanced people’s ability to binge-watch. So, you can use this to your benefit. Ask your team members to recommend a movie, show, or documentary that everyone should see. And discuss it later.

  1. Riddles

Riddles are more straightforward and an excellent way to keep the mental charts high. Ask funny and brainstorming riddles and see who can answer the most.

  1. Storytime

You can make funny stories which this team. Every person should share three lines, and the next person shall continue. Imagine how funny the story would turn out to be.

  1. Fortunately/ unfortunately

Mention something fortunate and unfortunate that has happened to you lately. Share your experience with others. It is an excellent opportunity to know the good and bad things that have occurred with your teammates.

Top tips for hosting a great zoom icebreaker

To make sure your icebreaker is successful, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow the rule of a maximum of 15 people: When you talk about icebreakers, do not make it overcrowded. The rule is that if there are more than 15 people in a call, divide them into groups and go for breakout rooms.
  • Keep the thirty-minute rule in mind: The rule is the same as above. To prevent the team members from getting bored, keep the sessions short. Make sure you set a time limit for your activity and do not extend it more than 30 minutes.
  • Act somewhat silly: Humor helps to break the ice better. It narrows down the gap. Do not include boring activities. Make sure the activities are fun, engaging, weird, and silly.
  • Try to break ice often: It is recommended to have such icebreaker zoom sessions every once in a while. You could include a short game before starting the meeting or devote some time every week to bond.

Summing up

The above list of 25 zoom icebreakers you should try will undoubtedly offer your remote team some fun amid a long and stressful day at work. So, find out which one appeals to your team the most and start with it.

Apart from this, one thing which motivates teams to work and give their best is rewards and recognition. Xoxoday Empuls is an ideal platform to integrate into your work and reward team members according to their work. So, if you want to boost engagement and ensure every team member is actively working, use Xoxoday Empuls.

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