If quarantine taught us anything about remote work is that, at times, it can get either stressful, tiring, or just plain boring. That is precisely why you need some icebreaker questions for virtual meetings. It is a wonderful tool to encourage interaction between co-workers and facilitate a harmonious working environment.
One of the biggest challenges of managing remote teams is the lack of proper communication. Team members may feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues. There are few opportunities for team bonding and relationship development, so you need to use every single instrument available. In that sense, you may want to give virtual meeting icebreaker questions a chance. It is a great way to boost team morale and get everybody hyped and energized for the workday ahead.
What are virtual icebreaker questions and why use them? They are a great interactive tool for your online meetings. There is no secret that at some point your conferences will get stale and colleagues will start to check out, simply because communication isn’t what is supposed to be. Trying to properly converse in an online environment is a difficult task. In the absence of discussion, people won’t have as many opportunities to express themselves and it will drive them to shut down altogether. It is common for team members to stop committing themselves to group conversations which in turn will also affect their decision-making skills. They will stop thinking of themselves as members of a team and will view things from a more individualized standpoint.
So, in order to remove this barrier and avoid this possible outcome, we are strongly recommending you try icebreaker questions for virtual meetings. Below we are chatting about how you can create an environment for such a discussion, the benefits of virtual icebreaker questions as well as some great examples for you to use in your next meeting.
How to Encourage Virtual Communication
First, you need to set the tone of the meeting. Create a pleasant setting through essential pleasantries and first-hand greetings. Afterward, move closer to getting everybody to say more than just “hello”. Do so, by asking one or more basic questions. This will make everybody feel a bit more comfortable and at ease around each other. You should not stop there, however. Maintaining the conversation on a strictly conventional level will do more harm than good in future meetings. You need to level up your game and produce conversational topics starting from icebreaker questions.
You can start with one or two such questions, but make sure you are inviting your colleagues to speak up. Don’t hold all the spotlight. The goal here is to make everyone share thoughts, opinions, or stories.
And speaking of stories, try to encourage participants to share more about their personal life. This will not only facilitate the team bonding process but will also help others be motivated. Stories and life experiences, when expressed, are an amazing source of inspiration and support. This will go a long way in forging new and stronger relationships between co-workers.
And lastly, as a warning, avoid taboo topics such as religion, race, or anything that may feel like a direct attack on somebody’s system of beliefs or lifestyle in general. Even though these topics may be freely discussed between people in general, your working environment should steer clear of such matters.
Easy Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
If you need to start easy, and not turn your meeting into an interrogation first thing in the morning, then these questions are your best bet. They are accessible and undemanding, perfect to kick-start your gathering.
- How many languages do you speak?
- What was your first job?
- Is there a story behind your name? If so, what is it about?
- What’s the weather like where you are?
- What’s your favorite way to kill some time during quarantine?
- What’s your ideal morning routine?
- What do you prefer to have for breakfast?
- What is your favorite tv show to binge-watch?
- What was your favorite band a decade ago and what about now?
- What meal would you cook for someone you are trying to impress?
- What’s your favorite way to kill some time during quarantine?
Funny Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
Nothing like some light-hearted, fun virtual icebreaker questions to set the mood of your next meeting. There are perfect if you are looking to relax, have a laugh with your colleagues and perhaps even learn something new about them.
- What is the craziest dare you’ve ever taken?
- How did your parents embarrass you as a kid?
- If you could make a place disappear, which one would it be and why?
- What are your top 3 most used emojis?
- What is the most bizarre food you have ever eaten?
- What is your funniest memory as a child?
- What is the scariest thing you have done for fun?
- Did you have any imaginary friends when you were young?
- Which cartoon character would you like to be and why?
- What weird food did you use to love as a kid?
- What is the stupidest thing you did to get somebody’s attention?
Creative Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
Perhaps you’ve overused the same old greetings and those basic “what did you have for lunch?” questions, and are in the market for some creativity. Then you ought to try one of our recommendations as they will definitely get your team members thinking outside the box while fishing for some answers.
- If there was a movie about your life, who would play you?
- If you were a product, what would your advertising slogan be?
- If you could travel to any period in time, whether past or future, which one would it be and why? If you are choosing to travel into the past, select a historical period and explain your choice.
- Take a picture from your window. Would the others be able to guess where you are?
- If you could be reincarnated as any animal, which one would you choose and why?
- Which fictional character do you relate to the most and why?
- If you had to wear a shirt with one word written on it the whole year, which word would you choose and why?
- If you could live in any sitcom universe which one would it be and why?
- If you could meet only one historical figure, who would it be and why?
- You can teleport yourself to one place. Where would you go and why?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Sensitive Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
Now, the first thing on your mind when you see this would probably be “ I don’t want to make my colleagues uncomfortable with delicate questions”. But you may want to rethink that because these types of questions, done in a sensible manner, will keep your team members on their feet and ready to think fast to come up with an appropriate answer. They are a great way to always keep your team focused and with their head in the game.
- What would be a good tip for reducing wasteful habits?
- If the doctor would tell you: “you only have 24 hours to live”, how would you choose to spend your remaining time?
- Which part of this job do you dislike the most and why?
- Tell us something you used to believe early on in your career, but now, you view it differently?
- Which tech company do you dislike the most and why?
- What are the 3 assets and 3 flaws of each member of your team?
- Have you ever went to a therapist? If so, would you recommend the experience?
- What’s the worse advice you have been given? What about the worst advice you’ve given to someone?
- Do you have an office crush?
- Do you have any regrets in life so far?
- Do you plan on making a big change in your life soon? Or are you settled with your life choices so far?
Career Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
If you want to maintain the theme of work-related content only in your meetings, then these questions will serve you well. They tackle the career aspect of your team member’s lives and it gives an insight into possible lessons derived from that.
- What is the weirdest thing you have seen in the workplace?
- If you were to pick a different job, what would it be and why?
- What is the best career advice you have ever received?
- What did you learn from your first job?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years professionally?
- Which work-related skills would you like to acquire?
- Tell us about the last time you got into an argument with a co-worker. What was it about?
- What is your favorite team building exercise?
- Did you adapt well to remote working? What are the advantages and the disadvantages?
- How have you organized your office space at home?
- What is the best thing about virtual meetings? What about the worst?
Lifestyle and Hobbies Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
Here we generated some interesting questions that take into account a topic of conversation that will surely give you some fascinating details about your co-worker’s lives.
- Do you collect anything? If so, what are you collecting and why?
- What is your favorite sport or fitness acitivity?
- What is your absolute favorite music genre?
- What is your favorite summer activity?
- Would you be interested to learn how to play an instrument? Do you already do that? If so, which instrument are you playing and why did you choose it?
- Have you lately read a book or seen a movie that you would happily recommend? If so, why?
- What was the worst travel experience of your life? What about the best? Share your story.
- Do you have a tattoo on your body? If you do, what is the story behind it? Does it have a meaning?
- What piece of clothing best describes you and why?
- What is your favorite way to spend a rainy weekend at home by yourself?
- What is your favorite international food? Do you cook it at home often or do you usually order it from a restaurant?
The Benefits of Icebreaker Questions for Virtual Meetings
First of all, they are incredibly effective at making individuals engage with one another. They encourage participation and are a great source for topics of conversation. If designed with care, virtual icebreaker questions are ideal for any online meeting.
Communication, if properly conducted, will build trust within your team. While getting to know one another, colleagues will strengthen their bond and trust each other more deeply. This is why the quality of communication is a key aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. And virtual icebreaker questions have that advantage. They are a great tool for establishing some clear starting points for excellent conversations.
Without a doubt, icebreaker questions compel people to share more than just simple answers. In the flow of conversation, life stories appear. This is not only an opportunity for employees to get to know each other, but it is a great way to enhance team support and motivation among members. When somebody shares a valuable experience with colleagues, they, in turn, will feel inspired to do so themselves. This is an incredible learning opportunity because in doing so, team members will be stimulated to express themselves more often, which will lead to a better social environment and a stronger work culture. Generating that in a remote setting is a challenge, but as the team grows together and communicates openly, it will definitely happen.
Another great advantage that comes from virtual icebreaker questions is when welcoming a new member to an already existing team. They will act as an efficient tool in breaking down unhealthy cliques within a team. Whenever there is change, people tend to step back and be a bit cautious before embracing it fully. In that sense, icebreakers act as a mechanism that will fix those types of issues before they can do any damage.
And lastly, virtual icebreaker questions are one of the best ways to build team morale. They keep the flow going and rise the energy levels in the “virtual” room. So don’t hesitate to incorporate them in your next meeting and you will be glad you did so because results will be seen in no time.