Icebreaker Games for Remote Teams

10 Icebreaker Games to Build Stronger Remote Teams

Icebreaker Games for Remote Teams

Remote work is the new normal. It is, indeed, the future of work. While COVID-19 made many practices redundant in teams and the organizations, it also has introduced a whole new set of processes that can boost a team’s morale and make them feel engaged and connected.

The pandemic forced millions of professionals around the globe to a sudden transition to remote work, leading to a feeling of isolation and loneliness among the employees.

And hence, managers and leaders are striving to find ways to keep their teams motivated and engaged. This is where icebreakers come in handy.

We have discussed icebreaker questions in detail in previous two articles. Here we shall highlight icebreaker games you can play with your whole team, so that they feel connected and build rapport with not just you, but among themselves too.

10 Icebreaker Games for Remote Teams to Build Better Connect

1 Virtual Bingo board

Bingo is a fun and familiar game that makes understanding each other in remote teams easy and fun.

In this game, a bingo card containing a grid of squares with a statement or question in each square that applies to some members of your group and is in line with the objectives of your class, workshop, or event is shared with the participants.

A Bingo card with multiple interesting action items and activities is a great way to start.

You can use a template (like the one below created by Atlassian) to begin with or create your own using spreadsheets or any online Bingo creator.

bingo-card-remote-work

2 ‘Would you rather’

As the name suggests, the game requires you to share some fun ‘Would you rather’ options with the team and ask them to answer one by one.

Appoint a moderator for the game or you be the moderator. Once the moderator has the responses to the first question, he can read out each response aloud and ask the teammates to guess the respondent.

A few ideas to begin with are:

  • Would you rather go to a beach or climb a mountain?
  • Would you rather eat carrots or drink soda for the rest of your life?
  • Would you rather share a naughty childhood story or your first crush story with the team today?
  • Would you rather drive a car or ride a bike for the rest of your life?
  • Would you rather stop eating pizza or start eating salad from tomorrow?
  • Would you rather be a journalist or prefer your current role in the office for your career?

You can customize the questions according to your team and their preferences.

PRO Tip: Don’t hesitate to add a bit of quirk to your questions to make the activity fun and engaging.

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Icebreaker questions you can ask in every meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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3 Two truths & a lie

This one is a classic icebreaker game for remote teams. In this game you ask each of your teammate to share three facts about themselves, out of which one would be a truth and the other two would be lies.

Rest of the teammates would have to guess the truth from lies, and you can make the game even even more exciting by introducing a points system.

This implies that the teammate sharing the facts will be awarded positive points if no one was able to guess the truth, but will be given no point if no one guesses the lie.

This game brings the teammates closer and helps them build stronger bonds, as each team member shares a truth about their lives, giving others an opportunity to learn a thing r two about them.

PRO TIP: The game is fun when you have cameras switched on for all, especially the one sharing the facts, as facial expressions play an important role here.

4 Guess the emoji

We all love to use emojis to express ourselves, especially now when the entire team is working remotely.

To play ‘Guess the Emoji’ make a list of players and distribute it on a shared channel on Slack or any other tool you use to communicate & collaborate while working remotely.

Ask each player to download the player list and take 5-7 minutes and guess the most used emoji by each player on the list.

Once the time is up, ask them to share their responses on the tool you use to communicate.

Go through each response and discuss it out loud with your team. You are most likely to share a good laugh and also know each of the team member a little more.

guess the emoji game for remote teams

5 Who am I?

You will have to use an online whiteboard like Miro for this game.

Ask everyone in the team to write one word or a one line that describes them the best, but without their names mentioned there. Let them post the responses on the whiteboard and you as the manager can then guess which response belongs to whom.

This will give you a good opportunity to learn more about everyone in your team and strengthen your bond with the employees.

6 Share the first thing

This game requires you to prepare a little in advance but is a cool icebreaker game for remote teams.. Start by thinking of a situation, preferably fun and quirky, which involves the first thing someone would notice in the given situation.

For example, “open page 48 of any book near you and share the first line you see there” or “pick up any packaged food item in your kitchen & read out the first thing you notice on it”.

This game is an effective filler and acts as a great icebreaker game for remote team when they are in the early stages of knowing each other.

7 The last photo

Ask your team to pull out the last or the most recent photo they clicked from their phone and ask them to share it on a common group accessible to the entire team.

Also, ask them to share the story behind that photo, to make it interesting and engaging.

This is a great way to know how your team has been spending their time while practicing social distancing, and getting to know them better.

8 Pictionary

Miro icebreaker games for remote teams

The game is simple and needs a shared whiteboard like Miro where the team members can doodle away!

Divide your team into 2 or 3 parts depending on the size of the team and let the game begin.

This is a great icebreaker game for remote team bonding.

PRO TIP: To make the game interesting, you can use a random picture generator tool.

9 Guess the birthday

As the name suggests, pick a team member and ask each one in the team to guess the birthday of the member.

See how many get it right! This is a great activity to know each one on a personal level and might also provide the opportunity for introvert team members to connect with those who share the same birthday or both month.

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Virtual Games for Remote Teams

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5 Icebreaker Games for In-Office Teams to Build Better Connect

In-office teams have a lot of opportunities to bond. From morning coffee runs to lunchtime walks, there are plenty of chances for employees to get to know one another outside the office. However, it’s not always easy for teams to connect. If you have a new team that needs some icebreakers, or if your existing team is looking for a way to build stronger bonds, try one of these 10 icebreaker games for in-office teams!

1. Whodunit

Divide your team into groups or pairs depending on the size of your company.

Ask each person to write down an interesting or unique experience on a note card. Encourage them to be creative and think outside the box.

Collect all the note cards and mix them up in a hat or container. Ask each person to draw a note card randomly and read it aloud to the group.

The reader must then try to guess which person in the group owns the note card and explain why they came to that conclusion. This will encourage the group to learn more about each other and have fun.

2. The scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is fun and engaging to get your team working together and exploring the office space and the funniest icebreaker games for work.

Divide your team into smaller groups and provide each team with a list of items they need to find around the office. The items can be anything from office supplies to decorations or hidden messages around the office. The first team to find all the items on the list wins a prize.

3. Name that tune

This game is a great way to get your team energized and excited. Play a few seconds of a popular song and see which team can name the song title and artist first. If you are searching for icebreaker games for small groups, this would be the best. 

You can also make it more challenging by playing lesser-known songs or asking for the year the song was released.

4. Office Trivia

Test your team’s knowledge of the office and each other by creating a fun trivia game. Create questions that relate to the company, its history, or its employees.

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You can also include fun questions about office traditions or funny office incidents. This game encourages teamwork and helps team members learn more about the company and their colleagues. This would be a perfect icebreaker game for small groups. 

5. Picture Puzzle Game

This is one of the best group icebreaker games, as it brings your teammates together toward a common goal. For this game, divide your team into smaller groups and give each team a picture puzzle. The picture can be a work of art, a photograph, or any image with intricate details. The puzzle should be cut into several pieces, and each team member should receive a few pieces.

Each team member must then describe their piece of the puzzle to the rest without revealing the overall image. The team must work together to determine the image and put the puzzle pieces together.

This game promotes communication and teamwork as team members must rely on each other’s descriptions to complete the puzzle. It also encourages creative thinking and problem-solving as team members must use their puzzle-solving skills to determine the overall image.

5 Icebreaker Games for Team Building

Team building is essential for fostering a positive work environment and encouraging collaboration and productivity among team members.

One of the best ways to get started with team building is to incorporate group icebreaker games into your regular team meetings or retreats. Here are five icebreaker games that you can try with your team:

1. The name game

The Name Game is a classic icebreaker game for work that helps team members learn each other’s names and encourages them to work together. The game begins with one person saying their name and a word that describes them. For example, “Hi, I’m John, and I’m adventurous.”

The next person must then repeat the first person’s name and word and add their own name and word. For instance, “Hi John, I’m Sarah and creative.”

The game continues until everyone has had a turn. This game is a fun and effective way to break the ice and get people comfortable with one another. It also promotes listening skills, as team members must remember each other’s names and descriptions.

2. Human knot

In this game, the team stands in a circle and reaches out to grab someone else’s hand, ensuring they are not holding the hand of the person standing next to them. The game’s goal is to untangle the knot without anyone letting go of their hand.

This game encourages communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, as the team members must work together to figure out how to untangle themselves.

3. Desk showcase game

In the Desk Showcase Game, each team member gets to showcase their workspace to the rest of the team. They can take a photo or give a virtual tour of their desk area, showcasing their unique setup and the items on their desk.

After everyone has presented their desk, the team has to guess whose desk belongs to whom based on the items and clues in each presentation. This game helps team members get to know each other more personally and promotes a sense of community by allowing team members to see a little piece of each other’s lives outside of work.

4. Zoom Bingo

For this game, create a bingo card with various activities or items team members might have in their home office. Examples might include “a potted plant,” “a bookshelf,” or “a coffee mug.”

At the start of your next team meeting, provide each team member with a copy of the bingo card and ask them to mark off each item as they spot it during the meeting.

The first person to get a full row or column wins. This game encourages team members to pay attention to their surroundings and can be a fun way to inject some friendly competition into your team meetings.

5. The Marshmallow challenge

In this fun and engaging team-building game, teams are given 20 pieces of spaghetti, a yard of masking tape, a yard of string, and a marshmallow. The teams have 18 minutes to build the tallest freestanding structure possible using only these materials. The marshmallow must be on top of the structure, and the structure must be able to stand on its own for at least 5 seconds.

This game promotes creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork as team members work together to design and build a structure that meets the game’s requirements. It also encourages communication and collaboration as team members must work together to develop ideas and execute them effectively.

BONUS: Icebreaker game apps

Icebreakers have an important role to play. They encourage people to lower their guard, communicate with candor, and enable strong relationships to be built.

A few apps we recommend using to save you sometime are listed below:

1) Brightful – This platform has 4-5 icebreaker games for remote teams. The interface is a little slow, but it is an excellent tool.

2) Quizbreaker – Quizbreaker provides ready-to-use icebreaker quizzes and saves 5x time of the managers and HR, who would instead be working on building these quizzes on their own.

3) Icebreaker.ws – This is a great place to find ideas if you have already tired a few mentioned above activities, and implement the as well with the help of the features there.

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