21 Virtual Icebreaker Games for Work
Although you are around your colleagues all day, you may not know them as well as you want to or should. To get to know your co-workers better, virtual icebreaker games at work can be a fun way to do just that!
What Are Icebreaker Games?
Icebreaker games are fast-paced activities that are used to promote interaction, communication, and collaboration within a group. They are often used to welcome new employees, bring people from different departments together, or simply get everyone out of their comfort zone and mingle!
Similar to other types of remote team building activities such as fun events like virtual trivia, icebreakers are a great way to help people feel more comfortable in an office setting and let their guards down. They help coworkers get to know each other better and build relationships, which is not only great for teamwork and productivity but is also wonderful for building morale and friendships.
When To Use Virtual Icebreakers?
While virtual icebreaker games can be used for any size group, they work especially well with larger groups because they help everyone get to know each other quickly and efficiently. Icebreaker games and other team building activities have become especially important in today’s workplace because so many people work remotely or on a hybrid schedule, making it more likely that they feel disconnected from their co-workers.
The best time to use virtual icebreaker games is when you have a group of new employees who need to get to know each other in a remote environment or when your team is working on a project together and could use a bonding experience that also builds team rapport. Virtual icebreaker games can also be used as a way to break the ice at company-wide events, such as virtual town hall meetings, or holiday events that have a mix of in-person and remote attendees.
Benefits of Icebreaker Games
There are many benefits to icebreaker games, both for individuals and the company as a whole. Some of the most significant benefits include:
- Improved communication and collaboration within the team. The benefits of this continue to accrue long after the games are over.
- Building friendships and morale within the workplace in a virtual setting that accommodates remote employees.
- Increased creativity and productivity.
- A fun way to break the ice and get to know your co-workers better. Games allow people to avoid awkward questions and forced small talk, and instead, start interacting with their co-workers in a more fun and engaging way leading to a livelier workplace.
How To Set Up A Virtual Icebreaker Game
To set up a virtual icebreaker game you will want to use a video conferencing tool, such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. This will allow everyone to see and hear each other clearly, which is essential for icebreaker games.
You will also need to choose a game that is appropriate for your group size and the amount of time you have. There are many different icebreaker games to choose from, so be sure to pick one that will fit your needs.
Once you have chosen a game, make sure to send out the instructions to everyone in the group so they know what to expect. It is also a good idea to have a backup plan in case there are technical difficulties with the video conferencing tool or someone is having trouble understanding the instructions.
21 Virtual Icebreaker Games for Work
There are all sorts of online icebreaker games out there, but not all of them are appropriate for a work setting. Here are 21 virtual icebreaker games that are perfect for the workplace:
1. The Name Game
This icebreaker game is a classic for a reason. To play, have everyone on the conference call go around in a circle and say their name and one fun fact about themselves. Then, go around the circle again and have each person repeat the name and fun fact about the person that came before them.
2. Two Truths and a Lie
This icebreaker game translates well in a virtual setting and is great for getting people to share interesting facts about themselves while also encouraging everyone to spot a lie. To play, have each person write down three facts about themselves, two of which are true and one of which is a lie. Then, have everyone take turns sharing their facts and let the group guess which one is the lie.
3. Guess the Object
This virtual icebreaker game is perfect for getting people to think creatively and work together as a team. To play, each person takes turns describing an object in the room they are in without saying what it is. Then, group everyone into teams and take turns guessing what each object is. The team with the most correct guesses wins!
4. The Alphabet Game
This icebreaker game is a great way to get people comfortable working as a team in a virtual environment and thinking on their feet. To play, group everyone into teams of two or three. Then, start with the letter A and have each team take 1 - 2 minutes to come up with as many words that begin with that letter. The team with the most words at the end wins!
5. Word Association
This icebreaker game is great for getting people to think on their feet and come up with creative connections. To play, have everyone go around in a circle and take turns saying a word (assign a number to everyone so they know who to follow and keep things consistent). The next person then has to say a word in response that is associated with the first word. This continues until someone can’t think of an associated word and is out of the game. The last person standing wins!
6. 20 Questions
In this icebreaker game, one person will think of an object, person, or place, and the others will have to guess what it is by asking up to 20 questions. The goal is to see how quickly you can guess what the other person is thinking. To play, have everyone go around the virtual room and take turns thinking of an object, person, or place. Then, have everyone else try to guess what it is by asking up to 20 questions.
7. Scavenger Hunt
This virtual icebreaker game is a home adaptation of the classic virtual scavenger hunt. The goal is to see how quickly you can find items in your home that match the criteria on the scavenger hunt list. To play, split everyone into teams of two or three. Then, give each team a list of items to find around their working environment. The team that finds and displays all of the items first wins!
8. Would You Rather
The 'Would You Rather' icebreaker game is a great way to get people talking and laughing. To play, simply ask your group a question such as "Would you rather have superhuman strength, or the ability to read people's thoughts?" Then, let everyone choose which option they would prefer. After everyone has had a chance to answer, discuss why they chose what they did.
9. Minute to Win It
This icebreaker game is great for building competitive spirit and getting people to work together as a team. To play, split everyone into teams of two or three. Then, choose a minute-to-win-it challenge by picking one player to compete head to head in the game with the other teams. For example, have each player compete to see who can type the alphabet backward fastest with a one-minute clock. The team that wins the most challenges in the allotted time wins!
10. Have you ever
To play the 'have you ever' icebreaker game, virtual style, you need a group of people and a list of questions. Ask the group if they have ever done the things on the list. For example, have you ever eaten escargot? If yes, you get a point. In the end, the person with the most points wins! Alternatively, every person in the group can come up with a question to ask their colleagues and you can go around the virtual room so each person has a chance to pose their question to the group.
11. Never Have I Ever
This icebreaker game is the opposite of the 'have you ever' game, and is a great way to get to know your new coworkers. To play, each person takes turns sharing something they've never done before. The others in the group then have to say whether they've done it or not. If they have, they get a point, and in the end, the person with the most points wins!
12. The "Whose Story Is It Anyway" Game
This game is played by a group of people organized by an assigned number. One person starts by telling a story, and then the person next in line tells the next part of the story. This continues around the circle until the end of the story is reached.
13. What's in Your Bag?
This virtual icebreaker game is a great way to get to know your colleagues and learn about their personalities. To play, each person takes turns showing and telling the group about three items in their bag. The goal of this game is for everyone to learn insights about each other.
Pictionary is a great way to get everyone interacting and having fun. The goal is to see how quickly you can guess what the other person is drawing. To play, have everyone go around the virtual room and take turns drawing a picture of an object, person, or place on a piece of paper. Then, have them hold the paper up to the screen and everyone else try to guess what it is.
15. Name That Tune
The 'Name That Tune' virtual icebreaker game is an excellent way to get people to express themselves while having fun. The goal is to see how quickly you can guess what the other person is singing. To play, have everyone go around the virtual room and take turns singing a song. Then, have everyone else try to guess what the song is.
Charades is another great game to get people to be creative and expressive while promoting lots of interaction. The goal is to see how quickly you can guess what the other person is acting out. To play, take turns acting out a scene from a movie, TV show, or book. Then, have everyone else try to guess what it is.
This icebreaker game is a great way to get everyone interacting and thinking. The goal is to see how many items you can think of in a certain category. To play, have everyone go around the virtual room and take turns naming items in a given category. The person who names the most items in the allotted time wins. For example, one category might be countries with five letters or car brands.
18. Secret Password
The 'Password' icebreaker game is good for getting everyone to think outside the box and get to know more about how they each think. The goal is to see which team can guess a ‘password’ first! To play, break into two teams (team A and B). Each team will choose a player to go first (or you can draw or assign numbers to order team members). Using a word generator or having team members choose the word, one word is chosen and only the first players know the word. For example, Milk. Team A will go first and give a one-word clue to their team members i.e. Cow. Team A members might incorrectly guess “animal,” and then the turn goes to Team B. The first player from team B gives the clue, “drink,” in which Team B guesses, “Milk,” correctly and gets the point. Each round continues until a team correctly guesses the word. Keep switching which team member provides the clues and you can play many rounds as your time allows! The team with the most points at the end wins!
19. Most Likely To
This virtual icebreaker game is a great way to get everyone to socialize and interact. To play, each person takes turns asking a "most likely to" question (e.g. most likely to win the lottery). The group then decides who they think is most likely to do that. There are no points allotted in this game, but it’s a great way to socialize and get the group laughing!
20. The Emoji Game
The 'Emoji Game' is a really fun virtual icebreaker game for teams. To play, each team member takes turns sharing a group of emojis. The other team members then have to guess what the emoji represents. For example: 😴 💤 🌕 = the popular Children’s book, “Goodnight Moon.” This game is a great way to get to not only know your team members better but also learn more about their interests.
21. Show And Tell
To play the 'Show and Tell' virtual icebreaker game, each person in the group takes turns sharing something about themselves with the rest of the group. The goal is to get to know more about your colleagues and break the ice.
Virtual icebreaker games are a great way to get people talking and mingling. Building relationships at work is important to get people to feel more connected and engaged with each other. It has the added proven benefits of increasing employee productivity and teamwork. Although a lot of icebreaker games are designed for in-person play, there are plenty of games that are well adapted to virtual office settings. The 21 virtual icebreaker games presented in this article are perfect for breaking the ice with teams both large and small, no matter the occasion, and getting people to feel more comfortable with each other. With so many different games to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your group. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start playing!