Break Down Remote Barriers with Virtual Ice Breakers

2 Mar

Working in the virtual world can create a distance or disconnectedness between team members creating a need to break down remote barriers with virtual ice breakers.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, millions of people have become remote workers and this has presented the challenges of bonding and creating team camaraderie. It’s great to know then that there are things you can do to break the ice between virtual workers, especially when attending online meetings.

There’s a world of difference between chatting to co-workers and superiors from your desk in a shared office space and hopping online for a more focused meeting. Staff members often feel ‘put-on-the-spot’ and things can begin to feel a tad unnatural, which is why ice breaker activities are of such great value.

what is a virtual ice breaker?

Just as a team needs to participate in regular team-building activities in the physical workspace, they need to do so in the virtual workspace. A virtual ice-breaker is just that; a virtual form of team-building. It’s typically an activity that’s carried out at the beginning of the meeting.

Virtual ice breakers bring a more human feel to a meeting held between people who are not in physical proximity to each other. It keeps the team bonded and feeling a sense of togetherness. For people who struggle with being remote and out of touch with others, this can really help. The main objective is to get people feeling more comfortable and at ease before the team jumps into discussing pertinent matters.

how to incorporate virtual ice breakers

Where do you start when you want to introduce virtual ice breakers to your team? The reality is that there are no rules to follow. You can do just about anything with your team from hosting a weekly happy hour or playing a quick online game together. You need to choose an activity that suits the specific team you are working with. Here are a few tips to go about doing that.

  • Ask your team members to fill out a questionnaire about the type of team-building activities they feel would be fun and effective online.
  • Create a shortlist of team-building exercises that will achieve your main objective.
  • Make participation in ice breaker activities mandatory. Bringing team members out of their comfort zones is important for bonding.

3 popular virtual icebreaker activities

Below are a few virtual icebreaker games that you can try.

  •  2 truths, 1 lie

This is a great icebreaker when you don’t want to put too much pressure on the team members. For instance, if some team members don’t like the pressure of games, this one is considered an easier one to play. Ask each team member to tell the group 2 truths and 1 lie about themselves. The team must then guess which 1 is the lie.

  • guess where I am?

If you have a team of new hires from different locations, “Guess where I am?” is a great game to play. Ask each member of the team to share one photo with a caption. The team must guess where the person is.

  • virtual bingo

Virtual Bingo keeps team members engaged and paying attention during the meeting. It also keeps things fun.

Draw up a list of bingo-worthy scenarios (and make virtual cards) that team members can earn points for during the meeting. For instance, you can earn bingo points for seeing a pet in the background, hearing a dog barking or child crying, if someone is wearing a certain brand, and so on. Send each employee their bingo card before the meeting starts and let them know that the first person to get 5 scenarios must type “bingo” in the chat and they will win.

last word

Playing games as icebreaker activities does not need to take very long. It takes just a few minutes to break the ice, get everyone loosened up and feeling at ease. If you’re looking for a way to keep up with team-building and morale-boosting even while your business is operating in the virtual world, icebreaker activities are the way to go!

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