13 Virtual Team Building Icebreakers That Wow!

People gathered around a chalkboard table with Team Building written on it

What’s better than going old-school and using some classic online virtual team building icebreakers to strengthen team bonding? They’re fun, short, and simple, yet potent tools to create solid team virtual bonds.

Luckily, you’ll learn that virtual team-building icebreakers are loved by most virtual teams like Google, Amazon, Meta, and others. And they never get old, even for our team. We bet you’ll love them.

They’ll turn the awkward starting silence by loosening the members and getting them talking throughout the virtual team meeting.

From the definition of an icebreaker to the actual virtual team-building activities, here’s our guide on remote team-building icebreakers to consider. Let’s go!

What are Virtual Team Building Icebreakers?

Well, one thing is for sure: adult icebreakers AREN’T CLICHES! They don’t have to be lame, and they don’t have to be strict in a format.

So team icebreakers are “stand-up-comedy” questions, games, activities done before a virtual meeting by remote teams.

They light up your team’s meeting and get your team in a “meeting mode.” They act like informational jokes that get your remote team talking in the video call.

Their energizing nature further makes them ideal for starting a conversation. Also, they make remote discussions lively and encourage the members to be active. That makes the team enjoy their social time.

5 Best Remote Team Building Activities

Well-planned virtual team building activities ease the tension before starting your virtual conference call. Here are five arguably best virtual team-building activities.

Rose Thorn Icebreaker by Mindful Schools
Click on the image to download the full resolution PDF version. Courtesy of Mindful Schools.

Activity 1: Rose and Thorn Virtual Icebreaker

Rose & Thorn virtual icebreaker is where you give your teammates one minute each to share any positive thing that brings or makes them happy and grateful (rose).

They also share one challenge known as the thorn.

Rose and thorn icebreaker works like a rose flower. The joy and positivity bringer is like the beautiful rose flower, and the challenge and pain bringer is the thorn.

You can use work or non-work-related roses and thorns. An example of a rose: today, I hit my walking target! Thorn: today, I didn’t hit my walking target.

Activity 2: Critical Thinking Icebreakers

Critical thinking is informative, where every team member shares their thoughts before the meeting. For instance, you can start by asking a question like:

Suppose you’re in a dark room and have a single match; you can either light a fireplace, lamp, or candle; which one would you light first?

Here, you’ll give your team 30 seconds before opening the answer platform. Then discuss your answers for a minute before starting your virtual meeting.

Activity 3: Open “Stage” Virtual Icebreaker

This activity requires you to give your team 5-10 minutes. Additionally, you will give them a heads up before your virtual meeting.

Then have each member write or dramatize it with another member online. Other ideas include singing, playing the mandolin, telling a joke, or dancing.

The performances will light up the meeting. You can have five seconds of applause and snaps to spice it up.

Activity 4: Drawing Your Mood

Did you know you can draw virtually using the Zoom whiteboard? Though most people ask how team members are doing, ask them to draw their mood.

Moreover, the “how-are-you-doing” question is overused, attracting half-baked answers like okay, fine, etc.

But imagine drawing sad, happy, re-energized, and such; it’s tons of fun and sparks creativity among team members.

Activity 5: Take an Online Team Photo

In-person, there’s no completing a meeting without taking a group photo. Thus, take one while enjoying a virtual happy hour before starting or during the meeting to boost the team morale.

In an online group photo, encourage teammates to make crazy gestures, funny faces, and be creative, like bringing their pet.

Group photos make lovely internal newsletter, social media, or any slack channel content.

5 Best Question Icebreakers for Online Meetings

Question icebreakers are limitless. These three icebreakers always get your team members in meeting mode.

Question 1: The One-Word description Question

The one-word description question helps you obtain the feelings and thoughts of your team. For example, what’s the perfect word to describe your week?

Also, have them describe your virtual or hybrid teams using a single word. However, since you’re not limited to a particular format, teammates can describe or not describe at will. All the same, the one-word answer is a must-give.

Question 2: Have a Daily Mind-Boggling Question

Call it a riddle or the guessing game, whichever you like. Since most team members enjoy solving quizzes, little brain teasers will energize the team before starting your meeting.

Consider this icebreaker if you hold regular remote workers’ meetings. You have the quiz at the start of the meeting.

Since the managers run out of ideas, a random quiz generator such as a magic cube will help.

Question 3: The Which-One-Do-You-Prefer Quiz

Which-one-do-you-prefer quiz makes a virtual meeting lively from the start. It’s simple: you ask your team members a question presenting two options.

After choosing, engage the other members in a discussion around the person’s choice.

For example, the Arctic or the Sahara; coffee or tea; 2-meter legs or 2-meter arms; travel to the past or future, etc.

Question 4: The I-Am-Thankful-For Challenge

Suppose it’s Thanksgiving, and you have a special meeting for your virtual team. Then, the I-Am-Thankful-For challenge will be an ideal morale booster.

In the challenge, you’ll ask the members to say to the rest what they are grateful for. Their gratitude could be toward a specific team member or for particular duties.

The challenge works this way: you ask the question and give your teammates time to respond. Afterward, you’ll display what their submissions were and have them describe to the rest why they are grateful for these particular things.

Question 5: The Do-You-Know-About-Me Icebreaker

This quiz is an about-me virtual icebreaker where teammates challenge each other to get to know one another.

The question is a little bit different from the other quizzes. That’s because you will ask about the members during other times and not at the meeting.

At the meeting, the virtual meetings’ leader will ask the questions. The one who answers the most questions gets the reward.

3 Best Virtual Team Building Games

Starting a remote team meeting with a game is an excellent way of encouraging participation. Here are three virtual team building game plays for your virtual teams:

Game 1: Online Scavenger Hunt

Before a meeting, get your colleagues off their chairs using a scavenger hunt. Give them a chance to move around.

How does an online scavenger hunt work? You choose an item, then tell your virtual team to fetch something from the house. For example, give them thirty seconds to locate an item, say, a red or yellow.

Spice it by asking them to locate and bring the weirdest item in their house. Challenges can include taking pictures through the window, locating tiny items, locating your softest item, showing it to the team, and others.

Game 2: The Can-You-Hear-Me-Now Online Game

In-person teams play the can-you-hear-me-now in a conference room. They nominate a speaker, and the other members automatically become the artists.

The online one is pretty much the same as you’ll choose the speaker, while the other team members become artists.

Let me explain how the game works: the speaker can only use geometric shapes, say, tell the teammates to draw three triangles and a circle without using E (the letter).

The speaker must be an accurate communicator to carry out their roles effectively. Therefore, listening and interpreting is crucial in choosing the speaker. The one that accurately gets the speaker wins.

Game 3: Typing Speed Competition

Remote workers use online typing speed tools to increase their typing speed. Therefore you can use the typing test to have an online competition.

Here every member does a one-minute speed test. Then they post their results by email or on the company’s message board.

Some teams take it to the next level by engaging in typing rallies where you group the participants into small teams.

Then, you engage in a typing rally where you pass the button to each other after completing the typing test. It tests the team in communication and speed.


Icebreakers help virtual teams create quick and personal relationships. The first virtual session starts with stiffness and awkwardness, so use these virtual team-building ideas.

Moreover, have your remote team members suggest icebreaker activities for compelling video conferencing.

Prepare your "world" virtual hangout!

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