Virtual Icebreakers and Energizers for Your Remote Team

Jul 3, 2020 | Training and Development

Let’s face it … online meetings can be awkward … and dare I say boring! But they don’t need to be. Sitting at a computer all day, glued to a screen can be draining. I’m sure we have all felt it recently! When managing and leading our remote teams, increasing and sustaining team members’ engagement and energy levels is vital.

 

The key is to form emotional connections within the team to help people get to know each other, bond and form deeper and more meaningful relationships. This is where team icebreakers and energizers come into play.

 

What is an icebreaker and energizer?

 

 

Icebreaker

  • Used to get to know people and often introduced at the start of meetings/trainings to help break the ice.

 

Energizer

  • Used to liven up meetings or trainings, increasing energy, engagement and fun levels and is often carried out throughout a session.

 

Why are icebreakers and energizers important for our virtual teams?

 

We have had to manage our teams differently amidst COVID-19. Rather than in-person meetings or trainings, many of us are now shifting to leading a remote digital workforce. To conduct effective meetings and trainings, our teams must be engaged to bring forward their A-game! With many who are brand new to remote work, incorporating icebreakers and energizers can help our virtual team members have fun and engage more readily with one another at the onset and throughout our meetings and sessions.

 

Remember that icebreakers and energizers are designed to engage, energize and recharge your teams, ultimately removing any awkwardness that may ensue.

 

Some icebreakers to consider

 

My Travels

Purpose: Get to know people within the team and specifically their travels over the years.

  • Break people up into smaller teams of 4.
  • Set the timer for 5 minutes and allocate groups into virtual breakout rooms.
  • Each person will share all the countries in the world they have visited in the last 5 years.
  • Encourage the team to write down all the countries.
  • Once everyone is back in the collective room, have each group share the countries.
  • Share a world map on the screen and begin to annotate a star/dot on each country the team has listed.

 

That’s Random!

Purpose: Inject fun and laughter and get to know people on a more personal level.

  • Break people up into pairs.
  • Set the timer for 4-5 minutes and allocate pairings into virtual breakout rooms.
  • Send out a funny question to the breakout rooms via chat. Some could include:
    • If I could be a celebrity, I would be … because …
    • If I were a superhero, I would be … because …
    • My talent as a child was …

 

Aliens Have Landed

Purpose: Get to know people within the team and encourage creative thinking.

  • Instruct group that aliens have officially landed.
  • In pairs, you will have to draw out 6 simple images to describe your team, company, project …
  • No words … just symbols, pictures or drawings.
  • Set the timer for 5 minutes and allocate pairings into virtual breakout rooms.
  • Each pair will grab a piece of paper and draw the six symbols.
  • Once everyone is back in the collective room, have each group share their masterpiece!

 

We Won!

Purpose: Get to know people on a more personal level.

  • Instruct group that they have won big in the lottery – $2 million!
  • In pairs they will have to list out all the items they will buy right away!
  • Set the timer for 5 minutes and allocate pairings into virtual breakout rooms.
  • Each pair will grab a piece of paper and write down their listing.
  • Once everyone is back in the collective room, have a discussion on what everyone will purchase! You’ll see some interesting spending habits!

 

Some energizers to consider

 

Shake it Off

Purpose: Get the blood flowing and people moving.

  • Set the timer for 1 minute.
  • Ask the team to do 5 shakes of the right arm, followed by 5 shakes of the left arm, then right leg, then left leg …
  • You could adapt this by introducing a yoga or stretching session.

 

Guess Who

Purpose: Get to know the team and incorporate team building and fun.

  • Pick a theme and ask the team to upload/share and send you photos ahead of the meeting.
  • When you notice energy levels decreasing, share a photo on your screen.
  • Ask, “Guess who this belongs to …?.
    • Guess the desk
    • Guess the baby
    • Guess the shoes …

 

Scavenger Hunt

Purpose: Get the blood flowing, people moving, and promote a bit of healthy competition and bragging rights!

  • Generate a list in advance of the meeting of 5-8 random items.
  • Set the timer for 3 minutes.
  • “Ready, set, go”. Ask the participants to grab as many of the items they can in 3 minutes.
  • The team member who brings back the most items on the list within the 3 minutes wins – either a prize or bragging rights!

 

Charades

Purpose: Incorporate movement, one-on-one team building and fun.

  • Break people up into pairs.
  • Set the timer for 2 – 3 minutes and allocate pairings into virtual breakout rooms.
  • Each person will have to choose a book or movie to act out within one minute.
  • Each person takes a turn.

 

Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you have prepped in advance, clearly explained the instructions before you begin, set the timer, and most importantly chosen the right virtual icebreakers and energizers for your remote team!

 

We hope you have found this list useful. Now go and have fun!

 

Go and check out one of our most popular blogs on: Icebreakers to Kick-Start Brainstorming and Creative Discussions https://upskillhr.wpengine.com/2018/09/05/icebreakers-brainstorming/

 


 

 

Need help with your training?

 

We can help you strengthen your internal training offerings or can provide you with customized training workshops for your teams. These can be lunch and learns, 1/2 day or full day workshops and all are tailored to either face-to-face or virtual delivery.

 

See what our clients have to say about our training and other HR services. Visit https://upskillhr.wpengine.com/testimonials/

 

     

 

Contact us:

Website: www.upskillconsulting.ca

Email: [email protected]

We are here to help!

Receive HR insights right in your inbox.