Building rapport among employees situated in different parts of the globe in different time zones may be the most challenging aspect of conducting virtual meetings.
A strong team foundation is usually cultivated in an office environment where every employee gets to personally interact with everybody else. Being in the same environment allows for constant communication and therefore more trust is built.
However, more and more employees are working remotely now which can hinder the foundation of a strong bond between employees. This is why it’s important to try and reduce this gap by incorporating quick icebreakers to allow remote employees to get to know their teammates better and to help ease the air of awkwardness between employees working together for the first time.
A meeting was scheduled for a reason, therefore it won’t make sense if your icebreaker would take up too much of everybody’s time and risk delaying a project.
Again, complex activities would take up more time. Think of activities that can easily be explained and easy to understand.
Remote employees situated in different geographical locations don’t get as much chance to get to know their teammates unlike if they are in one physical location. The only way to know them better is through ice breakers.
The team can come up with different categories such as a list of your favorite TV shows, favorite fast-food chains, favorite celebrations, etc. You can also try to incorporate work-related categories like a list of your favorite product features, favorite company events, etc.
Ask all the participants to prepare three interesting facts about them, one of which is a lie. Each member can vote which statement they think is just a lie and once everyone has voted, that same employee can now reveal the correct answer and must be open for possible fun follow-up questions from the rest of the team.
This is also up to your creative juices but to give you an idea, you can either use of any of these two options: ‘Desk Item’ and ‘Shoes of the day’ or come up with your own condition.
In the first option, you are to take a photo of any item on your desk that you think has an interesting history and share it with the team. The same goes for the second one, except that the item should be your footwear. You can be wearing rubber shoes, slippers, or even be barefoot.
Everyone has to answer questions that dive either into the employees’ what ifs or their future plans. Below are sample questions you can ask:
You can take turns asking participants any of these witty ‘Would You Rather’ questions or you can come up with your own:
A virtual ice breaker is a fantastic way to boost communication and team productivity, to stimulate better brainstorming sessions, to foster strong bonds, and an effective way to establish an atmosphere of inclusivity. Just be mindful of the meeting agenda and make sure you conduct these appropriately.