When was the last time you played a game? Took part in a competition? Had some good old fashioned fun?
Card games, board games, word games, party games, an activity or a challenge, doing something simply for the fun of it. There’s something about playing games that helps us reconnect with our inner child, allowing us to be playful, and silly, our most authentic selves. Showing our true colours like this sets off a chain reaction as we connect with those around us, strengthening bonds and creating new ones. Shaking off that “work persona” and just being yourself. Yes, a break in routine truly can work wonders.
We firmly believe that having fun at work shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions, whether it’s a birthday or the office Christmas party. Liven up your meetings with some virtual team icebreakers. These group bonding activities over zoom will loosen things up and help co workers let their guard down, perfect for welcoming a new team member or keeping your team united when working remotely.
Here at Totem, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of 25 Virtual Team Building Icebreakers for Group Bonding Over Zoom. Start with something small, work your way through the list. We challenge you, how many virtual team icebreakers can your team try out? See how many group bonding activities over Zoom you can complete with your team, set yourselves a deadline, this month, this year?
1. First Timers
When was the last time you tried something for the first time? Try asking your friends, teammates or co-workers. Set yourself a challenge to find something you’ve all never done before and share in this new experience together.
2. Campfire Stories
Pick out a handful of keywords in advance and ask participants to share a campfire story on the topic. You can choose work related keywords or learn more about each other’s personal lives. Try “first day”, “business trip” or “side project.” Stories can be funny or serious, either way they’ll get the sparks flying and help you get to know each other better!
3. The Social Network
Work together to create a virtual diagram showing how everyone knows each other. Draw lines between team members showing how they interact, you might be surprised what you learn! This works great for large teams or teams who don’t know each other that well.
4. Back of the Napkin
Present players with a problem, real or imaginary, and ask them to map out a solution on the back of a napkin before presenting their idea back to the team. Ideas can be practical or zany, prizes for the most innovative, anything goes!
5. Cover Story
Individually or in teams, ask team members to sketch out their very own magazine cover, with their most sensational headlines from the past few months in the office.
6. Dragon’s Den
A classic, work together to pitch business ideas and declare how much you’d invest, prizes for those who glean the highest investment from their team members.
Ask team members to work together to create their very own podcast. Showbiz types can take the mic or ask the tough questions while others work on the script, recording and track listing.
8. Radio Star
Take things to the next level and consider setting up a company radio station. This works best for large companies. Try your hand at the decks and enjoy fifteen minutes in the spotlight.
9. Silver Linings
Perspective is a wonderful thing. Ask participants to share a negative (work-related or personal) experience with the group and work together to find the silver linings.
10. Online Gaming Challenge
Get back to basics with an online gaming challenge, bonus points for retro games and childhood nostalgia! Team members can recommend their favourites from days gone by.
11. Bucket List
Work together to create a bucket list for the team. You’ll be surprised how much you have in common and what you might learn about each other’s hopes and dreams. Then it’s time to try and check some of them off!
12. Talent Show
Have your team got what it takes to put on a virtual talent show? Take it in turns to showcase your hidden talents - who will steal the show?
13. Virtual Yoga Session
Relax and unwind with a virtual yoga session to bring some zen to your team. Yoga might be exactly what your team needs to reset and find some balance.
14. Virtual Poker Night
Test your mettle with a virtual poker night. See who can really keep their cool under pressure and whether that reflects the goings on at work?
15. Guess Where
Show everyone a photo of a mystery location and take it in turns to guess where. This can also be done using coordinates via Google Maps or Google Earth for a closer look. For a personal touch, choose images from your players’ locations or hometowns - watch out they don’t give the game away though!
16. Virtual Tour
Try playing a round of Guess Where and once you guess correctly, take a virtual tour in that city. Throughout this pandemic, great and historic buildings have opened their doors to the world, virtually speaking. Log on for a virtual tour with the likes of the Louvre, San Diego Zoo, Disney World, the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower, Universal Studios and many more. It really is the perfect team building event. Take this one step further and book an Air bnb tour as a small group, where a local takes you around their town. Team members can also step up and volunteer to host a tour of their own city.
17. Thorns N’ Roses
Another game to challenge your perspective. Take it in turns to share your thorns, things that are causing you problems at work or getting you down, and the roses, a.k.a. achievements, milestones and successes.
18. Weekend in a Word
Pique curiosity by summing up your weekend in just ONE word. Vote as a team on who should reveal the tale behind their chosen word, there could be some stiff competition.
19. Running Club
Running club but make it virtual. You heard right, just because you work remotely doesn’t give you an excuse! Simply sync your running app to compete with your teammates! Set a time and a date, even make it a weekly thing - lunchtime running club anyone? Keep each other accountable while working towards your goals.
20. Leave It At Work Lunch
On the topic of lunch, why don’t you try out a “leave it at work lunch”? This is one of our favourites and works just as well virtually as in person. Simply grab your lunch and set a date, the challenge is to talk about anything BUT work, that’s right, a whole hour talking about absolutely nothing work related. Find out more about your co-workers while enjoying some well deserved downtime.
21. A Trip to Paris
We think this one makes the perfect ice breaker for Valentine’s Day - a virtual trip to Paris! Show your team you care!
22. Undercover Boss
Another one that works wonders for perspective. Get your boss to spend a day in your shoes. Ask your boss to go undercover and pretend to be a new employee joining the team. Once you’ve given them a warm welcome it’s time to put them through their paces. Try not to go easy on them! They’ll enjoy the insight into company processes and seeing things from your perspective.
23. Icebreaker A Day
If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready for our ultimate challenge, a daily icebreaker! Now you and the team know the score and have tried your hand at all kinds of virtual team icebreakers, simply incorporate them into your daily routine. Carve out 5 minutes at the start of every meeting, even make it company policy! Websites such as Quiz Breaker and Water Cooler Trivia will help you whiz through a daily team building activity, keeping your team engaged and motivated. Alternatively, ask team members to take turns organising the daily icebreaker for the rest of the team, giving them an opportunity to contribute.
24. Blind Origami
Perspective is so important at work, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help diffuse complex situations and spark unique ideas and solutions. Try out some blind origami for a worthwhile lesson. Each participant holds a piece of paper while the host gives instructions over Zoom. It’s likely that everyone will end up with different results, highlighting the fact that instructions can be interpreted very differently by different people.
25. Totem’s very own “Feel Good” Online Team Building
Choose from the DIY self-serve format or our premium package hosted by one of the team, a certified Totem facilitator. Our unique platform was designed for building trust and improving communication among team members carrying out remote work.
Experience Totem's team building game first hand and see the Totem effect for yourself.
- Bring teams together: A fun and rewarding team activity that has a lasting impact, bond with your team members over this shared positive experience. You won't believe the impact it has on your teamwork.
- Highlight each other’s unique strengths and qualities: Help others shine while discovering your own best self!
- Practice giving positive feedback: Break down communication barriers for open and honest communication with those around you, using proven techniques founded in psychological research and personal development.