All of us have dealt with awkward situations. Whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or a school presentation, awkwardness is a fundamental aspect of our social lives. When you incorporate icebreaker activities into a virtual gathering, you run the risk of increasing the level of awkwardness. One where you do more harm than good.
However, when executed properly, icebreakers for virtual meetings can foster team communication, establish friendly interactions, and facilitate collaboration in the workplace. In this guide, we will cover the benefits of virtual icebreaking activities, along with helpful tips to minimize virtual awkwardness.
Benefits of Icebreakers for Virtual Meetings
In case you need a refresher, an icebreaker is an activity conducted for the purpose of initiating social interactions between co-workers. Think of them as interactive activities that help you connect with other employees on a personal level. According to a Team Bonding report, 65% of remote employees have never had a team-building session activity.
When you manage a company with remote workers, you have to find ways to strengthen company culture through interactive activities. Fortunately, icebreakers for virtual meetings offer several benefits, including:
- Introduce new members to their co-workers
- Help employees learn more about each other personally
- Establish a level of fun in team activities
- Mitigate any feelings of isolation
- Ensure your workers feel relaxed
When employees develop lighthearted connections with each other through icebreakers or team-building activities, the result is a level of closeness that opens up an opportunity for improved productivity and collaboration.
Avoiding Awkwardness during Icebreakers
With all that said, virtual icebreakers can backfire on you, especially when your employees feel forced to participate in something they don’t enjoy. Consider the following tips when conducting icebreakers for virtual meetings for the best results:
Establish clear objectives
This tip is a no-brainer. Determine what you hope to accomplish by starting your virtual gatherings with an icebreaker. Are you trying to bring your workers together? Help them learn some trivia about the company? Perhaps you want to lighten the mood by having everyone name their favorite tune. Whatever the case, determining a clear purpose will help you facilitate online gatherings.
Keep your activities simple
The goal of an icebreaker is to lighten a virtual atmosphere by initiating a joyful exercise that fosters employee communication. If you start with complex instructions and unclear guidelines, the result is an unhappy workforce. Do not fall into the trap of turning virtual activities into an unsolvable maze with no enjoyment whatsoever. Fortunately, there are several simple icebreaker exercises.
Some popular options include “Two Truths & a Lie,” where participants express two facts about themselves and one made-up lie. You can also play “Would You Rather.” This is where participants have to choose between two situations.
Take time into consideration
Like with any other activity, the longer it is, the more time you waste. Just because you want your employees to interact with each other doesn’t mean you need to drag out a simple exercise. Sometimes, a quick one-minute introduction from each of your workers is all you need to set the tone for the rest of the day. Since you’ll be conducting virtual sessions, you should take into account the different time zones your participants are in.
Use a suitable online platform
Selecting a suitable virtual platform can enhance icebreaker exercises and provide an online experience that mimics natural interactions. For starters, make sure that everyone is using the same video platform. Doing so will help minimize any concerns on the participant’s end. Depending on your icebreaker, you might need engagement tools for virtual meetings that are not available with a standard platform.
With Preciate’s virtual meeting platform, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to team-building sessions. We offer customizable features, including background themes, premium playlists, and natural movement capabilities to enhance virtual engagement. Now you can select a suitable playlist for a virtual scavenger hunt, brainstorming session, or L&D programs. We also offer an iOS app so participants can join the call from their phones.
Don’t ask for uncomfortable personal information
There is an unwritten rule in the world of icebreaker games: Never ask participants to share uncomfortable personal information about themselves or reveal any embarrassing secrets. Sure, it might be pleasant to share a laugh with your co-worker over personal details. However, the last thing you want to do is make someone uncomfortable by pressuring them to answer a question that seems downright inappropriate for work. Be considerate when selecting icebreaker questions.
Here are a handful of the best icebreaker questions for work:
- Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
- If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
- What is your favorite animal and why?
- Do you have any skills for the zombie apocalypse?
- Where’s the best vacation spot you’ve ever been to?
For more icebreaker questions, read our blog post with 100+ creative icebreakers!
Now that you have a good understanding of how to keep ice breakers for virtual meetings fun instead of awkward, let’s talk about the best platform for virtual meetings — Preciate.
Engage Your Team With Preciate
Icebreakers for virtual meetings can be just as enjoyable as in-person activities. They can foster collaborative relationships, incorporate new workers into the company mix, and establish a workplace culture that values personal engagement. If you’ve decided to test our innovative meeting platform, request a demo today.