There is no doubt that working from home is a lot different than working in an office space. It is because you are away from the physical presence of your coworkers and supervisors. Therefore, when it comes to virtual conferences and meetings, there can be a lot of barriers, right? Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can overcome these barriers. Virtual conferences are a lot more fun than you might think. In this article, we have shared some tips and tricks you can use as virtual icebreakers to get the meeting started. When you are new to the team, the only source to know your teammates is the digital devices as in-person meet-ups are not possible. Here is what you can do to break the ice:
1. Never Have I ever…: Before starting the meeting, ask your group about certain questions and experiences they have gone through. For instance, you can start by saying “never have I ever been in time for the meeting and I hate it.” Someone from the meeting might jump and say “oh, I have been on time multiple times, but let me tell you it does not make any difference.”
This will open the door to casual work conversations, and other teammates will join in too. However, for the starters, make sure to sound fun, yet professional. You do not want people to think of you as a no-brainer.
In the workgroup when someone asks or shares something, you can appreciate or acknowledge them by sending GIFs. GIFs are great virtual icebreakers, says Lauren Benedict – project manager at Gumessays. GIFs are great to lighten the mood in online chats and messages. Sharing them in chats can also lighter the tone for meetings and online conferences. They can help people understand your nature and personality with just one moving picture. To use GIFs as an icebreaker, you can ask everyone in the virtual group to share a GIF to express how they feel about a scenario. For instance, put forward the idea of designing a better logo for the project and ask everyone to share how they feel about it.
3. Truths and Lies:
Yes, not truth and dare. In this activity, you will ask people to make three statements and others have to identify the lie. Out of the three statements shared by the former person, one of them will be a lie. Do you know what the fun part is? The most believable the lie is, the more fun the game gets. You can play this game in a polling format, and see what your teammates got!
4. Recent Photo on the device:
When you have a virtual office with a remote staff it can be difficult for you to keep them engaged. However, the more people get to know each other, the more they feel attached to the workplace. You can start an activity in your virtual group by asking the participants to share a recent photo from their gallery. When a group of 10 to 15 people their recent photos from a trip or event, ask them about the story behind it. It is an excellent conversation starter for small and bigger groups.
5. Scavenger Hunt:
Did you think that Scavenger Hunt is only supposed to be in person? You can also do this activity virtually! For this, you can write a list of things for people to hunt from their homes. For instance:
- Their favourite coffee mug
- Their favourite notebook
- A pen that is out of ink
… And whoever finds these items wins!
6. Draft Question:
These icebreakers are not just for you, but also great for your teammates to know each other. In this activity, you can generate light-hearted questions which everyone can answer comfortably. You can generate a poll or randomly give these questions to people in private which they have to answer in the group. Feel free to get as creative as you can!
7. Divide the task:
This is the same old-school practice that our teachers used to do with introverted kids. It is simple; all you have to do is give small group tasks to your team. For instance, you can assign a presentation to three people while the other three work on some analysis and execution. It would be best if you generate a virtual poll so your teammates get to decide which task they would be happy to take.
You see how icebreakers are an excellent way to engage your team and your employees. When you notice that the work environment is getting dull, you can practice any of these to add a little fun. It will help your team to engage with one another while being productive at the same time. These are some proven practises shared by companies, which helped them maintain productivity while working remotely.