This year has been difficult for everyone, and due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve all had to adapt in order to keep up with the ever-changing situations that 2020 seems to throw at us.
Doing everyday things such as meeting new people, learning new skills, and simply being in the same room as others seem like such an alien concept to us nowadays. And with our second UK lockdown seemingly coming to an end, it’s impossible to tell what the rest of the year has in store.
One thing, however, is for certain; the age of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype is definitely nowhere near over. And for many people who have started new jobs during the pandemic, using Zoom and the like has been the primary way to acquaint themselves with their new coworkers.
We know; the same old virtual icebreaker questions can get a little tedious, but when it comes to remote working, we’ve got to adapt to remote team building too! That’s why we have put together our list of favourite ice breakers for virtual meetings.
Advantages of Virtual Meetings
There are actually lots and lots of advantages when it comes to video calls, as opposed to conducting meetings in person! From opportunities galore to utilising your work hours and becoming more productive; here are a few reasons why you should consider setting up more virtual meetings:
1) Keeping Yourself Safe
Of course, right now in 2020, meeting online and not in person reduces your risk of catching COVID-19. It not only keeps you safe, but it also protects those around you from contracting the virus.
2) Brand New Opportunities
Meeting virtually allows for new opportunities you might not have even discovered before! Armed with a somewhat up-to-date device and a strong internet connection, you have the chance to attend conferences practically anywhere in the world! Learning new skills has never been simpler!
3) Being More Eco-Aware
Think about it: ever since we’ve started taking more time to work from home, have you noticed you’ve been saving money on fuel or even public transport? By cutting out your daily commute, you’re also managing to cut out toxic fumes that are overall terrible for the planet! Not to mention, it’s also a cost-effective, efficient, and easy alternative to meeting in person.
However, as a Zoom call host, it’s bound to feel a little daunting to have to get to know a group of potential strangers in such a different environment. But to make the whole process a little easier, we’ve put together a list of ice breakers for virtual meetings that’ll make your call go off without a hitch!
Zoom Background Challenge
We’ll start off with a little bit of an easy one for you! I’m sure we’re all relatively familiar with the way in which Zoom works by now. And if not? Well, we’re sure you’ve got plenty of time.
One rather charming aspect of Zoom is that you’re able to change exactly what the background of your thumb-nail looks like. If you want to convince your fellow students or coworkers that you’re working from the comfort of your private beach in Alicante, or in the snowy mountains of the French Alps, the opportunity is all yours!
But what’s better than convincing strangers you live somewhere you don’t? Of course: competition. Give your coworkers/students a little bit of time to prepare, and set them the challenge of arriving at your next meeting sporting the best/funniest/weirdest background they possibly can find!
The winner could receive a point that could contribute to winning a prize when the world is back to normal or even just some good ol’ fashioned bragging rights. Combine this team meeting with a virtual ‘happy hour’ and you’re well and truly on to a winner!
Whether you think personality tests give you a certain insight into who you are at your very core, or if you believe they have little to no value whatsoever, you can’t deny that they’re fun to do, no matter what! They’re also a great way to kick off the start of the meeting, and a fantastic way to get to know your team members.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test is a great one to start with, especially if you don’t know your meeting-mates particularly well. However, if you know exactly who you’re dealing with, we recommend using a test or two that are a little bit more personal… like a Harry Potter House Sorting quiz, or maybe even one that identifies your Patronus!
Taking these tests, despite what you may think of them, could actually be incredibly beneficial to your business, and the way you work. You’ll get to know your remote team on a more personal level, and by identifying aspects of yourself and your team, it could be an opportunity to discover new ways to communicate and work together.
Desert Island Items
We’ve all been faced with the question at least once in our lives: “If you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing couldn’t you live without?”. And I’m sure we’ve all answered it a lot too, usually with the same repetitive boring responses.
But knowing that you couldn’t live without your phone, or your food or your significant other doesn’t particularly tell us a lot about who you are. So get the ball rolling, and dive into the nitty-gritty!
Asking your students/coworkers about their ‘desert island’ books, films, and television shows (yes, in the event of being stranded you miraculously had time to save all six of your series boxsets of ‘Lost’! Who’d have thought?!) is guaranteed to elevate your connection to one another, and above all else, break some ice! Besides, who doesn’t love bonding over their favourite movie?
If desert islands aren’t your style, don’t panic. There are still plenty of fish in the sea! Pro tip: we also recommend delving into the famous 36 Questions, or maybe just cherry-picking a few. This is definitely a more straight-forward approach, but just as good when it comes to getting the open conversation flowing!
A Homely Treasure Hunt
We say ‘treasure hunt’ in the loosest way possible, but the same principles do still most definitely apply! This one is more of a ‘virtual ice breaker game’ of sorts; are you ready to play? It’s timed, it’s fast-paced, and bound to get everyone on their feet: we recommend playing this first thing on a Monday morning… or if you’re feeling nice, the last thing on a Friday afternoon!
Set your colleagues a challenge, like “you have twenty seconds to fetch something bigger than 20cm” or “find and bring back the item you’re most proud of in your home”, and let them explain their choices.
This virtual team ice breaker is great for everyone, whether you know those you’re on the call with, or if you don’t. Virtual team building activities, such as this one, result in some fantastic team bonding skills.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a little bit of friendly competition, and what better way to do so than with a Kahoot quiz? The great thing about a Kahoot is that it’s completely customizable, so whether you barely know who you’re talking to, or you’ve been meeting-mates for a while, you can tailor your quiz to best suit your audience.
If you have time to prepare and plan before your meeting, we recommend using Kahoot to create a quiz for your team. Whether you’re serious with your questions, or (like us!) more serious about the prizes, you’re sure to lift the spirits of everyone involved with your virtual meetings!
Ice Breakers for Virtual Meetings Conclusion
Meeting new people is often challenging for a lot of people, whether the world is going through a pandemic or otherwise! However, we hope that this list of ice breakers for virtual meetings has made the prospect of hosting a Zoom call just that little bit easier. So, just to recap, here are our top 5 ‘coolest’ ice breakers for virtual meetings:
- Zoom Background Challenge
- Personality Tests
- Desert Island Items
- A Homely Treasure Hunt
- Kahoot! Quiz
No one knows exactly what else is going to happen this year, but when the world returns to normal, why not consider taking your meetings off of the computer screen and booking your next conference here with us at Kents Hill Park?
Our facilities and meeting rooms are fully-functioning, equipped with a fantastic internet connection, air conditioning, and refreshments available on request. We also offer fantastic hybrid or virtual events!
Kents Hill Park is an event facility based in Milton Keynes, and we have been home to many meetings, conferences, and training events over an expansive number of years. If you have any queries, please get in touch! One of our friendly members of staff will be more than happy to assist.