Never underestimate the power of icebreaker questions. Ice breaker questions for virtual meetings are highly recommended as a way for dispersed employees to bond and find common ground. Now that about 26% of the employees in the U.S. work remotely, those icebreakers are even more needed.
Ice breaker questions can be a fun and engaging way to get to know your team members. These questions can be personal, weird, travel-themed, hobby-themed, etc. All in an effort to boost remote employee engagement.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the best questions for team-building activities. In addition, we’ll update you on what questions to use to better support your remote or hybrid team. So, keep scrolling.
135 best ice breaker questions for virtual meetings
With the shift to more remote and hybrid work, there are fewer opportunities for small talk and between meeting water-cooler chatting. As a result, it’s become a challenge for employees to get to know each other. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, remote employees often feel left out.
That’s why it’s essential for remote and hybrid teams to implement these icebreaker activities. Here are 135 of the best team-building questions for virtual team building:
1. Personal icebreaker questions
This is a great way to begin and learn more about your colleagues. Getting a bit personal is OK, as long as no one is forced to answer anything they don't want to.
Stick to questions about family and childhood, like the following:
- Do you have kids?
- Are you married or in a relationship?
- How many kids do you have?
- Do you have any siblings? How many?
- What type of car do you have?
- Who was your favorite teacher?
- What was your favorite subject at school?
- Which season do you like most?
- What was the first job you got?
- Are you a morning or night person?
2. Background icebreaker questions
This type of question is also an excellent way to find similarities between team members. They mainly discuss topics about childhood memories or past experiences.
Here are a few examples:
- How was your childhood? And what’s the earliest memory you have of it?
- Where were you originally born?
- Do you have any ancestors of interesting backgrounds?
- What’s your most preferred family tradition?
- What’s your most cherished memory?
- What’s the piece of advice a family member gave you that you keep holding on to?
- What was the first car you had? And how did you get it?
- If you could travel back in time, would you go meet your ancestors? And what would you tell them?
- How has your background shaped your personality?
- What’s the silliest thing you were afraid of as a child?
3. Hobby-themed icebreaker questions
Who doesn’t like talking about their hobbies and bragging about their talents? It’s always a brilliant approach to getting to know more about a person.
Here are a few hobby-themed questions:
- What are your hobbies?
- Do you have a special or hidden talent?
- Do you like playing video games?
- What’s your preferred free time activity?
- What’s your favorite sport?
- If you have the ability to acquire any talent, what would it be?
- What do you do for fun?
- What’s the thing you wish you were good at?
- What’s the most extreme activity you wish to try one day?
- What’s the thing you’re worst at doing?
4. Travel-themed icebreaker questions
One of the best themes to bond over is travel. Most people, if not all, have a bucket list of places they would love to go.
Asking some of the following questions always brings joy:
- Do you like to travel frequently?
- What’s your favorite destination?
- If you can time travel, would you do it? And where would you go?
- If you have the ability to teleport, where would you be right now?
- What method of travel do you prefer? Planes? Trains? Automobiles?
- What’s your least favorite destination? And why?
- Where did you go last?
- Would you share photos of your last trip?
- How many countries did you visit?
- Do you prefer traveling in a group or solo?
5. Food-themed icebreaker questions
You can learn more than you think about a person just by knowing their favorite type of food. Asking food-related questions is a great way to break the ice and find mutual interests.
How about the following?
- What’s your favorite cuisine?
- Do you consider yourself a good cook?
- What’s the weirdest food combination have you tried and actually liked?
- If you had to eat just one thing every day, what would it be?
- If you had to give up one type of food, what would it be?
- Which do you prefer, sweet or savory foods?
- What’s something you can never put in your mouth?
- What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?
- How do you like your eggs?
- What was your favorite food growing up?[
6. Weird icebreaker questions
It doesn't hurt to have a little fun with the questions! There are lots of silly or strange questions that are appropriate for this occasion. Asking about weird things is a sure way to get a good laugh.
Below are some weird questions to consider:
- If you could be a furniture piece, what would you be? And why?
- What’s your favorite word in the English language? And what’s your least favorite?
- What’s the most awkward situation you’ve been into?
- What superpower would you like to have? And why?
- What’s the weirdest rumor you’ve ever heard?
- What’s the weirdest thing you believed that turned out to be untrue?
- What’s the most awkward thing you’ve accidentally sent somebody over text?
- What’s the most useless talent you have?
- What’s the silliest joke you’ve ever heard?
- If you had the decision to add someone’s face over a money bill, who would you choose? And why?
7. Movies and books icebreaker questions
Movies are loved internationally, and there are many things to discuss regarding them. Moreover, many people like reading books, too.
Check out these movie and book-related questions:
- What’s your favorite movie/book genre?
- If they were making a movie about your life, what would be its name? And who would best play your character?
- What’s your favorite movie/book/TV show?
- Who’s your favorite actor/actress?
- If you’re allowed to watch only two movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?
- What’s the TV show that you’re too embarrassed to admit watching?
- Have you ever binge-watched a show? And what’s the show you’ve watched that you think is the most binge-able?
- Who was your first celebrity crush?
- What do you think is the worst movie/TV show?
- Who do you think was the best Batman?
8. Debatable icebreaker questions
There are a few question topics that are highly debatable and don’t have a specific answer, like these:
- Could the door in Titanic fit both Jack and Rose?
- Should pineapple be used as a pizza topping?
- Is ketchup considered jam, since tomatoes are fruit?
- How do you think people should hang their toilet paper rolls? Over or under?
- Why do we call them a pair of pants when there’s only one piece of clothing?
- If a turtle is without its shell, is it considered naked or homeless?
- In the word “scent,” which is the silent letter, the S or the C?
- What should go first into the bowl, cereal or milk?
- How shallow a pot should be to get called a pan?
- Why do people use the term “slept like a baby” when babies don’t usually sleep that well?
9. General questions about working remotely
Working from home is a fairly new experience for most people. That’s why it’s rather crucial to check in on your employee and know their preferences as well as the issues they’re having. Here’s what you need to ask:
- Which do you prefer, working from the comfort of your home or in the office?
- What do you like best about working remotely?
- What’s the best part about your home office?
- Which room do you work from at home?
- What’s the thing you’d like to change about your home office?
- How does your day go when working remotely?
- Are you usually able to stop working after hours?
- How do you spend your day off?
- What do you do to recharge? And how are your energy levels now?
- How often do you take breaks while working?
- What would you like to change about the idea of working remotely?
- Do you think you’re as productive working from home as you are working from an office?
- How much time do you get for yourself every day?
- What’s one extra thing you need us to do that would make your work easier?
- Is it challenging for you to manage distractions?
- Do you prefer working in the morning or at night?
- If you have the chance to work in an office, would you take it?
- Do you feel burned out at times? What can we do to prevent that?
- Do you think we’re having too many video calls?
- Do you think that our remote communication tools are good enough? Or are you having difficulties dealing with them?
11. Information distribution questions
Because dispersed workforces are more common now, there is sometimes an issue with communication between in-person and remote employees. Even when employees are working the same way, there are lots of different ways people prefer to be communicated with.
Use these questions to aid you in addressing this issue:
- Do you feel that the company values employees regardless of location? i.e. remote workers vs. office workers
- Do you feel included in all of our recently made decisions?
- Do you feel like there are some things you need to catch up on?
- What are your suggestions to better keep you updated?
- What format of delivery do you prefer to get the latest updates through? And why?
- What was the most recent instance when you felt left out of something crucial?
- As someone working from home, do you classify the team meetings we have as “remote worker-friendly?”
- Do you think that the decision-making process takes longer than it should?
- Do you think that working remotely impacts teamwork negatively?
- Have you been lately blindsided by any decision?
12. Social connections questions
It’s vital for you as a manager to make sure that your employees are getting along well and have strong social connections. One of the reasons remote workers might not enjoy their work arrangement is the lack of communication elements.
Professor Albert Mehrabian believes that the elements of personal communication are divided into 7% spoken words, 38% voice and tone, and 55% body language. This means that remote employees have the potential to miss more than half of the elements needed for proper communication.
Below are a few questions enabling you to maintain your team’s chemistry:
- What do you suggest we do to bring team members together?
- Do you think you know your colleagues well enough?
- What do you think is the best way to improve the connection between team members that live in different locations?
- Do you think we should have online team-building activities?
- Do you feel you’re being heard by other coworkers?
- Which of your teammates do you feel closest to?
- When was the last time you felt disconnected from the team? What happened to make you feel that way?
- What would make you feel more connected to the team?
- When you have an idea, who do you go to?
- Do you feel that you get enough opportunities to have small talks with team members?
13. Progress and growth questions
One of the most essential human needs is growth, according to Alderfer's ERG theory. Nowadays, employees, especially those who are working remotely, don’t get to achieve the growth they desire.
That’s why it’s important to discuss career goals with your employees frequently. Additionally, you should check in on the progress they’re making.
The following are questions to use when talking to one of your employees about this topic:
- Do you feel that you’re developing and making progress here?
- How have your goals changed since joining our company?
- What’s the skill that you’re currently working on?
- What strategy do you follow to pick up new skills?
- Do you have any suggestions for us to help you with acquiring a specific skill?
- What kind of resources do you think are able to support your growth goals (courses, mentors, coaches, books, training, and so forth?)
- What’s the greatest obstacle in your way of making progress in the meantime? And how could we help with that?
- Do you feel that your growth is being encouraged and supported here? If not, why not?
- Which other projects would you like to participate in? And why?
- Do you feel that working remotely is hindering your progress?
14. Questions about asynchronous work
With remote workers, especially those who live in a different time zone, it can be hard to synchronize work. They could be asleep while you’re in the middle of your work day. Consequently, you have to wait on many things, which isn’t practical sometimes.
For better asynchronous communication between everyone, try asking these questions:
- What time of the day are you usually online/offline?
- How do different time zones affect your focus and productivity?
- Do you feel that you’re struggling with asynchronous communication?
- What do you suggest we do for better asynchronous communication?
- Do you think you can express your thoughts effectively using written communication?
How to support remote and hybrid teams successfully?
Currently, according to Owl Labs' report about the state of remote work, 56% of companies have remote work positions globally. That’s why, as a leader, it’s crucial to learn how to support remote and hybrid teams.
Try the following tips:
- Normalize remote work
- Try working remotely yourself
- Ditch the micromanagement and build trust with your employees
- Encourage communication
- Try team bonding techniques
- Arrange gatherings once in a while
- Make result-based evaluations
How to keep a remote team engaged?
Stronger human connections fortify each team member’s sense of belongingness. That’s why it’s important to keep a remote team engaged and encouraged. Here’s how to do it:
- Encourage newly hired team members to schedule a video call to introduce themselves.
- Take a few minutes of every zoom meeting to catch up with team members and ask them how they’re doing.
- Give the team an informal place to celebrate each other's achievements, share birthday wishes, and so on.
What are other effective team-building activities?
Aside from icebreaker questions, there are several other team-building activities to try. Employees can play games, have competitions, host virtual parties, and have online fundraisers. Some other examples include:
- Video charades
- Two truths and a lie
- Virtual scavenger hunt
- Typing race
- Virtual show and tell
- Personality tests
- Guess who’s the kid (using childhood photos of team members)
- Minesweeper tournament
- “Would you rather” game
How to use virtual icebreaker questions?
There are tips on how to choose the right virtual icebreaker questions properly. This ensures getting better results and having a fun time. Here are a few of these tips:
- Keep it short (15 minutes are usually enough)
- Keep things simple (don’t give too many instructions)
- Incorporate available technology
- Don’t limit team bonding activities to virtual meetings
- Stay alert for opportunities to use icebreaker questions[
How can you make virtual meetings more engaging?
Most virtual meetings are too boring to handle. That’s why most employees get disengaged during this time. Fortunately, there are ways to flip things around and get team members more engaged and enthusiastic about virtual meetings, which include:
- Keeping meetings short
- Balancing between talking and listening
- Giving everyone a chance to participate
- Using visual aids
- Making time for socializing
Team building questions for remote workers help them connect and get to know more about each other. Furthermore, these questions add a fun element to the virtual meetings, helping stressed employees vent.
Having this kind of activity now and then is highly encouraged. Additionally, using fun, personal, silly, weird, and themed questions is always a great idea. The most important thing is to keep things light and simple.
Remember to use this strategy with your team whenever possible. It could be at the end of a meeting or while waiting on all members to join the call. Although it might take some time to incorporate these sessions into your schedule, you get to see immediate benefits.