Why you need to add ice breakers to your meeting agenda + a definitive list of our favorites

By Darian Mavandad
December 14, 2021
6 min read
ice breaking, literally

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a great time to have some fun with your team and boost morale and a sense of community. We at IC believe the best way to do this is by using fun, engaging, and creative ice breakers. In fact, we use ice breakers in our daily morning meetings!

So, why do we love ice breakers so much? Let’s explore!

Building empathy

Some of the strongest teams in the world have a key quality in common: empathy. Studies show that empathy is the most important quality for improving job performance amongst an entire team. By getting your team to answer quick and creative ice breakers, you are allowing workers to find common traits and qualities with each other. As colleagues learn more “fun facts” about each other, they develop closer bonds—and when potential problems arise, these close bonds help colleagues find solutions with each other in mind.

With a remote team, these empathy-building exercises are even more critical. As the Harvard Business Review analyzed, one of the most significant casualties of a work-from-home environment was small talk. In video meetings—where you are talking to the entire group, or remaining silent—casual conversation amongst teammates is logistically impossible. The best way managers can keep casual conversation alive amongst their remote workforce is via ice breakers. Importantly, by scheduling time for ice breakers within your meetings, you also give teammates a “heads up” so they are not caught off-guard by chit-chat before or after the meeting.

Building a sense of community

using ice breakers for teambuilding while WFH

Community building is a fantastic way of boosting team morale and ensuring employees are passionate about working towards your company’s common goals. Ice breakers are the fastest and most straightforward solution towards bolstering a solid sense of community amongst colleagues. When writing up ice breakers (and don’t worry, our list below should have you covered!), spice it up with both personal questions and work questions. Ice breakers that allow teammates to share their personal lives also aid in creating connections between teammates. And, like empathy, this sense of community is vital for worker satisfaction—and directly linked to job performance.

Having fun!

Most importantly, ice breakers are fun to break up long meetings and workdays. As discussed, they are excellent ways of integrating causal conversation into structured online meetings.

Furthermore, sharing the ice breakers a couple of minutes beforehand on the company intranet incentivizes workers to check the intranet for other updates and internal memos.

The key to making sure your workers are happy—and therefore more productive—is by bringing a sense of fun and casualness to the work environment when appropriate. Worker happiness plays a crucial role in productivity; as reported by the New York Times, increased happiness correlates with an increased ability to problem solve—and problem solve in creative ways. With most of the workforce still remote for at least part of working hours, it’s important to schedule fun team-building activities on new mediums!

So, without further ado, here is our definitive list of the best ice breakers. And trust us, there are two things we’re experts in: internal communications and ice breakers.

The 50 best ice breakers ever (trust us, this is all you’ll ever need)

  1. If you give Christmas gifts, when do you usually start looking for them?
  2. Which fictional character do you get compared to the most?
  3. Besides copy/paste, which keyboard shortcuts do you use the most?
  4. Do you have a hidden talent/skill? How did you discover it?
  5. What is something you hate that everyone else loves?
  6. What is your preferred seat on an airplane (window/middle/aisle)?
  7. If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
  8. Would you rather always be a little too hot or a little too cold?
  9. What is your favorite Taylor Swift song (and be honest, we all know you have one!)?
  10. At the last minute, your significant other/friend cannot be your +1 to a wedding. Which celebrity are you taking instead?
  11. What part of your work is your favorite?
  12. What’s your favorite lunch spot near the office/where you work?
  13. What is your least favorite literary genre?
  14. Who/what do you find inspirational?
  15. Do you prefer using a desktop, laptop, or tablet?
  16. If you could coach any sports team, what would it be?
  17. What is your favorite smell?
    favorite smell ice breaker question
  18. Toilet paper over or under?
  19. What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
  20. What is something you did as a teen that no longer exists?
  21. If you become a millionaire, what will you NOT change in your daily life?
  22. Do you prefer working out before or after work?
  23. Would you rather live in the city and work in the suburbs, or work in the suburbs and live in the city?
  24. What’s your favorite 90s movie?
  25. What was your style in high school (emo, jock, cheerleader, etc.)?
  26. Do you believe in horoscopes?
  27. Beanies or baseball caps?
  28. Who is someone you’ve relied on at work today?
  29. Favorite household gadget?
  30. Do you prefer overseeing people or things (i.e., technical or people management?)
  31. Who do you need help from today?
  32. What is your goal for this week?
  33. Are you more of a cake or pie person?
    cake or pie ice breaker question
  34. Where do you go when you need to unplug and unwind?
  35. What song were you surprised to discover is a cover?
  36. How do you regain your focus after getting distracted?
  37. Which profession do you admire but could never be a part of?
  38. Name a celebrity you share a birthday with.
  39. What mystery do you want to be solved in your lifetime?
  40. Have you ever read a book/watched a movie where you were rooting for the antagonist? Which book/movie and why?
  41. Do you prefer text messages or phone calls?
  42. Could you stay off your phone for 24 hours?
  43. What source do you trust for news? Why you do your trust this source?
  44. If you could choose any actor (dead or alive) to play you in a film about your life, who would you choose?
  45. If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner, what would you serve?
  46. Which emoji is your most?
  47. What is the biggest misconception people have about your position?
  48. What is your usual bedtime?
  49. Which is your favorite and least favorite chore?
  50. Which team member would you switch lives with for just one day?

Need a platform to post & share ice breakers? We’ve got you covered

With our platform, we ensure that your team never misses a chance to connect. Our software makes it easy whether you are using your company intranet to share necessary files, announcements, or even photos of pets (just as important, in our books). And our internal communications specialists can even help you implement our products and use them effectively.

Ready to give it a try? Get in touch!

By Darian Mavandad

Darian has a degree from McGill University, and joined IC to empower internal communicators by creating content that inspires. In his free time, he loves traveling, reading, and skiing.