Fun icebreaker questions to build team dynamics

Team members smiling and celebrating after fun team building questions

In today’s workplace, chatting around the water cooler or getting to know your work colleagues over a drink after work is increasingly rare. Currently, around 12.7% of full-time employees work remotely, and another 28.2% prefer to work in a hybrid model1, which means that around 40% of employees don’t have regular face-to-face time with their co-workers. And with more organizations embracing remote and hybrid work models, this figure is only expected to rise.

So how do you build close-knit teams without the opportunity for in-person interactions? This article explores how remote teams can use fun team-building icebreaker questions and activities to remove the awkwardness of most virtual meetings. You’ll also learn how to use these questions alongside tools such as Fingerprint for Success (F4S) to better understand your team members’ communication styles.

Table of contents
How do icebreaker games build better teams?
Icebreakers to jumpstart team-building in meetings
Team culture building activity
76 fun icebreaker games to help you connect
Values-based questions for team building
Team-building activities and games
Frequently asked questions

How do icebreaker games build better teams?

Remote and hybrid work environments offer many benefits. They give employees flexibility and freedom and allow employers to hire from a larger pool of talent that’s not limited by geographic location.

But remote work also has its drawbacks. For starters, employees miss out on those bonding moments that happen organically in the office – for example, those lunch break laughter sessions and impromptu chats over the top of the desk divider we all enjoyed back in the day. These interactions were not just idle moments but allowed us to understand who we work with beyond their professional role. They helped us better relate with our colleagues, understand their motivations, and build a foundation for trust and support. Plus, these fun activities can even get creative juices flowing to inspire an even more productive team meeting.

The result? Effective communication, better collaboration, and teamwork. It made for happier employees too; a TinyPulse study found that the level of employee job satisfaction directly relates to team bonds2:

chart shows what people love about work

Remote work can also be extremely fast-paced, leaving little to no downtime to relax and have casual conversations with colleagues.

This missing sense of connection can lead to feelings of isolation. As a consequence, remote workers often feel they’re ganged up against and left out3. Eventually, collaboration is reduced, and overall team morale takes a dive.

chart showing how remote s onsite employees experience feeling left out

This is where fun, team-building questions can be useful, allowing you to bring those joyful and spontaneous moments into hybrid and remote work settings. Icebreaker questions prompt employees to share their experiences, motivations, interests, and perspectives, which helps build those all-important work relationships and makes your remote team feel more unified and connected – both to each other and their organization.

When you ask your team-building icebreaker questions is up to you; you can ask them at the start of a virtual meeting, during weekly meetings, or during a virtual happy hour icebreaker.

Beyond collaboration and team morale, team-building questions can improve employees’ mental health. Remote and hybrid work is associated with increased chances of depression and anxiety4. Isolation is one of the leading reasons behind it.

Team-building questions can help ease feelings of isolation, providing a fun and relaxed way for employees to form bonds with their team members. Building this sense of connection has been shown to greatly improve mental wellbeing5.

You can expect some ROI benefits for your business as well. A study by Dr. Robinson from the University of Oklahoma found that investing in team-building activities promises up to 700% ROI6. Good for your employees and for your company! Keep reading to learn about our favorite icebreaker activities.

Icebreakers to jumpstart team-building in meetings

Breaking the ice – where you put connection before content – is a great way to create a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere before a meeting begins. This gives you an opportunity to make time for people on the team, rather than staying in meeting mode. But team-building questions are just one way to go about it.

You could, for instance, get a bit personal. David Burkus, a world-leading business thinker, offers a suggestion; ask someone on your team to pick three pictures on their phones, and share the stories behind them. Just be sure to inform meeting attendees that this is the plan ahead of time.

This activity is an excellent way for team members to get to know the individuals they see on their screen, and learn what they have in common. These uncommon commonalities set the stage for effective team bonding.

Chad Littlefield, a team-building expert and co-founder of We and Me, suggests keeping your icebreaker brief and efficient, given that most of us are busy and don’t have much time to spare for playful moments during the working day. This is where sentence completion can be useful.

The concept is simple: at the start of the meeting, provide a sentence with a blank at the end. For example, "Right now, I feel [blank]" or "After this meeting, I'd love to [blank]”.

ice breaker sentence completion sentence examples

Then, each employee takes turns filling in the blank. It may seem like a small activity, but it can have a big impact on breaking the ice between team members who don’t know each other well, or at all.

You can also opt for creative energizers. For instance, try playing a virtual game such as ‘Two Truths and a Lie’.

two truths and a lie icebreaker for team meeting

Icebreakers don’t need to be static. Try mixing up questions, personal moments, and games throughout the week to keep your employees moving mentally and physically.

Also, remember to keep meeting icebreakers short. Ideally, they shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes. This is to respect everyone's time and keep the focus on the main meeting agenda.

Team culture building activity

Knowing what truly motivates your colleagues is sure to enhance communication skills and foster an understanding of each team member. You’ll find that people’s motivations in the workplace can be wide-ranging – anything from money or a calm environment to shared responsibilities, and more. By understanding these drivers, employees will be able to better relate with one another, work together as a team, and develop a unique team culture.

To find out the motivations of your team, invite them to take the free F4S assessment. Once you take the assessment and answer the list of questions, you can set up a team. From there you’ll be able to see team affinities and differences, and you can forecast potential points of conflict.

F4S team dashboard
F4S team dashboard

By allowing your team the opportunity to share and discuss individual motivations, they will feel understood and respected. This creates a sense of psychological safety, and increases their feeling of comfort within the team.

Understanding motivations offers untold benefits to team leaders too; by understanding your employees’ individual motivations, you’ll know how best to convince, persuade, and communicate with them in order to keep them working at their best. Resolving conflict also becomes a breeze.

Add an interesting twist by creating a fun icebreaker where team members guess each others’ motivations. It can be a great way to get to know each other better, which is an essential building block when you’re forming a strong team.

Accelerate understanding between teams

Breadth

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Motivated by macro big picture thinking, these teammates value moving quickly to connect dots between abstract ideas to 'get the gist' of things.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

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Depth

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These teammates value being concrete and specific, getting into details to understand the steps or tasks required.

Chart showing rage from Average, High and Ver High.

See the different work styles in your team

Take the free assessment & set up your team

76 fun icebreaker games to help you connect

Let’s get into those funny and simple icebreaker questions that can help create a sense of connection in your hybrid meetings and remote teams - they're sure to bring lots of laughter and fun times.

Pop culture-themed questions

Pop culture is something that most people can relate to. It makes it an excellent way to find common ground and shared interests. Here are some engaging questions to ask:

  1. Imagine you could talk to any fictional character. Who would it be, and why?
  2. What favorite movie quote do you use in daily life?
  3. What’s your favorite song from a TV show?
  4. Which cartoon character would you like to go on a date with?
  5. If you could attend any music concert (past or present), which would you choose?
  6. What celebrity gossip do you follow?
  7. What's your favorite holiday movie?
  8. Imagine you can be featured in any reality show. Which would you choose?
  9. What's your favorite music genre? What is your favorite band?
  10. Which famous person, movie character, or celebrity would you want as your best friend, and why?

This or that questions

These team-builder questions spark friendly debates, stimulate conversation, and help team members find shared ground, or discover new perspectives:

  1. Coffee or tea?
  2. Cat or dog?
  3. Beach vacation or mountain retreat?
  4. Dream job or travel the world for free?
  5. Morning or night person?
  6. Power of teleportation or time travel?
  7. Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker
  8. Robot apocalypse or zombie apocalypse?
  9. Summer getaway or holiday season?
  10. Introvert or extrovert?
  11. Richest or smartest person?
  12. City life or countryside?

Sports questions

Are your employees passionate about sport? If so, use the topic as a launch pad for some team bonding with one or two of these questions:

  1. What’s your favorite sports team and your favorite memory of them?
  2. Which sport would you play professionally if you could, and why? Have you ever participated in a charity run or sports event for a cause? How was it?
  3. Messi or Ronaldo?
  4. LeBron or Jordan?
  5. What’s the most impressive sports performance you’ve ever seen?
  6. If you could attend any major sporting event worldwide, what would it be?
  7. Which athlete, dead or alive, do you admire the most? Why?
  8. Favorite sports quote or mantra that motivates you?

Past adventures and travel tales

Use these questions to help team members bond over shared travel adventures, funny anecdotes, and cultural experiences.

  1. If you could return to one place in the world, where would it be and why?
  2. What surprising or funny encounter have you had with a local during your travels?
  3. Share a memorable travel experience where everything went unexpectedly wrong, but made for a great story.
  4. What's your favorite season to travel?
  5. What's the most unexpected encounter you’ve had while traveling?
  6. Have you ever gone on a spontaneous trip with no itinerary? What was it like?
  7. What are your best physical activities during travels?
  8. Imagine you could take a Time Machine to any historical era. When would it be and why?
  9. Can you share a memorable road trip you've taken and the highlights along the way?
  10. What's the most delicious or interesting local dish you've tried while traveling?
  11. Share a travel experience that challenged or pushed you out of your comfort zone.
  12. If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you want with you and why?

Unbelievable antics and odd questions

These light-hearted questions encourage participants to share funny stories, memorable pranks, and outlandish experiences:

  1. What’s the funniest or most outrageous piece of advice you've ever given or received?
  2. What's the most hilarious prank you've ever witnessed, or been a part of?
  3. Have you ever won a contest or competition that others would find surprising?
  4. What’s your hidden talent?
  5. What's your weirdest pet peeve?
  6. What’s your favorite scent?
  7. If you could have a superpower for a day, what would it be, and how would you use it?
  8. What's the most daring bucket list item?
  9. Which bad song do you secretly love?
  10. You can have an unlimited supply of the last thing you bought. What would it be?
  11. Tell us about your worst haircut.
  12. What’s the funniest or most memorable encounter you’ve ever had with an animal?
  13. Have you ever had a moment of mistaken identity that led to a funny situation?
  14. What is your guilty pleasure?

Food adventures

Discussing favorite dishes and culinary preferences is a tasteful way to spark engaging conversations, and create a sense of community.

  1. If you could have a cooking lesson from any celebrity chef, who would you choose and why?
  2. What family dish or recipe means the most to you?
  3. What's the most exotic or unusual food you've ever tried, and how was it?
  4. Ever experienced fine dining? Did you love it or think it was a waste of money?
  5. What funny and healthy food-related traditions do you have in your culture or upbringing?
  6. Imagine there’s a food-related superpower. What would you want yours to be?
  7. What’s your favorite food or dessert of all time?
  8. Have you ever been on a food tour? How was it?
  9. What's your favorite quote related to food?
  10. What's the weirdest food combination you've ever tried, and surprisingly enjoyed?
  11. If you could travel to any country solely to experience its food, which would you choose?
  12. What’s your unpopular food opinion?
  13. Share a food-related challenge or dietary restriction that you've successfully overcome.

Trivia questions

Trivia questions add an element of friendly competition and intellectual stimulation to your sessions.

  1. What is the tallest mountain in the world?
  2. Who painted the Mona Lisa?
  3. What is Australia’s capital city?
  4. What year did World War II end?
  5. What is the chemical symbol for gold?
  6. What is the largest planet in our solar system?
  7. Who was the first person to step foot on the moon?
  8. Which country is famous for the Taj Mahal?
  9. What year did the Titanic sink?
  10. What is the national animal of Canada?
  11. Who wrote the Harry Potter books?

Sometimes, coming up with team-building questions on the spot can be daunting. Also, you might find the questions seem repetitive and predictable. In this case, try using a random question generator. This tool generates random icebreaker questions on various topics to keep your online meetings unpredictable and exciting.

Values-based questions for team building

Get to the bottom of your teammates’ values in life by asking through the following fun questions;

  1. If I had a million dollars, I would __________.
  2. Is there any product you would refuse to promote?
  3. Who do you admire the most, and why?
  4. What is the most important quality you look for in a friend?
  5. What’s the meanest thing you ever told anyone?
  6. Who is your hero?
  7. What’s your plan after retirement?
  8. What’s your most disliked personal trait?
  9. Can you think of a time when a team decision conflicted with your personal values? How did you handle the situation?
  10. What do you think you’d regret not doing before you die?

Team-building activities and games

In addition to the questions listed above, you can also use activities and games to build stronger bonds within your workforce. Here are five examples of team-building activities and games to try:

1. Movie night

Bring the joy of a movie night to your virtual team using real-time video-sharing apps like Kast. Pick a movie your team may like and watch it together.

2. House tour

Allow team members to give virtual tours of their homes during a Zoom call or another video conferencing platform. Just be sure to tell people that you’ll be touring their crib beforehand as not everyone may feel comfortable participating.

3. Share the love

Remote teams don’t have the luxury of handshakes or hugs. Bring the good feels to life in a virtual setting by asking team members to take turns sharing something nice about their colleagues. This cultivates a company culture of positivity and recognition.

4. Pub quiz

Host a virtual pub quiz session, where team members test their knowledge on various trivia topics and answer fun team-building questions. Divide them into smaller groups, and have them compete in a friendly competition. Reward the winners to make things interesting.

5. Happy hour

Your team members come together to make their favorite drinks, and share stories or experiences. They can share recipes, tips, or personal anecdotes related to the drinks they make. This relaxed setting lets everyone unwind, which is a good way to strengthen connections.

Here are more team-building activities.

What if you’re unsure which team-building activity or game will work best for your team, budget, or size? In that case, you might want to use a team-building calculator. This tool removes the guesswork and saves time by providing an extensive list of suitable virtual team-building activities.

Frequently asked questions

What are the 4Cs?

The 4Cs requires each meeting attendee to name a color, car, cartoon character, and cuisine (4Cs) that best defines their personality, and explain why. This simple Q&A session can help break down barriers, and spark deep conversations with your team.

What is a good team-bonding question?

  • What is the most memorable team success you have participated in, and why?
  • What's your favorite genre of music?
  • What’s your secret talent?
  • Which team-building activity or event would you like to do together in the future?

How do you foster a closer team?

To bring your team together, encourage open communication, and foster collaboration. Also, create opportunities for team members to connect on a personal level with funny team-building questions. Lastly, establish a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and respected.

Break the ice by understanding team motivations

Fingerprint for Success is the secret weapon used by high-performing teams around the world. Based on 20+ years research, F4S’ free assessment measures 48 different work-style motivations, and provides you with a free, personalized coaching program with AI Coach Marlee, so you and your team can perform at your peak.

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  1. Haan, K. (2023) ‘Remote Work Statistics And Trends in 2023’. Available at Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/remote-work-statistics/#:~:text=As%20of%202023%2C%2012.7%25%20of,to%20a%20hybrid%20work%20model
  1. (2013) ‘7 Vital Trends Disrupting Today’s Workplace’. Available at TINYpulse. https://www.tinypulse.com/resources/employee-engagement-survey-2013
  1. Grenny, J; Maxfield, D. (2017) ‘A Study of 1,100 Employees Found That Remote Works Feel Shunned and Left Out’. Available at Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/11/a-study-of-1100-employees-found-that-remote-workers-feel-shunned-and-left-out?ref=offsyte-blog.ghost.io
  1. Mayer, K. (2023) ‘A Potential Downside to Remote Work? Higher Rates of Depression’. Available at SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/remote-workers-experiencing-higher-rates-of-depression.aspx
  1. (2023) ‘How Does Social Connectedness Affect Health?’. Available at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/emotional-wellbeing/social-connectedness/affect-health.htm
  1. ‘The ROI of Teambuilding’. Available at Propeller Team Training. https://www.propellerteamtraining.co.uk/the-roi-of-teambuilding-2/#:~:text=Robinson's%20study%20found%20that%20an,in%20improved%20performance%20and%20productivity.

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