With COVID-19 as the catalyst, remote-work has caused an increase in employee hours. More work is getting done, but without the organic boundaries of working at a physical office, employees are finding it more difficult to disconnect from work and connect with their coworkers. I'm sure I am regurgitating information you've read a thousand times on twitter, but if you’ve been hibernating for a couple years read our post on the rise of remote work.
Lacking water-cooler banter, cubicle chatter, and the walk from the front door to your desk, work is increasingly becoming more work and less community. Finding the remote work analog for our old "unproductive" work-place habits has been nothing short of difficult. Full industries have been created to build virtual offices; however, before you jump into virtual office solutions, make sure to read about why you don’t need one. I've seen teams opt to replace team culture with for more informal zoom meetings. For example, a weekly happy hour with show and tell. At Friday, we have been playing short games during our co-working sessions to boost morale and facilitate bonding between new team members. Read our article here about the importance of building relationships within remote teams.
One of our favorite things at Friday is our icebreakers.
Baked right into Friday, we've found that these simple, often cheesy, questions provide just enough context to your work to shatter the robot-teammate illusion. Learn how to add these questions to your workflow. Finding the right questions for your team can be an arduous task. Don’t fret! We’ll handle the questions too.
To get your creative juices flowing, here is a carefully curated list of some of our favorite ice breaker questions:
Best Meeting Icebreaker Questions
- What song will you probably always have memorized?
- What's something that makes you way angrier than it should, like the cause:reaction ratio is way off? (i.e. pet peeve, hill you will die on, etc.)
- What's your guilty pleasure TV show?
- What is your spirit emoji?
- What's the best Halloween costume you’ve worn?
- What movie did you watch the most as a kid?
- Tell a fun fact. Not about you, just a fun fact.
Funny Icebreaker Questions
- Corner, edge, or middle brownie?
- Is a taco a sandwich? A hot dog?
- What’s your go-to doodle when you’re bored/thinking?
- Would you rather fight forty duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
- What kitchen utensil would you be?
- What's the best pun you’ve ever made?
- What's your hidden talent (preferably stupid)?
- What petty superpower would you choose?
- Which aisle in a grocery store would you be?
- What's your go-to karaoke song?
- Tell a time you got REALLY lucky after messing up such that nobody ever noticed or found out.
- What's a food you used to hate but now like?
- How many times do you usually sneeze?
- What's a skill you definitely should have but don’t?
"Get to Know You" Icebreaker Questions
- What type of bagel do you prefer?
- What lettuce do you use for your salads?
- What's one word you always spell wrong?
- What's an unpopular opinion you hold?
- What's one thing you enjoy eating but would be embarrassed to eat in public?
- What do you sing in the shower?
- Do you eat food off of the floor and do you have rules about when?
- Where in your mouth do you start brushing your teeth?
- What position do you fall asleep in?
- What's your cool body fact?
- Do you have any weird sleeping habits?
- Do you fold or bunch toilet paper?
"Favorites Things" Icebreaker Questions
- What’s your favorite t-shirt that you own and why is it your favorite?
- What sound would your favorite color make?
- Describe the bite of your ideal apple?
- Least favorite number?
- Second favorite fruit?
- Favorite kind of tree?
- Favorite herb?
- Favorite non-mammal animal?
- Favorite kind of cookie?
- Favorite appetizer
- Favorite quote?
- Favorite joint to crack?
- Favorite/most attractive accent?
- Favorite scar?
- Favorite kind of cheese?
- Favorite expression/one that would sound really weird to foreigners?
- Favorite inside joke, with anyone?
- Rank flavors of sour patch kid ins from best to worst.
- Favorite vine, but acted out, not described?
"What If?" Icebreaker Questions
- If you could live in the world of a picture book from your childhood, which one?
- If you could suddenly be really good at a skill, what would you choose?
- What Greek god or goddess would you want to be best friends with?
- Who/what you were in a past life and how did you die to get here?
- If you could control an element, which one would you choose?
- What petty crime would you want to commit?
- If you’re somewhere where you have to entertain yourself without your phone or anything else (bored in class, in the shower), what do you think about/do you have any games you play with yourself to keep yourself entertained
- If you could eliminate one part of your regular washing-up routine and it would just happen automatically (hair always brushed, face always washed), what would it be?
- What kind of old person would you be?
Random Icebreaker Questions
- What superstitions do you hold?
- How would you die in the hunger games?
- If you could be any form of potato, what would you be?
- Which divergent faction would you choose?
- What were you almost named?
- Drop a beat. Now. Go.
- Why did your parents give you your name?
- When people say you don’t look like someone with your name, what name do people say you look like?
- What’s the most recent picture on your phone and why is it there?
Childhood Memories Icebreaker Questions
- Describe a distinct smell from your childhood/home.
- When you were little, what was your dream job?
- What did your parents call you as a kid?
- What word did you mispronounce as a child?
- What song has memories permanently attached?
- What’s your earliest memory?
- Who was your first celebrity crush?
- Who was your childhood imaginary friend?
- What was the name of your favorite childhood stuffed animal?
- Describe the taste of the water from your hometown.
- What age were you when you lost your first and last tooth?
- What's the weirdest dream you can remember?
I would argue that, even with all the obvious side-effects, remote work has been largely additive. The flexibility it affords has been integral to my lifestyle; however, the specific place where remote work has come up short for me is company culture. Without space to connect, it's easy to forget that your coworkers aren't über-productive robots. Adding these icebreaker questions to our daily workflow has made all the difference.
P.S. If you missed it above, you can easily add these questions to your Slack workspace or team chat using Friday. If you aren’t signed up yet, go here.