Rose and Thorn
Rose and Thorn is a great icebreaker to build team camaraderie. Hearing and understanding teammates successes and challenges is a great way to build relationships. At the beginning of the meeting, each team member shares something about their day or the previous day that makes them happy or proud (rose). Then they will share something that challenged them that day or the previous day (thorn). The “rose” and “thorn” can be work related or not, depending how personal you would like the meeting to be.
If you’re looking for something to engage the team in a fun way off a video meeting, QuizBreaker may be a good option. QuizBreaker makes team bonding automatic and possibly easier than engaging a remote team through virtual call. If your remote team is located all over the country/world, having everyone available at the same time could be challenging.
More information on QuizBreaker.
Before your meeting ask all meeting participants to answer three questions about themselves. These could be questions to encourage comical answers, or serious questions for “get-to-know-me answers.” Compile everyone’s answers into a slide presentation program like Microsoft Office PowerPoint or Google Slides and share your screen in the meeting. Put one answer on each slide and have your teammates guess who the answer belongs to. Before moving to a new question, make sure everyone has guessed. Allow time for everyone to explain their guesses to get people laughing and learning more about each other.
Instead of using a slide presentation program for this you could also use something such as Kahoot to organize everyone’s answers. This could be a more efficient way to collect everyone’s answers if you have a large group.
Virtual Water Cooler
Normally in an office environment, you have the opportunity to chat with your co-workers when you pass by their desk, they pass by yours, when you happen to be in the break room or kitchen at the same time, or even while you walk to your car at the end of the day. To replicate this type of conversation, host a virtual meeting to allow teammates the opportunity to chat and get to know one another. As the host of the meeting, prepare some icebreakers just in case things get awkward and there isn’t much conversation happening. Think of things that almost anyone can connect on- perhaps a pet show-and-tell- to get people excited and talking.
You can also spark conversation by visiting cool websites. Start with something like this: The Deep Sea or explore more options here: Neal.fun.
Incorporate a fun activity into your daily meetings. Most people have access to paper in their home offices, so why not give origami a try? The meeting organizer can teach the group how to fold a new animal everyday. Start simple and get more and more complex as you master the art of folding. Pretty soon everyone will have a zoo of origami animals on their desks.
Word Wildlife Organization has 15 animal origami patterns to get you started.
Play Classic Games
Playing games almost always prompts competitiveness. As long as the competitiveness is all in fun, then games can be a great way to establish and build relationships.
PlayingCards.io has a variety of classic card games to play virtually with colleagues and/or friends. All you need to do is share a link for the game and have participants join through that link. Do this, and you’ll have a live game set up in no time! Get creative with it- maybe host a tournament to win a prize.
Host a Virtual Campfire
Who doesn’t love s’mores? Make tiny s’mores over a virtual happy hour or water cooler call. Set up your “campfire” by lighting a tea light, grab a toothpick, mini marshmallow, graham crackers, and chocolate and get roasting! There is something about sitting around a campfire (big or small) together that inspires conversation. You could even negate the typical office chatter and opt for keeping the theme going by telling some ghost stories.