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10 icebreaker questions for remote teams to have fun in 2020

Fun non-cheesy team building questions
Built specifically for remote teams

All work and no play, makes for a boring team

If you are missing the fun impromptu watercooler conversations at office while working remotely, you are not the only one. Especially as a leader, it can be difficult to break the ice within your team to make sure that your remote team gets to know each other better. When we started working remotely last year, my first few weeks were of pure joy. Uninterrupted work, loads of focus time and hardly any meetings. But that joy didn’t last long. I had long durations of loneliness where I missed catching up with my colleagues. There is an absolute undeniable joy in having fun conversations with your peers that go beyond work. And this is doubly true for remote teams. 

Not every communication should be formal and scheduled. Or over Zoom calls. Serendipity is a good thing.

I found a lot of icebreaker questions, templates and fun games on the internet but hardly any of them were applicable for remote teams. So I did what we know best, talked to some of our customers at Kaapi and crowdsourced a list of best icebreaker questions that have worked for them. 

List of icebreaker questions for remote teams

I am also including a few examples we have seen of sample conversations that have come up because of such icebreaker questions. Let’s have some fun! Unsurprisingly, many of the popular questions were around work from home, lockdown, social distancing and Covid-19. Use these icebreaker conversations to have fun before a meeting, or spark a fun conversation during a slow week. We have seen some of the smarter & more engaged leaders also use these really well during onboarding.

#1 - Which Avenger character are you?

Unless they were living under a rock last year, this is everyone’s favourite question. The best part is that this is a global icebreaker question that everyone in a remote team can participate in.

#2 - Tabs or spaces?

Oh, the eternal fight of tabs vs spaces in the tech world! Personally I am a tab person, and I think the spaces people are monsters. Bring it on! This question might not be very well suited to non software engineering teams though. 

#3 - What will you pack first when the zombies come?

Covid-19 lockdown bringing you down? Make elaborate plans on how to survive the end of the world. You will be surprised by what the team comes up with.

Icebreaker questions (cont..)

#4 - Comfort food during the lockdown?

The Covid-19 lockdown has been tough on everyone. I personally have gained a few inches by the waist, and my comfort food is a nice grilled cheese sandwich (with the video off on the Zoom call of coure). Make sure this conversation doesn’t turn into a negative thread though. 

#5 - Which code editor do you use?

Another techie question. Sublime Text 3, Vim or VS Code? Perfect for tech teams. Get nerdy and fight for the tool that you believe in. What else is the internet for? :) 

#6 - Where will you travel first when Covid-19 ends? 

Day dreaming about blue waters and beach side Margaritas? You are not alone! Help your team travel the world and take a break from the travel restrictions. 

#7 - If you had a secret Tiktok channel, what would your first video be?

Tiktok is everywhere. I have seen some amazing responses to this question. A lot of people in your team are creative geniuses, trust me! 

#8 - Better name for Elon Musk’s son X Æ A-12?

It’s a little sad that the biggest news for this year has been a little baby’s name, but might as well have some fun with it. ANYTHING would be better than X Æ A-12, no?

#9 - Your favourite movie of all time

A classic icebreaker question, and perfect for starting fun conversations as you kickstart your team building activities. 

#10 - If you had a time machine, would you go into past or future?

I used to think I was a weirdo to want to go to the past. But you will be surprised how equally this camp is split. The real fun starts when your team starts replying with exact years they want to travel to!

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