Ice breaker games for work: Breaking through to better collaboration10 min read

Ice breaker games for work: Breaking through to better collaboration Blog post

Is your company the definition of all work and no play? Though it might give the impression that “all work” means the team can focus on work and is therefore highly productive, it could backfire.  

In any workplace, it can be very beneficial to incorporate some ice breaker games for work. Building strong connections among team members is vital for fostering collaboration, communication, and a positive work environment. Employees with a best friend in the workplace are 60% more likely to achieve full engagement.  

Ice breaker games offer a fantastic way to break down barriers, encourage interaction, and inject some fun into the workplace. Whether you’re kicking off a meeting, welcoming new team members, or simply looking to liven up the atmosphere, a simple icebreaker game can make a huge impact. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the effectiveness of conducting ice breaking activities and list the types of fun games to get you started. 

Why should you have ice breaker games at work? 

Close to 50% of working adults report that stress at work has made them disengage from work or stop caring altogether. Having some “chill time” at work can not only reduce stress but also improve employee relationships, which would indirectly improve teamwork and productivity. Here are the 3 main benefits of ice breaker games for work: 

1. Improves team spirit 

It creates a team-building experience that encourages the team to get to know one another, building personal and professional understanding.  

2. Improves motivation and wellbeing 

By participating in fun activities and enjoying themselves, everyone gets a mental and psychological boost that improves their mood and mental health. 

3. Improves team productivity 

It reduces the awkwardness between colleagues, making it easier for teammates to approach each other for work-related matters. 

Types of ice breaker games 

There are many types of icebreaker games that you can try depending on the occasion. For example, when there is a team event and everyone is present, it’s a great opportunity to introduce some in-person ice breaking games. Whereas it will be more feasible to implement online ice breaker games on a more frequent basis, especially if you have remote team members.  

In-person ice breaker games 

Plan in-person ice breaking games during new employee orientations, at team events, or during town hall meetings to get everyone engaged. Here are some examples: 

1. Two truths and a lie 

This classic icebreaker is simple yet effective. Each participant shares three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie. The rest of the group then tries to guess which statement is the lie. Not only does this game encourage sharing and active listening, but it also provides insights into each other’s personalities and interests. 

2. Marshmallow challenge 

Bring out the competitive spirit with the Marshmallow Challenge. In teams, participants are given a handful of spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow. Their task is to build the tallest freestanding structure possible with the marshmallow on top, within a time limit. This game encourages creativity, innovation, and teamwork, as teams must brainstorm, plan, and execute their designs under pressure. 

3. Desert island 

This game sparks creativity and collaboration. Each participant imagines they are stranded on a desert island and can only bring a limited number of items with them. In small groups or pairs, they discuss and decide which items they would choose and why. It’s a fun way to learn more about each other’s priorities, values, and problem-solving approaches. 

Online ice breaker games 

This is especially useful if you have remote employees, so that everyone can be included and participate no matter where they are located. You can also implement frequent online ice breaker games as it would not take up as much time as in-person games. Here are some examples: 

1. Online skill games with leaderboard 

One effective way to get everyone excited is with a game that has a leaderboard. It brings out our competitive nature with the desire to see our own name listed on top. This Gotta Catch Them All game is one good example of a fun and engaging activity. 

2. Social Interactive Games 

Look for games that require the participants to collaborate in order to win. This encourages the team to interact with each other. For example, you can use this Social Collect & Avoid Game. Players would need to invite someone to play the game with their code, to receive an incentive. It’s a cooperative game that doubles as a team-building activity. 

3. Quiz with Leaderboard 

Take the opportunity to educate the team while they have fun. Set quiz questions about the company, or about specific skills to encourage learning. This example of a Quiz with Leaderboard is another way to boost employee engagement by appealing to their competitive nature. 

4. Personality Tests 

Creating Personality Tests can be a fun way for team members to get to know each other. It doesn’t have to be serious personality questions and can be fun topics, like this Planet Personality Test for example. Once they have taken the test, they can share and compare their answers. 

5. Fun online games 

Add some challenging games to the mix in your ice breaking activities. You can challenge the team with fun brain-racking games, like this Decipher The Code game that’ll surely get everyone excited! 

6. This or that 

This activity is especially effective when you have virtual meetings with large groups of people who are unfamiliar with each other. Ask a series of 2 options and let the participants choose their answers. It’ll enable the group to immediately identify those they have the same interests with. For example: 

  • Morning person or night owl 
  • Coffee or tea 
  • Dog or cat 
  • Indoors or outdoors 
  • Steak or pasta 

7. Virtual charades 

A fun, quick, and simple way to get to know one another. When you’re using a web conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Meet, ask everyone to upload a background related to a theme. Then everyone would need to guess the answer. For example, if the theme is “movies”, everyone takes turns to be selected and everyone else would need to guess which movie that background is from.  

8. Online escape room 

When thrown into a single space with one aim to work together and solve the puzzle to escape, the experience can effectively bring teams together. One example of an online escape room platform is Escape Live

Let’s start breaking the ice! 

Ice breaker games are more than just a way to pass the time; they’re essential tools for creating a positive and inclusive work environment. By breaking down barriers and encouraging interaction, these games lay the foundation for strong relationships and successful collaboration. So, the next time you find yourself in a new group or meeting, don’t hesitate to suggest an ice breaker game. You might be surprised by how much fun you’ll have and how quickly you’ll bond with your colleagues. 

Online ice breaker games can be planned more frequently as it keeps the momentum going for the team to bond. Save time by selecting ready-made templates and quickly customizing them to suit your company branding and ice breaking activity theme. It’ll be easier if you choose a platform that has various templates, so that you won’t need to hunt for other platforms when you want to create different games. Dot.vu has 300+ templates for you to choose from. All you need to do is go through our template collection and select the templates you want to use. Then you’ll be brought to our Quick Edits page where you can instantly make changes and you’re done!  

Get started with Dot.vu’s collection of different types of games, quizzes, and Social Interactive Content that are perfect for icebreaking at the workplace by clicking the button below.