Building relationships among coworkers is an important part of creating an inviting office atmosphere. But bringing people together in an office environment can be tricky. You want to seem approachable, but still professional. How can you walk this fine line?
Think back to your first day of school, when you played icebreakers with your classmates. Icebreakers are an easy way to find common ground between individuals and they can carry over to the office, too. If you’re searching for a simple team-building exercise, look no further than these fun icebreakers.
Why Should You Do Icebreaker Activities?
Icebreakers can change up the normal office routine and help bring employees closer together. There are endless reasons why icebreakers are a good idea, including:
- They can help launch meetings, brainstorming sessions, or training seminars
- They increase communication and connection between employees
- They can help boost office morale
- They encourage interactions that don’t usually take place during the course of an average workday
- They motivate your employees to think creatively and produce ideas that are outside the box
- They can promote problem-solving and social skills within the office
Icebreakers for adults can be short and sweet or longer and more involved, depending on what your goal for the exercise is. We’ve compiled a list of icebreakers below that are perfect for anything from a board meeting to an outdoor weekend retreat.
Ways to Make Your Icebreakers Extra Effective
To really get the most out of your icebreakers, consider these tips:
- Carefully choose your volunteers. Make sure they are willing to participate!
- Avoid embarrassing people. Icebreakers shouldn’t involve sharing deeply personal information.
- Keep it brief. One or two icebreakers is plenty!
- Prepare everything ahead of time.
- Choose icebreakers that are appropriate for the time and setting in which you will be using them.
Quick and Easy Icebreakers
Two Truths and a Lie
A classic icebreaker, this game asks everyone to reveal three statements about themselves. Two of the statements should be true, but one should be a lie. The goal is for the group to guess which is which!
Gather a list of facts about your company. For example, you might want to write down your mission statement, the name of the company’s founder, the year the company was created, how many employees you have, or your biggest competitor. Turn these facts into questions and quiz the room to see who knows the most about the company!
Prepare some two-sided topics for your meeting room to debate. Aim for lighthearted subjects that don’t really suggest a right answer; for example, chocolate or vanilla? Allow the groups a few minutes to debate and present their arguments. This exercise helps get employees ready to be open-minded and creative during meetings.
Split employees into groups and ask them to figure out how many things they have in common with the people in their group. (Physical attributes and clothing do not count.) Set a timer to increase the fun. The group who discovers the most things in common wins!
Five of Anything
This icebreaker is great because it is extremely adaptable. Choose a topic that relates to your presentation or goals for your employees. Then, ask everyone to share five things from the topic. The topic could be anything: Favorite things, best gifts you’ve received, people who inspire you — the options are endless!
Print or write out beginnings of sentences and cut them into small strips of paper. Place the strips in a container and have everyone say their name, pull out a slip, and finish the sentence. Encourage participants to extend the sentences into conversations! Some sentences you may want to write down are:
- I would never…
- I am…
- My favorite thing is when…
- I love to…
- When I think of ____…
Divide the room into small groups. Provide categories for the groups to arrange themselves into — the goal is to create the order as quickly as possible. Some categories you can use include:
- Arrange in order of how many letters are in your first name
- Height: Shortest to tallest
- Closest to furthest birthday from today
- Least to most number of siblings
- Shoe size: smallest to largest
Set a timer for one minute. During that minute, everyone in the room must write down 10 adjectives about themselves
Minute to Win It
Minute to Win It is a popular game show that gives contestants one minute to complete fun, sometimes silly tasks. See if you can find some online that will work for the office!
Volunteers have one minute to deliver a speech on a given topic. Topics can be funny, creative, or related to the subject of the day — choose according to your goals for the group. See who can keep talking for the full minute!
Ask everyone to reveal a skill or talent they would like to work on. Open it up to be either work-related or more personal, depending on your preferences. This helps employees learn more about each other and also creates connections — someone else might already have that skill and be able to help!
Another classic game: Ask everyone which three things they would take with them if they were stranded on a desert island.
Use these icebreakers to start off your next meeting or retreat on the right foot and watch your employees connect on more personal level!