110+ best icebreaker questions for team building

Julia Martins contributor headshotJulia MartinsJanuary 29th, 20219 min read
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Summary

Icebreakers help you learn who your teammates are as people—beyond just their work habits. This team building activity focuses on answering fun questions, and is a simple way to build trust and morale. Get started with these 110+ prompts, which range from favorite knock-knock jokes to existential questions (e.g. is a hot dog a sandwich?).

How much do you know about your team members? You probably know how they work, their strengths and weaknesses, and what times they’re online and available. But do you know their favorite movie, or where they’re from? How about what artist they listened to the most this year, or their favorite local bakery?

Icebreaker and team building questions aren’t just a great way to have fun and learn silly things about your coworkers—they’re also a key part of increasing team collaboration and team bonding. When you spend time getting to know your teammates as people—and not just employees or coworkers—you’re more likely to trust one another and work better together.

So whether you want to start with some icebreaker games to get to know your new team members, some quirky questions to deepen your bond, or some team building activities to connect with your remote team, try these 110+ ways to do just that.

The benefits of team building activities

If you’ve struggled to connect with your team members, you’re not alone. Many teams—especially remote or distributed teams—struggle to balance work with team bonding. But the beauty of team building activities is that they actually increase your productivity by making your team work better together.

What is the goal of icebreaker questions?

Icebreakers are a type of team building activity that focuses on answering fun questions. Icebreakers are especially useful for new team members, and they can be a great addition to the new employee onboarding experience.

Using icebreaker and team building questions

Team building activities are a great way to bring employee engagement and camaraderie into your daily work. At Asana, we aim to start each meeting with a quick icebreaker or team building question when we can.

By opening up an event or meeting with something fun, you're also setting yourself up for a successful, more productive sync. Your drawing eyes back to the screen from where they wandered, and even encouraging future connections and learning among attendees.

Icebreakers can be especially important for virtual teams. If your team doesn’t see each other in person regularly, use the beginning of your meetings as a time to connect with virtual team members.

The key to smooth virtual sailing when breaking the ice? Make it as easy as possible (like using the chat box) and engage right back by reading answers aloud, adding interesting morsels to drive conversation, and even answering the question live yourself.
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110 best icebreaker questions for team building

In this article, we’ve broken down team building activities and icebreaker questions by genre. In general, we recommend starting from the top of a genre and working your way down.

Team icebreaker games

Icebreakers for virtual teams

Many of us had to learn how to make working from home work in 2020—but it wasn’t always easy. For new hires especially, the challenge of fully-remote onboarding has taken its toll. In fact, according to the Anatomy of Work Index 2021, nearly 80% of knowledge workers starting a new job during the pandemic had greater feelings of impostor syndrome than previous years.

Connecting with and motivating remote teammates can feel even harder than team building in the office—but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re managing a remote team, try to proactively encourage remote collaboration by incorporating a virtual icebreaker before every meeting.

1. Do you have any “coworkers” (partners, roommates, siblings, parents, pets)?

2. Have your working hours changed as a result of remote work?

3. Do you prefer working remotely or working in an office?

4. What’s your best WFH accessory?

5. What’s your go-to WFH beverage? Do you prefer coffee? Tea?

6. Is there a spot in your house where you feel most productive?

7. If you could have any upgrade to your WFH setup, what would it be?

8. What’s your morning routine?

9. How often do you work in your PJs?

Get to know your team with throwback icebreaker questions

Getting-to-know-you questions are a fun way to learn more about your teammates. People usually like talking about their past, so these questions can be an easy place to start if your team is new to using icebreaker questions. Plus, knowing where your teammates come from is a great way to start understanding why they are the way they are.

10. Do you have any siblings? Are you the eldest, middle, or youngest child?

11. Where did you grow up?

12. Did you have any pets as a kid? Did you want any pets?

13. Did you play sports as a kid? Do you play any sports now?

14. Do you speak any other languages?

15. What’s your favorite place in the world?

16. What was your first job?

17. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? What was your favorite cartoon character? If they weren’t the same, why not?

18. Who in life has inspired you the most?

19. What’s one family tradition you want to pass down to your kids?

20. What’s a piece of advice your parents or grandparents gave you that you want to pass on?

21. What were your favorite subjects in school?

22. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were younger? What were they like?

23. Have you ever been mistaken for someone famous?

Funny questions and icebreakers

Make sure you aren’t just asking “intense” icebreaker questions—throw some fun into the mix, too! Try some lighthearted questions to open the conversation and help your team warm up to one another. Then, once your team is more connected, you can bust out the more “serious” questions.

24. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? Tell us the story of how you met.

25. What’s your guilty pleasure?

26. Looking back at when you were younger, what was your silliest fear?

27. What is your current desktop or cell phone wallpaper? Why did you choose that image

28. Tell us about your worst hair day.

29. If you had to give your car a name, what would it be?

30. What’s your favorite knock knock joke?

31. If you could choose to host a talk show, which one would you pick?

32. What was your best Halloween costume? Worst?

33. Tell us a story of an embarrassing thing that happened to you.

34. What’s the last thing you got in “trouble” for?

35. What would the title of your autobiography be?

36. If you could add a word to the dictionary, what would you add and what would it mean

37. If you could bring back any fashion trend or old slang, what would it be?

38. If you had to talk like a cartoon character for the rest of your life, who would you choose? Do an impression of them now.

39. What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

40. If you had to eat a crayon, what color would you choose?

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Want to make sure you’ve covered your bases? Try some tried-and-true icebreaker questions.

41. What book are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

42. What’s your favorite TV show?

43. What’s your favorite movie?

44. What’s your favorite song?

45. What was your first concert? What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?

46. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book or object would you bring?

47. If you could have dinner with one historical figure, who would it be? What about one currently living celebrity?

48. What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received? What about the best gift you’ve ever given?

49. Do you have any hidden talents?

50. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

51. If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for?

52. If you won a million dollars, what’s the first thing you’d do?

53. What are you passionate about outside of work?

54. If you had an extra hour per day, what would you do?

55. What’s your favorite genre of music?

56. Are you a dog person, a cat person, or both?

57. What’s on your bucket list?

Try these unique icebreakers and questions

If you’ve tried icebreakers in the past, you may have struggled to come up with truly unique questions. We’ve got you covered. Use these questions to ask your team something they’ve never been asked before.

58. What game show do you think you could win?

59. If you could only use one emoji for the rest of your life what would it be?

60. What’s your favorite movie quote?

61. What’s something you think is totally overrated?

62. If you were an athlete, what would you choose as your walkout song?

63. What book do you wish you could read for the first time again?

64. Name one movie you think should have a sequel.

65. If you had to email the CEO an emoji right now, what would it be?

66. What was the first thing you thought about this morning?

67. What has been the best day of your life so far?

68. If aliens landed on Earth, who would you recommend they talk to?

69. Is a hotdog a sandwich?

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Travel icebreaker questions

Whether your teammates love traveling or prefer finding local gems, talking about travel is a great way to take a break from work and get to know your team on a personal level. Travel questions are also a great way to learn more about who your teammates want to be. You can learn a lot from people’s favorite trips and number one travel destinations.

70. What’s your number one travel destination?

71. What’s your favorite place?

72. Have you ever traveled outside of the country?

73. Mountains or ocean?

74. Snow or sand?

75. Where did you go the first time you traveled (or remember traveling)?

76. What is your favorite thing to do locally?

77. If you had to move to another country, where would you move?

Food & drink questions to ask

Food and drink icebreaker questions are a great way to dig into your team members’ pasts and preferences. If you’re a team lead—take note! You can always use these preferences to bring a special touch to future team happy hours and celebrations.

78. What’s your favorite food?

79. What are your favorite pizza toppings?

80. What’s your favorite type of ice cream?

81. What’s your favorite happy hour drink?

82. If you could name a cocktail, what would you call it?

83. Spicy or sweet?

84. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?

85. Was there ever a food you didn’t want to eat, but you loved it once you tried it?

“Would you rather” style icebreaker questions

In a “would you rather” question, you pose a scenario to your team member and ask them to pick from one of two fun options. These questions are pretty engaging, and they’re a great way to dig deeper into team preferences. To get a good conversation going, ask your team members why they chose the option they did.

86. Would you rather go on a beach vacation or a travel adventure vacation?

87. Would you rather be a member of the Avengers or the Justice League?

88. Would you rather star in a romance-based or adventure-based reality TV show?

89. Would you rather have a theme song for your life or a constant soundtrack playing in the background?

90. Would you rather be a superhero or the world’s best chef?

91. Would you rather compete in the Olympics or direct a movie that was nominated for an Oscar?

92. Would you rather sing karaoke with the head of our department or be on a group call with the CEO and your parents?

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Hypothetical icebreaker questions

Hypothetical questions are things that will probably never come to pass, but can be fun to brainstorm anyways. To take team bonding to the next level, make a game out of explaining your answers in great detail. The team member who commits most passionately wins!

93. If you had to live in a video game, which one would it be?

94. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

95. If you could remove one word from the dictionary, what would it be?

96. If you could be any animal, which would you be?

97. If you could control one element (air, water, earth, fire), which would it be and why?

98. If you had to live in one Disney movie, which would you choose?

99. If you could send a message out to the entire world, what would it be?

100. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

101. If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which would you choose

102. If you were a potato, how would you like to be cooked?

103. You have 20 minutes to plan for the zombie apocalypse—what do you do? What if you had 24 hours?

Good icebreakers for small groups

If you have a small team, consider asking more open ended questions and following the discussion where it leads. Instead of being rapid-fire style questions, these questions are designed to spark a conversation among team members.

104. What’s your favorite local restaurant and why?

105. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? Why not?

106. When was the last time you did something for the first time?

107. What do you do to beat stress?

108. What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you in another country?

109. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people who know you.

110. Describe an experience in life that changed your values.

Then, try team building activities

Icebreaker questions are great because they’re so short—you can throw in an icebreaker before your weekly team meeting to start creating strong team bonds. But to take your team building to the next level, try more involved team building activities, like:

Team trivia

To host a team trivia event, ask each team member to submit trivia questions about themselves. If you’ve never done a trivia night, consider giving them a list of prompts they could answer, like:

  • What’s your least favorite food?

  • What did you want to be when you were younger?

  • Do you have any secret talents?

  • What’s your pet peeve?

The easiest way to turn these questions into a trivia night is to come up with “fake” answers and ask your team to guess which is correct. For example, you could ask: What candy does Brian hate?

  • Skittles

  • Mars Bars

  • Laffy Taffy

Keep track of everyone’s answers during the trivia night. Then, the team member who guesses the most right answers wins a small prize. Maybe they get to host the next team trivia night.

Virtual games

If you’re working from home, you still have plenty of team building opportunities. There are a variety of online games you can play. Usually, these games will have a “room” that everyone joins. Then, get everyone on a Zoom call while you play for some trash talking and encouragement—you know, team building essentials. Try online games like:

  • Pictionary

  • Scattergories

  • Bingo

  • Charades

Virtual happy hour

Your team building activities don’t always have to revolve around games. Sometimes, it’s fun to just grab a drink and hang out together.

For a fun twist, sign up for a service that mails everyone a cocktail making kit, and then make your cocktails together before enjoying them virtually.

Coffee chats

Not all team building activities need to revolve around carefully planned activities. Sometimes, the best way to bond with a team member or group of team members is to grab coffee from a nearby cafe. Take the time to get to know each other outside of a work context, while also enjoying a nice cup of coffee (or tea).

Working virtually? Schedule a virtual coffee chat with a coworker. This is a great excuse to get yourself some specialty coffee or brew your favorite coffee at home.

Break the ice and boost team collaboration

Nearly 50% of knowledge workers believe engaging and enjoyable work is the #1 factor in achieving their best work in 2021. Team building is a great way to do just that. Build lasting relationships and boost team collaboration with icebreaker questions and team building activities. Or if your team is feeling bold, try inventing your own!

For more tips about how to boost team collaboration, read our article.

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