Joining a new remote team feels very different from joining a team in an office. Video calls can feel like they’re strictly business, and there’s no coffee machine where you can strike up spontaneous, casual conversations as you wait for it to drip.
So, we might need to learn new ways of opening up. I’ve seen teams have a lot of success with daily icebreaker questions. Taking five minutes to get silly or a bit personal every day can create tighter, better communicating teams. It also helps new members to integrate faster. You might be surprised by how much easier it is to talk business with someone when you know they’re just as into Scrabble as you are.
One problem with icebreaker questions is that is can be difficult to keep track of which ones have been asked. It shouldn’t take more than a second or two to pull one up that’s fresh.
With that in mind, I made icebreaker.figureandsound.com, which is a simple site for your team to use to get daily icebreaker questions. It has a number of features to make getting a fun question for your daily stand-up a breeze.
- A new question awaits your team every day.
- The questions are shuffled differently for every team, so use it on more than one team at a time without repetition.
- Use the time machine to remind yourself of previous days’ questions.
- Add your team’s work days so that you don’t miss out on great questions over the weekends.
- Re-roll a question that isn’t a good fit for the team.
There are enough questions that a team shouldn’t see a repeat for at least a year. Hopefully by that time you’re all closer, more aware of the way each other thinks, and all that ice has long since melted. 🧊