Want to feel old? We have officially surpassed a year of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Remember learning the phrase "social distancing"? Remember buying your first face mask? Remember handshakes? No? Me neither. With many of us feeling some degree of video call fatigue, it's become essential to find Zoom happy hour ice breakers to keep our calls from feeling like a complete chore.
Whether it's a point of pride or a painful admission, you're probably a Zoom party pro by now. You've celebrated your birthday over Zoom, digital streamers and all. You've virtually rung in a new year and learned the joy of counting down to midnight from the comfort of your couch. You've maybe even celebrated a wedding over Zoom and had to learn proper virtual toasting etiquette. Even if you feel like you've exhausted all your Zoom-centric activities, there are plenty of ice breakers and games you can play on Zoom that'll keep any video chat fatigue at bay.
If Zoom happy hours have started to feel like mandatory fun, here are a few Zoom meeting icebreakers you can use in your next virtual happy hour to make everyone (including yourself) feel a little more at ease.
Because everyone is dealing with the anxieties and stresses that coronavirus may be causing, it can be a good idea to start off a virtual happy hour with a check-in. It may seem passé to ask how anyone is doing right now, but, at the very least, it'll give everyone space to air any grievances or just commiserate in each other's company.
2. Virtual Room Tours
If you want to maintain some barrier of privacy — as our home has become our office, it can feel like no space is just ours — that's absolutely your prerogative. But maybe there's a space in your home you've never shown off on Zoom before and you feel like now is the time to share. Yes, I'm talking about junk drawers, weird closets, the kitchen cabinet you only access twice a year. Take virtual room tours to a new level by sharing a small, strange spot in your home that your friends may otherwise have never noticed.
3. Two Truths And A Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is the most ice breaker-y of Zoom ice breaker games. If you feel like you've shared every big truth there is to share, make the game specific to what you've done this week or just today. Find out who absolutely hasn't taken a shower since Tuesday. Guess who has worn pajama pants to a Zoom meeting this week. If nothing else, it'll let you assess each other's ability to tell a lie.
4. Social Distancing Bingo
You've probably figured out how to play Bingo on Zoom — this isn't your first Zoom Happy Hour. However, if you don't want to worry about breaking out a Bingo board, just have people raise their hands to "mark" something they've done. Has anyone else slept in past noon? Baked for fun? Binged an entire season in a day? Bingo!
5. I Spy
Use the Gallery View on Zoom to see everyone's video window at once. One person starts by saying they "spy" someone with a blue hat in the background or an interesting tapestry. Go around the call and see who can be the first to spot the spied object.
6. Netflix Series You're Currently Binging
Admit it, we're all binging a Netflix series right now. Whether you're on your fifth rewatch of New Girl or have finally started Bridgerton, a simple Zoom icebreaker is asking everyone in the video call to say which series they're watching. You'll get to connect with other people based on mutual taste in shows, and you'll probably get a few great suggestions for your next show to watch.
7. What's Your Bridgerton Name
8. First Trip Once Post-Pandemic
Want an ice breaker that'd a bit more optimistic? Ask everyone what they want their first trip to be once they're able. Has someone been itching to go to Italy? Mexico? Maybe Dubai? Discuss your future travel plans and learn a little more about the people you're virtually drinking with.
9. Hidden Talents
Can you touch your tongue to your nose? Wiggle your ears without touching them? Showing off your totally weird but still very impressive hidden talents can be a wonderful icebreaker that'll not only make your coworkers laugh, but inspire them to show off theirs. Just remember to keep it office-friendly, if it's a work call.
10. Self-Care Routine
It's always important to take care of yourself but especially during these unpredictable times. If you have any special practices or routines you use to pamper yourself, or just make yourself feel good, now's the time to share. You might even get some quarantine self-care inspiration from your friends or coworkers.
11. How's Your Bubble?
Some of us have been hunkered down with our family for the past year. Other's are flying solo through self-quarantine. Learn more about your co-workers by sharing who you're quarantining with, what it's been like, and how you've been handling it.
12. Good Books You're Reading
Aside from binging on shows, you've probably burned through a couple of really good books. Sharing what you like to read is a great Zoom icebreaker for people you work with. Plus, you can find a few new books to add to your list.
13. Habits You've Picked Up In Quarantine
With so much time on your hands, it's likely that you've picked up a habit or at least a new quarantine hobby. Have everyone share something they've added or amended to their daily or weekly routine. It can be something as simple as eating breakfast at a different time or trying to practice meditation on a regular basis.
14. This or That
Take a quick, low-stakes poll among your coworkers. Does your virtual office have more fans of rosé or hard seltzer? Love Island or The Bachelor? Crosswords or jigsaw puzzles?
15. Things You've Baked
16. Your Go-To Lounge Wear
While my home-attire-of-choice is an old, oversized t-shirt and any pajamas I can find around the house, you might be someone who has specific outfits you're wearing every day. Are you dressing up at home to get in a busy mindset? Or are you kicking it in boy shorts? See what everyone wears to work from home.
17. New Music You've Discovered
While we may be missing some parts of the Before Times, we haven't been lacking new music while in quarantine. Talk about any music or artists you've discovered. Is there an album you're stuck on? Share it! You might get some awesome new music suggestions from others, as well.
18. Pet Peeves You've Discovered In Quarantine
It can be super stressful to be stuck inside for so long. It can even make you realize you have some pet peeves you never thought about before. Maybe you've rekindled your hatred of loud chewing. Perhaps dishes in the sink have been particularly irksome. There's nothing like bonding over things you can't stand.
19. New Sleep Schedule
If your sleep schedule has been all over the place, you're far from alone. Use this icebreaker to see who's a newly annotated night owl, who has a newfound love of waking up early, and who would love to take a nap at any given moment.
20. Your Go-To Quarantine Snack
Is there a snack that you've been munching on for the past year? Poll the video chat to see what everyone's favorite quarantine snack has been and get some new snack ideas for yourself in the process.
21. Ay Yo, TikTok Check
TikTok has taken over our non-working hours. (OK, and a couple of our working hours but shhh.) Share some newly-discovered TikTok hacks or the newest TikTok challenges that are edging you closer to the inevitable: making a TikTok. If nothing else, this Zoom icebreaker will give everyone an excuse to watch a bunch of TikToks, a great icebreaker in and of itself.
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