Whenever you’re in a new setting and the event leaders bring up doing a round of icebreakers, do you ever feel like the majority of the room moans or rolls their eyes?

In many cases, for me at least, this has definitely been the case. During my college orientation week at UMass we did numerous icebreakers and it seemed like a good portion of the group was disgruntled.

Of course, because it was my college orientation and I didn’t know a soul, I pretended that I was annoyed by the icebreakers as well. But in reality, I love icebreakers.

Orientation Icebreaker

Icebreakers are a great way to find people who have similar interests as you – such as the kid who also loved the show Sons of Anarchy, and whom I now stop and chat with whenever I see him out on campus.

Icebreakers are also a great way to find people who have unique and unequivocal talents. For instance, during an icebreaker at a club event this past spring, I was introduced to someone who is ranked #4 in the nation for yo-yoing. Yo-yoing!

Most likely, I would have never learned any of these traits if I hadn’t participated in the icebreakers.

Do you believe the majority of people are actually annoyed by icebreakers – or are they probably just following the way of the crowd, like I would?

However, if you find that you have a hard time getting your team into the ice-breaking arena, maybe try switching up your icebreaker approach.

Instead of the generic, “Hi my name is Jill, I’m 20 years old, and my favorite color is blue…” consider going with some of our ideas listed below. These are sure to get your group out of their cubicle and into the workplace, where they can form bonds and build relationships with their coworkers.

 

4 Office Icebreakers That Work

Pins for Office Icebreakers

#1 Like It. Pin It. Own It.

For this icebreaker you need:

  • Enough small pins for everyone in your office
  • Sharpies/Magic Marker
  • A Basket

Our idea for this icebreaker is that when everyone first walks into the office in the morning, they choose a pin from the basket. Beforehand, someone would need to organize the pins and write on them statements that people can identify themselves with.

For example, a pin that reads: I’ve read all 8 Harry Potter Books, or I am the Top Chef, etc. Once a pin has been chosen, you wear it for the remainder of the day.

This way, when people come up to your desk or see you in the kitchen area, they notice which pin you have chosen to wear and can strike up a conversation with you about your pin. At the end of the day you put your pin back and take a new one the next morning. This way, you can also see if anyone else chooses a pin that you have worn in the past!

#2 Agree or Disagree

For this icebreaker you need:

  • A Large Whiteboard Hung Up
  • Whiteboard Markers

On a daily or weekly basis, have a different office member write a statement on a whiteboard that people can either agree or disagree with.

For example, written on the whiteboard one day can be: The Patriots are the best NFL team, and then split the whiteboard in half with Agree or Disagree.

When people walk by the board, they can sign their names under either side depending on whether they agree or not. Try not to get too political with your statements however, a friendly rivalry could turn for the worst… and fast.

 #3 Office Bingo: Unknown Facts

For this icebreaker you need:

  • An organizer
  • An unknown fact from each person in the office
  • A bingo sheetBingo Card Template for Office Icebreakers
  • Bingo markers

Take a mid-day break and organize an office bingo event. On bingo cards, have each bingo participator write down every one’s name in the office in a random order. No one bingo card should look the same. For reference, number each bingo marker and number each unknown fact. Once everyone’s bingo cards are set up, begin reading off the Unknown Facts and the number of the unknown fact.

For example: #15 This person hates dairy products, especially yogurt.

If people know who this person is, they can take the #15 marker and place it over that person’s name on the bingo card. Once someone has a row filled up, they read off the name and the number that they have marked, and the delegator can reference whether or not those name and numbers correspond.

 #4 Coffee Pot

For this icebreaker you need:

  • Just a few co-workers

The game “Coffee Pot” is a fun, lunchtime game that can get the brain juices flowing, while also creating laughs amongst co-workers. For this icebreaker, one person comes up with a verb in their head. The other people must try to guess which verb that person is using by asking questions. However, the person with the verb in their head must not use the verb; instead they use the word “coffee pot.” This game is set up to resemble 20 Questions. You can also use a different word instead of Coffee Pot, in fact using your company name is a great idea.

For example: If my verb was “run”

Co-worker: How do you get to the grocery store?

            Me: Well, I drive to the grocery store

            Co-Worker: What do you do for exercise?

            Me: I go to the gym, but I also coffee pot when the weather is nice.

Do you have any clever Office Icebreakers Ideas that you’d like to share with us? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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