Updated: February 12, 2024

18 Discussion Topics for Work to Promote Team Building

You found our guide to discussion topics.

Discussion topics are ideas that can help colleagues start conversations with each other. For example, movie discussions, fun facts, and morning routines. The purpose of these topics is to create connections between colleagues. These prompts are also known as “friendly team discussion themes” and “fun office talk ideas.”

These discussion topics are similar to conversation starters, team building questions, and get to know you questions.

This list includes:

  • casual office conversation themes
  • conversation starters at work
  • engaging topics for coworkers
  • friendly team discussion themes
  • friendly work conversation themes
  • fun office talk ideas

Let’s get to it!

List of discussion topics for work

Whether you share your favorite book genre or swap coffee recipes, this list of discussion topics starts fun conversations.

1. Bucket List Items

Bucket list items are goals or experiences that individuals want to do during their lives. Sharing your bucket list can be a fun way to get to know your coworkers. Discussing bucket list items at work can reveal shared interests and goals. You can share dream destinations, adrenaline-pumping adventures, or personal milestones.

Here are some question examples:

  • What’s the number one thing you really want to do or experience in life?
  • Is there a place you’ve always dreamed of going to? Where and why?
  • What’s the most adventurous thing on your bucket list?
  • What special event would you like to attend?
  • What’s your dream living situation?

This topic will help you learn more about each other and can inspire you to add new items to your own list.

2. Pets and Children Stories

Stories about pets and kids are great friendly work conversation themes. When discussing pets, ask your coworkers about their beloved companions. Teams can share interesting stories, such as funny habits or adorable moments. Discussing different types of pets can be exciting, too, whether they are cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, or even more exotic animals. Stories about children can spark fond memories, funny moments, and parenting experiences. Colleagues who do not have kids can also focus on childhood memories instead.

Here are some question examples:

  • What kind of pet do you have?
  • What’s your pet’s funniest habit?
  • What’s the funniest thing your kid has said to you?
  • What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  • When did your kid or pet get into the most trouble?

Sharing these stories can make colleagues laugh, creating a positive and friendly atmosphere.

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3. Movie Discussions

Talking about movies at work is a fun way to connect with your colleagues. Whether you like funny, serious, or action-packed films, talking about movies helps you find shared interests. Folks can share their recommendations and talk about what they liked or did not like about films. This topic can lead to discovering new movies outside your usual choices.

Here are some question examples:

  • What’s your favorite movie?
  • Who’s your favorite actor or actress?
  • What’s a classic movie you think everyone should watch?
  • Any upcoming releases you are excited about?
  • What’s your go-to movie snack?

Discussing movies at work builds relationships and creates a sense of camaraderie. Also, talking about films allows folks to analyze plots, characters, and filmmaking. This topic promotes critical thinking and strengthens relationships.

Read about how to do an office movie night.

4. Favorite Book Genre

One of the most engaging topics for coworkers is talking about your favorite book genre. Sharing the kinds of books you like can lead to interesting conversations. Whether you enjoy mysteries, science fiction, or romances, talking about books can create bonds.

Here are some question examples:

  • Are you reading anything interesting right now?
  • Do you have a specific reading routine or a favorite reading spot?
  • What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
  • Are there any genres you haven’t read but would like to?
  • Is there a book-to-movie adaptation that you loved or hated?

Talking about favorite book genres at work can create a friendly atmosphere. This topic encourages book recommendations and chats about shared interests. Plus, learning about different genres can introduce you to new authors and styles.

Read about how to run an office book club.

5. Fun Personal Facts

Sharing fun facts about yourself is a great way to have friendly chats with your coworkers. This topic helps create a nice atmosphere at work and makes connections. You can talk about hobbies, talents, or unique experiences. By sharing these details, you give others a chance to relate to you and have interesting conversations. Be sure to ask colleagues thoughtful questions about themselves as well.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s your go-to karaoke song?
  • Can you share a funny childhood nickname or embarrassing moment?
  • What’s your secret talent?
  • What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to snacks during work hours?
  • What’s the most interesting fact about your hometown?

By having this discussion, you can learn more about coworkers, which leads to future conversations. Plus, some of these skills may even be useful for projects you are working on.

Check out these facts of the day.

6. Music and Concerts

Talking about music and concerts with your coworkers is one of the most fun office talk ideas. You can discuss your favorite songs and concerts you have attended. Also, you and your colleague can discover new music together. This topic helps create a fun atmosphere at work and strengthens your relationships with your colleagues.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s the first concert you ever went to?
  • What’s your all-time favorite concert experience?
  • What’s the most unique or surprising music genre or artist that you enjoy?
  • What’s your guilty pleasure song?
  • What’s the next concert you’re planning to attend?

Discussing music is a nice way to take a break and make work more enjoyable. This talk is a great opportunity to explore new music and have fun conversations with your coworkers.

7. Morning Routines

Morning routines can be fascinating topics for casual conversations at work. Discussing how folks start their days can provide insights into their personalities. Some individuals swear by early morning exercise or meditation to jumpstart their day. Others prefer a slow-paced routine with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
  • Are you a morning person or a night owl?
  • Do you have a favorite breakfast that you always look forward to in the morning?
  • What’s your go-to beverage to kickstart your morning?
  • How do you like to start your day to set a positive tone?

It is interesting to hear about the different strategies folks use to set themselves up for success each morning. Exploring morning rituals can help foster connections and promote a positive workplace atmosphere. Plus, you might learn a new trick or two to update your own morning routine!

Browse this list of morning messages.

8. Childhood Cartoons

Talking about childhood cartoons with your coworkers is one of the best conversation starters at work. Sharing memories of the shows you watched as kids can bring back fond memories and reveal shared interests. Discussing favorite characters, plotlines, and memorable moments can lead to lively conversations.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s your all-time favorite childhood cartoon?
  • If you could bring back any childhood cartoon for a reboot, which one would it be, and how would you update it?
  • Do you have a favorite cartoon theme song that you can still remember today?
  • Were there any cartoons that scared you as a child?
  • What’s a lesson you learned from a cartoon that has stuck with you?

This shared nostalgia can build rapport and create a friendly atmosphere. Additionally, these conversations provide insights into your coworkers’ backgrounds and interests. Talking about cartoons fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other’s perspectives.

9. Fitness Goals

Setting fitness goals is a great way to prioritize your health. By defining clear objectives, you can stay motivated and track your progress. Fitness goals vary, such as improving endurance, building strength, or achieving weight loss. Discussing fitness goals with coworkers can be a fun way to connect. You can even organize a workplace challenge involving step counting or exercise targets like push-ups.

Here are examples of questions:

  • Do you prefer to work out in the morning or evening, and why?
  • What’s your favorite type of exercise or workout routine?
  • What are your favorite fitness tools?
  • How do you balance your fitness goals with other parts of your life?
  • What are your favorite fitness recipes?

This exercise fosters camaraderie and promotes a healthy lifestyle with teamwork and encouragement. Talking about fitness goals at work lets you share experiences, exchange tips, and seek support from colleagues.

Check out this list of office exercises.

10. Cultural Traditions

Cultural traditions can lead to engaging conversations among coworkers. Talking about these traditions helps you understand different values, beliefs, and customs. One example is discussing popular festivals or holidays celebrated in different parts of the world. Sharing stories about these celebrations boosts camaraderie and learning.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s your favorite holiday or celebration?
  • What’s your favorite dish from your culture?
  • Are there any specific customs you follow in your family?
  • Do you have a favorite childhood memory related to a cultural tradition?
  • Are there any unique sayings or proverbs from your culture that you like?

Another topic is traditional clothing from different cultures, like kimonos, sarees, or kilts. Discussing these outfits allows you to learn about their cultural significance. Food can also bring folks together. Conversations about cultural traditions create an inclusive environment.

Look at this list of more culture building activities.

11. Quotes or Mantras

Sharing quotes or mantras can add a positive touch to casual work conversations. Talking about quotes sparks interesting discussions and gives insights into folks’ values. You can simply ask your coworkers about their favorite quotes or mantras. Then, ask colleagues to explain why these words are meaningful to them. This topic can encourage teams to share a variety of wisdom and inspiration.

Here are examples of questions:

  • Do you have a favorite quote that you find inspiring?
  • Is there a saying or mantra you live by?
  • Have you ever used a quote to motivate yourself or others?
  • What’s a phrase that always makes you feel positive?
  • Do you have a go-to quote for tough times?

Discussing quotes or mantras promotes positivity, motivation, and personal growth in the workplace.

Here is a list of motivational quotes for work.

12. Coffee Recipes

Coffee recipes are a fun way to connect with coworkers who share a love for caffeine. Whether you need a morning boost or an afternoon treat, trying different coffee recipes can add excitement to your work routine. From classics like lattes to more adventurous options like mochas, there is a coffee recipe for every individual.

Here are examples of questions:

  • Do you prefer your coffee hot or iced?
  • What’s your favorite type of coffee bean or blend?
  • Do you add any special flavors or spices to your coffee?
  • How do you take your coffee when you need a pick-me-up during the day?
  • Have you ever tried a unique or unusual coffee recipe?

Discussing coffee recipes provides a chance to connect with coworkers. Folks can make each other’s recipes and enjoy drinking a cup of coffee together.

Check out this list of virtual coffee tasting experiences.

13. Signature Dish

A signature dish is a great way to start conversations and showcase your cooking skills. To discuss signature dishes, ask your colleagues about their specialties or the dishes they enjoy making the most. This topic offers a glimpse into personal tastes and creativity. In addition, teams get a chance to swap diverse culinary traditions.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s the one meal you’re really good at making?
  • Is there a specific type of cuisine you love to cook?
  • What’s the story behind your go-to dish? Why do you like making it?
  • Have you cooked your signature dish for friends or family?
  • Do you have a secret ingredient you always add to your dishes?

Sharing your favorite recipe or talking about unique ingredients can lead to interesting discussions. Folks can share the recipe’s origins and why it is special to them. This topic is likely to bring out colleagues’ passion for food. Exploring special recipes strengthens relationships and fosters camaraderie. Plus, you can gain inspiration for your next office potluck!

14. Motivational Moments

Discussing inspirational quotes and stories can be a fun way to uplift the mood. Teams can share their favorite motivational quotes or personal success stories.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s something that always inspires you to keep going?
  • Have you ever had a moment that made you feel really motivated?
  • Who in your life motivates you the most, and why?
  • What’s a small win that makes you feel accomplished and motivated?
  • Do you have a daily routine that helps keep you motivated?

By discussing these uplifting moments, you get to know your coworkers on a deeper level. This topic also creates an environment that promotes positivity and productivity.

Here are ways to motivate remote employees.

15. Career Goals

Setting career goals is a vital step for personal and professional growth. Career goals offer direction, motivation, and focus. These goals also act as a guide for evaluating progress and making decisions. When trying to connect with colleagues, you can ask them about their goals.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What job or position are you aiming for in your career?
  • Where do you see yourself in your career a few years from now?
  • Are there specific skills you want to develop for your job?
  • What motivates you to work towards your career goals?
  • Is there a dream company you’d love to work for?

This topic helps you get to know coworkers better. In addition, you may be able to help each other accomplish your goals.

Check out this list of goal setting activities.

16. Leadership Lessons

Talking about leadership lessons at work can be informative and interesting. When coworkers share insights and experiences, you can gain valuable knowledge about leadership. These discussions help you understand different leadership styles.

Here are examples of questions:

  • Can you share a lesson you’ve learned from being in a leadership role?
  • Is there someone whose leadership style has inspired you? What did you learn from them?
  • How do you handle challenges as a leader?
  • How does communication affect leadership?
  • Have you ever had to change your leadership style for different situations or team members?

One way to discuss leadership lessons is through storytelling. Coworkers can share personal stories or examples of great leaders they have encountered. Another idea to explore is the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership. Learning how leaders deal with emotional challenges can teach workers how to create a positive environment. Talking about leadership lessons can improve workplace skills and build connections.

Learn the best leadership tips.

17. Work Wins

Work wins is one of the top casual office conversation themes. Colleagues can share their professional achievements and celebrate successes. One way to approach work wins is by sharing memorable projects or tasks. Colleagues can talk about the challenges they faced and strategies they used. Another topic involves discussing professional growth and milestones.

Here are examples of questions:

  • What’s something at work that you’re proud to have accomplished recently?
  • Can you share a moment when your efforts led to success on a project?
  • How do you celebrate when you achieve a goal at work?
  • Have you received any positive feedback or recognition lately?
  • What’s a work-related accomplishment that brought you satisfaction?

Sharing these successes can encourage others in their personal development goals. Work Wins conversations provide an opportunity for learning from each other’s experiences.

Here is a list of team celebration ideas.

18. Community Causes

Talking about Community Causes is among the top friendly team discussion themes. You can learn about colleagues’ values, passions, and goals. Discussing these causes creates a sense of connection and collaboration at work. You might even find shared interests or opportunities for future collaboration.

Here are examples of questions:

  • Do you support any community causes or charities?
  • What inspired you to get involved in community work?
  • Is there a cause you’re passionate about supporting?
  • How do you stay informed about community needs?
  • What’s a cause you think more people should know about?

Talking about charities can inspire coworkers to volunteer together outside of work. This topic broadens horizons, introduces new perspectives, and encourages personal growth and empathy.

Check out this list of group volunteering ideas.

Final Thoughts

Having casual conversations with colleagues helps develop strong bonds. These talks create opportunities for folks to connect and foster an environment where the whole team feels valued and respected. Sharing experiences, perspectives, and interests improves collaboration. Whether you discuss work-related topics like career goals or simple preferences like coffee recipes, these topics will start interesting conversations.

Next, check out our posts on icebreaker questions, water cooler topics, and check-in questions.

FAQ: Discussion topics

Here are frequently asked questions about discussion topics.

What are some good topics for casual work conversations?

Some good topics for casual work conversations include individual bucket list items, favorite movie discussions, or sharing information about cultural traditions.

How can you use discussion topics to create workplace connections?

Discussion topics can help create stronger workplace bonds by helping colleagues learn about each other’s shared interests.

What are the best conversation topics for professional settings?

The best conversation starters for professional settings promote open communication about work, such as work wins or career goals.

How can these discussion topics help in team building?

These discussion topics could help team members feel connected on a personal level. This feeling encourages better collaboration and communication.

What are the benefits of having casual conversations with coworkers?

Having casual conversations with coworkers strengthens bonds, fosters collaboration, and creates a positive work environment.

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CEO at teambuilding.com.
I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.

LinkedIn Michael Alexis

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