Virtual Coffee Break Ideas & Topics

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November 10, 2020

Hi! You found our list of virtual coffee break ideas.

A virtual coffee break is an intentional allocation of time toward low-fidelity activities like chatting and brain storming. You may include virtual coffee breaks to help break the flow of a virtual meeting or conference in a way that helps restore energy and create engagement. These activities are usually 15 to 30 minutes, and are also known as a virtual coffee chat or virtual coffee meeting.

These breaks are a form of remote team building and are similar to virtual happy hours.

This post includes:

  • virtual coffee break ideas
  • virtual coffee chat topics
  • virtual coffee meeting ideas

And more caffeine fueled inspiration too ☕

Let’s get into it.

List of virtual coffee break ideas

If you are looking for ideas for you next virtual coffee meeting, then consider these.

1. Tea vs Coffee (Hosted)

Tea vs Coffee is an online coffee and tea tasting experience. Before your event, we send each of your participants a kit with two unique coffees and two unique teas. Then, we bring everyone together for the tasting and mindfulness activities.

Colleagues having tea and coffee together.

Tea vs Coffee is a 90 minute event, and takes place over a secure video conferencing platform that we provide. We also provide a skilled host to engage your participants.

Learn more about Tea vs Coffee.

2. Pub Trivia

If you really want to break-up the flow from a virtual meeting then consider a coffee break with pub-style trivia. You can either form small teams or compete individually. Here are some questions you can use:

  • Q. Who sang, “Frankie said ‘I did it my way'” A. Bon Jovi
  • Q. Jason Mraz is an avocado farmer and supplies avocados to which restaurant? A. Chipotle
  • Q. What is the highest rated Disney movie on IMDB? A. The Lion King
  • Q. What is the most visited website in the world? A. Google.

Radio Times has a list of 300 questions to start you off.

And we have an entire post about virtual trivia.

3. Guided Meditation

One idea for your next virtual coffee meeting is to embrace a moment of silence. You can do a quick guided meditation led by someone on your team or a YouTube video. The guide will help center your people around the silence and help make the time mindful and restorative.

Here is a 5 minute guided meditation on YouTube you can start with.

4. Quick Workout

You could dedicate your virtual coffee break to talking, and another option is to use the time to workout. Encourage your people to do a rapid round of aerobics, push-ups, burpees, jumping jacks or similar. When you work at a computer, even 30 seconds of mildly intense activity can be enough to get your heart rate up and your brow sweaty. These exercises are a good way to incorporate team building workouts into your culture too.

5. Mini Dance Party

Instead of forcing your remote team into awkward conversation, consider holding an awkward dance party instead. You can cue up foot-moving classics like Footloose, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and Shake it Off. The brave people on your team will get right to it, and the others will come around too. After a minute or two you will have a raging mini dance party that will help energize your people more than coffee ever could.

Mini dance parties are also an excellent way to boost team morale.

6. Gratitude Round Robins

A quick exercise you can do is Gratitude Round Robins. To participate, go around in a circle and name something that you appreciate about the coworker positioned next to you. After you are done, feel free to go around in the opposite direction, so you can show your gratitude towards the colleague sitting on your other side. Not only do Gratitude Round Robins let your team express how they feel about each other, but they can do so in a low pressure environment.

7. Mister Rogers Calls

Mister Rogers Calls is a great way to spend your coffee break. To play, use the Donut app to randomly pair up employees. If you are working remotely, then you can prepare coffee in your home and chat with your partner via video call while sipping on your drink. Either way, try to steer clear of work topics in your discussions, so you can learn about your coworkers outside of a work context.

8. The Fake Podcast

The Fake Podcast is where colleagues interview each other in a podcast format. Prior to the meeting, employees come up with questions to ask each other. Then, the employees team up to record the resulting conversation. The Fake Podcast is a great virtual coffee break idea because it uses your time to get to know one of your coworkers. Not to mention, you can edit the audio into an actual podcast featuring your team and release on your website or company social profile.

9. Let’s Try Snacks Together!

If you are like me, then you probably enjoy snacking while working. Let’s Try Snacks Together! is an activity you can do during your coffee break, where you and your coworkers taste test new snacks. You can either procure your own snacks or you can sign up your team for a monthly snack subscription box. Then, convene in a virtual meeting room and enjoy the contents together.

10. Barista Class

To truly take in the spirit of coffee breaks, Barista Class is where you learn how to concoct fancy coffee drinks through online recipes. Inspired by the Dalgona coffee trend on Tik Tok, your team can whip up tasty coffees together during the break. Not only will you have fun learning new recipes and sampling new drinks, but you will also have the caffeine kick you need to power through the rest of your day.

Virtual coffee break topics

Here is a list of virtual coffee break chat topics for your next meeting:

  • What is something you’ve been thinking about lately that no-one has asked you about yet?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • Would you rather visit the bottom of the ocean or the surface of the moon?
  • Does Bigfoot exist?
  • What was your favorite childhood story?
  • What would the world be like without pancakes?
  • What would be the economic implications if the tooth fairy was real?
  • If cats could talk then what would they say?
  • Who let the dogs out?
  • What is your #1 work from home tip?
  • Would you join a one-way trip to Mars?
  • If you could time-travel to any date within the last 3 months, where would you go?

Check out our list of virtual team icebreaker questions for more discussion topics.

And this list of icebreaker questions too.

The variety of topics you can discuss is essentially endless, so put pen to paper and come up with your own chat topic ideas too.

Virtual coffee meeting tips

Here are some tips for running an effective virtual coffee session.

  • Keep your virtual coffee break between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Use small group features like breakout rooms to encourage more discussion.
  • Schedule at least one virtual coffee break for every 60 minutes of video conference.
  • Include actual coffee or tea.

More ideas for virtual coffee meetings

In addition to the ideas above, you may want to try some virtual team engagement activities.

You can also brainstorm a list of your own virtual coffee break ideas and topics. Even three minutes of idea generation can go a long way to making your next virtual meeting a success.

FAQ: Virtual coffee breaks

Still have questions about virtual coffee breaks? Here are some of the common questions we see and the answers.

What is a virtual coffee break?

A virtual coffee break is an intentional allocation of time toward low-fidelity activities like chatting and brain storming. You may include virtual coffee breaks to help break the flow of a virtual meeting or conference in a way that helps restore energy and create engagement. These activities are also known as a virtual coffee chat or virtual coffee meeting.

What is a good length for a virtual coffee meeting?

In general we recommend 15 to 30 minutes for your chat. Less time can be a little took quick, and after 30 minutes or so the conversation may feel a little forced. If you stay within that band of time, you will have the most success.

What are some good ideas for virtual coffee meetings?

Virtual coffee meetings can take the form of one-on-ones and we also recommend considering group sessions. Bring your people together, and learn about coffee from a barrister, or do a tea tasting with new and exotic flavors. By expanding the way you think about virtual coffee sessions, you can come up with some fun and creative ideas!

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Author: Michael Alexis

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

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