How do you get to know the people on your team? Sure, a lot of relationship-building happens organically over time. But you can always give it a helping hand with fun icebreaker activities or questions!
This or that questions can be an excellent icebreaker activity for work. They're simple to ask and don't take much time to play, so you can easily get through a few at the start of a meeting. Even better, they help your team get to know each other and understand how each other thinks. Team members who don't know each other well may be surprised to find they have lots in common, sparking great conversations.
What Are This or That Questions?
This or that questions are a fun way to learn more about the people you work with. These types of questions are posed with two options, and the person you're asking must choose one of them. They can be used as an icebreaker, team-building activity, or even a conversation starter when you're getting lunch together!
Whether you're asking about fun topics or sticking to work-related subjects, this or that questions can help you learn more about the people around you. They’re a simple way to get to know people a bit better by discovering their preferences out of two opposing options.
Working Style This or That Questions
You can use this or that questions as an informal way to understand how the people on your team like to work. If you ask questions about their preferred working styles, you can figure out what works best for your team. This can help you create a working environment that suits as many people on your team as possible, and can help everyone feel comfortable and productive when at work. This type of this or that question can also help team members work better together, as they better understand each others' working styles and preferences.
With that in mind, here are some example this or that questions to help you dig into how your team likes to work
- Work in teams or work independently?
- Structured workday or a flexible one?
- Find deadlines motivating or stressful?
- Would you prefer a maker or manager schedule?
- Strict routine or mix things up?
- Work with music on or in silence?
- Go into the office or work remotely?
- Several short breaks or one long one?
- Get in early or stay late?
- Learn best by seeing or doing?
- Meetings in person or on Zoom?
- Save as you go or save at the end?
- Open plan or cubicle?
- Creative tasks or logical/analytical ones?
- Meetings or emails?
- Focused work or multi-tasking?
Office Life This or That Questions
Working in the office all day every day is no longer the norm. Only one in five U.S. workers go into the office every day, according to a 2022 report by Gallup, and around half work in a hybrid environment spending part of the week on-site and half at home.
If you're an office-based company (or trying to tempt more people back into the office), it's important to create environments where employees feel comfortable, so they can focus on doing their best work. Use these questions to figure out what's most important to your teams when they're in the office. While these may feel like fun, informal icebreaker questions, they're a great way to gather insights for your office manager or HR team.
Here are some this or that questions focused on work life in an office environment:
- Assigned desk or desk-hopping?
- Large meetings or small groups?
- Packed lunch or buy lunch?
- Dishwasher or coffee machine?
- Conference room meeting or desk meeting?
- Upgrade your chair or your computer?
- Dress code: smart or casual?
- Unlimited tea and coffee or unlimited snacks?
- Fruit or chocolate?
- Tidy desk or messy desk?
- Are you more likely to have a snack stash or stationary stash in your desk?
- Work through lunch or take a break?
- Holiday party or company retreat?
- Would you rather have a private office or designated parking spot?
- Office too hot or too cold?
Remote Work This or That Questions
The pandemic catapulted remote working into the limelight and it shows no signs of going away. In 2022, the number of people choosing to work remotely increased by 24% over 2021, according to a study by Owl Labs. So it's pretty likely you'll have some folks on your team who work remotely, or you'll work remotely yourself.
But nearly half of the respondents reported feeling isolated from their colleagues while working remotely during the pandemic, a Glassdoor study found. These icebreaker questions give people a chance to connect and have fun with their colleagues in what can sometimes feel like a lonely environment. Here are some this or that questions related to remote work, to help you get to know your remote colleagues and their work preferences a bit better.
- Slack or Teams?
- Fixed work hours or flexible schedule?
- Work at home or from a coffee shop?
- Sweatpants and comfy clothes or smart work outfit?
- Camera on or off for work calls?
- 1:1 chats or group virtual meetings?
- Work at a table or on the sofa?
- Pets in your "office" or pets not allowed?
- Virtual background or keepin’ it real?
- Synchronous or asynchronous work style?
- Fully remote or hybrid working?
- Meetings at the start or end of the day?
- Netflix at lunch or lunchtime workout?
- Remote forever or back to the office?
- Team building online or in person?
Fun This or That Questions
Your this or that questions don't need to be all about work. They're also a nice way to get to know people more personally. Here are some this or that questions that are a bit more fun (though some of them are still loosely related to work):
- Coffee or tea?
- Summer vacation or winter holiday?
- Cats or dogs?
- Make food from scratch or order in?
- Get a raise or get a bonus?
- Watch the movie or read the book?
- Beach trip or trip to the mountains?
- Sweet snacks or savory snacks?
- Inbox zero or 100+ unread emails?
- One long message or messages
- A raise or more PTO?
- Be able to type really quickly or read really fast?
- Add colleagues on social media or keep personal life separate?
- Salad or sandwich for lunch?
- Drinks after work or team lunch?
- Team socials or whole company socials?
Boost Retention With Employees Engagement
Icebreaker games like asking this or that questions offer many benefits for your employees. They encourage connection and bring a bit of fun into the workplace, helping people feel engaged with each other — and the company.
Pairing regular icebreakers with a comprehensive wellness program can give employee engagement and retention a real boost. In fact, our research shows 92% of company leaders believe wellness programs are important for employee retention. Wellness programs provide a holistic approach to employee wellbeing, encompassing physical fitness and emotional wellbeing.
If you want to learn what a wellness program can do for employee engagement, reach out to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today.
- Gallup. (2022, August 31). Returning to the Office: The Current, Preferred and Future State of Remote Work. Gallup. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/397751/returning-office-current-preferred-future-state-remote-work.aspx
- Glassdoor. (2021, September 13). Isolated Professionals Want More Community in the Workplace. Glassdoor. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/survey-says-professionals-want-workplace-community.
- Owl Labs. (n.d.) State of Remote Work 2022. Owl Labs. Retrieved July 3, 2023, from https://owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2022
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.