Facilitators often use ice breakers and energisers to warm up or pick up their audiences. This usually takes place at the start of a conference or after a meal, when the group needs to be revitalised. Ice breakers are activities that give participants the chance to learn about each other before taking part in a workshop or team building activity. They are designed to ensure that participants feel comfortable with each other, so an activity or event can achieve its maximum potential. Energisers are also used to ensure that events are as successful as possible, but they are distinct from ice breakers. Energisers are activities that are meant to enliven participants, and they are usually used when energy levels are low or waning, for example early in the morning or after a meal. Both of these kinds of activities can be short and sweet, and both offer valuable benefits to events that intend to bring employees together for learning and team building.
While these short activities are most often used in situations like training days, seminars, conferences and team building events, it is productive to recognise that they offer benefits for every day work as well. Ice breakers are used before team building activities because people feel more comfortable working with their colleagues after they know them on a more personal level. This should not be limited to activities or experiences outside of the workplace. When employees feel more comfortable with their co-workers in their everyday work contexts, it follows that they work more productively in their teams at work as well.
Energisers also have a clear place in the work environment. Not only can they be used to reinvigorate workers during an afternoon slump, but they can also bring a team together and leave them revived and ready to return to work together, united by the shared enjoyable experience.