September 26, 2022

5-minute team building activities that simply work

Easy 5-minute team building activities for your next meeting. Short and tested to bring your team closer together. Ideal for remote teams!

Let us guess. You have a meeting tomorrow morning, and you’re looking for last-minute team building ideas. You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading and choose fun and quick team building activities that work for you.

 

Our list includes five-minute team building activities for work; remote - hybrid or non-remote - that aim to: 

 

If this is the first time you try a team building activity, it’s your chance to create a positive vibe that will allow you to build on and see results. All activities are free (you can find more free activities here).

We categorized activities into two types of 5-minute activities for team building 

  • Adjustable to your current needs, examples included to help you
  • Breathers aiming to bond over a laugh when times get hectic and you need to bring back some love and nurture  

Adjustable short activities for meetings

1. Virtual gifts

Props: none needed

Great for: bonding, getting to know each other, celebrating important dates

 

Whether virtual or at the office, this team building game works wonders. Celebrating the small things goes a long way when it comes to the team's morale, especially after the pandemic. You could start with something as simple as birthdays to test out reactions. Just don’t mention numbers.

 

How to play:

 

1.    You announce the reason for celebration to your group

2.    You split them into 3 groups (if more than 3-4)

3.    You give them a minute to find a picture of the gift 

4.    They show it to the rest and give a reason for their choice

 

A slight differentiation: 

This game could also work backward if teams are new. Get everyone to share the gift they’d like for their birthday, and tell the group why. Great chance to show some personal taste and preferences.

  

2. Affirmation cards

Props: make your own with blank cards or buy a suitable deck ($7-$40)

Great for: bonding, positivity, confidence

 

You don’t have to be a yogi on top of a mountain to incorporate affirmations at work. Allowing teams to be open and show vulnerability builds stronger relationships and promotes transparency. We’re in!

 

How to play:

1. You each draw a card from the deck

2. You take turns to read it aloud

3. You can share your card with another person if you feel like

 

Extension: You can create your own deck according to your team’s needs. You can use their names, write them down, or read them aloud yourself and hand them over to the person you believe needs them.

 

Affirmation cards are ideal after or during a difficult period, make teams feel supported through demanding times, and promote positivity.

 

3. Who is…

Props: none, or paper/pen

Great for: ice breaker, identifying dynamics, confidence

 

This activity can work in many ways. You can choose to keep it neutral or make it very workplace-specific. Either way, you are in for some laughs and a clearer view of office dynamics. 

How to play:

  1. Ask your question (see below for examples)
  2. Team members write the person on cards, type in their name or shout it out (you know what works better for your group)
  3. Create a Hall of Fame and/or assign a fun task to the cat lovers group/the cooks etc

 

Neutral version examples:

 

Who is…:

  • a good cook?
  • a cat/dog lover?
  • a movie nerd?
  • a caffeine addict?

 

Workplace-specific version examples could also be adjusted for leadership team building activities:

 

Who is your go-to person when…:

 

  • the printer is jammed?
  • the internet is down?
  • you lost a document?
  • you want to order lunch?

 

Tip: Mentimeter is a great tool to use for getting answers fast. Various questions are fully anonymous, but it also offers question types that allow you to identify your members.

 

4. Group chat questions

Props: none

Great for: bonding, getting to know each other

 

How to play:

Assign a day in the week when a member of your team asks a question on your group chat. Questions can vary from silly to serious; here’s an example of each :

 

  • What would be the first thing you do if you won the lottery?
  • Who is the first person you share your wins with?

 

Fast team building activities for a breather

5. Guess the sketch

Props: pen and paper, or Gartic, Autodraw

Great for: bonding (in pairs or groups), collaboration

 

Choose a theme for the game according to what is relevant around the time of your meeting. 

How to play:

  1. Announce the theme to the group
  2. Pick the first player - the rest of the team guesses aloud
  3. Set the timer for 30’’
  4. Go!

 

A fun activity for 5 minutes of unwinding and some laughs. Your team will love you!   

6. My worst job

Props: none needed

Great for: ice-breaker, bonding, listening skills

 

How to play:

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Get your team to share their worst job ever. No matter how embarrassing, it will make team members bond and share a laugh. Don’t forget Brad Pitt used to dress as a chicken before his big break.

7. Stranded on a deserted island

Props: none

Great for: Ice-breaker, unwinding, getting to know each other

 

A classic everyone loves. You can start by narrating the following and then sit back and enjoy. At Gomada, it becomes a problem solving activity because we can never choose only one object!

How to play:

So, you find yourself on a deserted island. You are allowed three things. 

  • a person
  • a piece of music
  • one object

What will it be?” 

 

Give your team 1 minute to write and the rest to share in any order. Either one category at a time or by person. Here’s an example: Timothée Chalamet, Beethoven’s 9, and a sleeping bag. 

8. A truth and a lie

Props: none

Great for: Ice-breaker, bonding 

 

How to play:

  1. Each person in the group takes turns and shares one true statement and one false. 
  2. The rest of the team needs to guess which is which.

Extension: Put all statements on a board anonymously, and have the team match them with the correct person. How well do you know each other? Let’s find out.

9. My emoji

Props: your phone, and/or a group chat

Great for: online team building, group emotional check-in

 

How to play:

Share an emoji that describes:

 

  • Your week
  • The tasks you have for today
  • Your weekend (if it’s Monday)
  • Your feelings after this meeting (if this is the last activity)

 

You get the point. You can play around with emojis and adjust them according to the occasion. Like your emotions reading this article are full of ❤️.

 

10. My motto

Props: none, or any online chat

Great for: inspiration, getting to know one another better

 

How to play:

Each team member takes turns to share and explain: 

  • one time your motto came in handy
  • who taught you
  • what it means to you

Allow your team to go as deep as they want with their story. You can jot them down and use them when needed. Showing you listen is important to your team.

How to use quick team building games 

Build on the points below as you see fit in order to secure a successful introduction of team building activities for your team members.

  • Create a ritual. Once your team building activities for meetings become popular, people are eager to indulge. Don’t give up after your first try. Give it a few weeks.
  • Keep it simple. The way you present a quick team building challenge makes it or breaks it. Rehearse if you have to, be brief, pleasant, to the point. 
  • Mix them up. Do not go over the same game just because it was popular. Try out several before having a standard team building activity for every meeting. You can also use team building apps for some variation.
  • Include everyone. Yes, that goes for you too. Go first to show the team it is safe to expose themselves. 
  • Enjoy the process. Team building activities serve a deeper purpose but don’t forget they are also fun and a chance for a breather between tasks.  

Long-term benefits of team building activities

 

As times got more challenging and workplaces stayed partly or fully remote after covid, building stronger teams is imperative. It is no longer a luxury for companies to allocate time to games for team building.

 

Firm Claire Joster suggests that consistent team building practice:

 

  • Increases empathy and emotional bonds
  • Enhances positive attitude and trust among teams
  • Promotes healthy competition towards problem-solving

 

On the importance of community in hybrid work environments, SMSgt Elise Redziniak pointed out how important it is to give people the opportunity to feel connected as often as possible. Even 5-minute team building activities for work make teams better connected, more aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, develop their communication codes and identify problem-solving styles. 

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