Team Building » 5 Minute Team Building Activities

12 Super Easy and Fun 5-Minute Team Building Activities for Work

Published December 14, 2022

If you have a team at work that needs to do a little bonding from time to time, you may have felt stumped for ideas in the past. It's always a challenge coming up with the right mix of professional, fun, and effective.

Thankfully, 5-minute team-building activities are super easy and an ideal way to bring your team together and help them to learn more about working together.

There are so many reasons that a brief team-building activity can lead to better working relationships between your team members, and they can also develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Ready to learn more about these super easy and fun team building activities that you can use at work? Keep reading and this guide will help you to make the best choice for your team’s needs. 

What Are 5-Minute Team Building Activities?

5-minute team building activities are hyper-short, simple 5-minute activities to get your teams primed to work together more effectively.

You might want to use this kind of activity as an ice-breaker before a meeting, or it can be the right way to get a team back on track when a bunch of people have moved to other job roles or have left the company.

The bond between your team members can make all the difference in the morale at your office every day, and you want to be sure that the happiness of your employees is never neglected.

Team building activities can offer low-stakes fun that will also improve working relationships and help people get to know one another better. Problem-solving as a team and having fun at the same time can also lead to lasting memories of good times between people who work together. It's easy for work to become mostly about the grind and for teams to become siloed from one another.

Thankfully, this kind of short, but frequent, team building activity can go a long way toward staving off these issues and keeping teams working together effectively.

Team building activities for work

What Are Some Good 5-Minute Team Building Activities?

Some good 5-minute team building activities include trivia, team recognition, puzzles, mindfulness, and icebreakers.

While not every team is built for every one of these activities, you will find that you can usually change a few of the details of the team building activity to make it fit your needs with ease.

The more creative you want to be with your activities, the better. There is really no wrong way to set up a team-building opportunity, so don’t be afraid to change out the parts of these suggested activities that are not a good fit for your team.

The more connected your teams feel to the activity that you have picked, the more effective the activity will be for your intended goals. Bonding over silly and fun activities is always a good outcome, but you might also want to be sure that you are getting your teams to work on skills that might have been lagging, or you might want to foster connection-building. These activities can do all of these things and more for your work teams, and they are short in duration, which makes them ideal for a last-minute addition to a staff meeting or some other event.

  5-Minute Team Building Activities for Work 

1. Tried and True Trivia

Simple but effective. Divide your teams up by random draw if you wish, or you can be intentional about the way that you assign groups to help split new people up into various groups of knowledgeable existing staff. You can also just let your teams draw numbers from a hat so that the result is truly random. This is a great way to make sure that everyone has a good time, and it helps with discussion and leadership skills.

Pick any topic that is appropriate for work and then fire off some questions to your teams. The team with the most right answers at the end of 5 minutes wins. You can make this more exciting by letting teams buzz in to get a chance to answer, or you might want to make the entire trivia game based on a timed group test.

If you have a couple of extra minutes, do a speed round at the end or come up with some kind of additional challenge that is work-related, like a quick-fire answer session about the rules of the workplace or some other common-knowledge item. Trivia is a great way to break the ice and also to help teams to work on problem-solving skills and company knowledge. This is also a really simple activity to arrange if you are short on time.

2. Secret Buddies

If you have been having issues with workplace culture or you think that people are not communicating in a nice way with one another, assign everyone a secret buddy. At least once a week, have the secret buddies write to one another for a few minutes and then drop the secret buddy note off at an assigned location. The secret buddy letters can be distributed by the person who has the list of assigned pairs in hand.

This can help with office morale, and it can also offer some comfort to those who might be feeling disconnected from their team but are too shy to reach out socially. Writing by hand can also be a really great way to keep your teams from being focused on their screens, and this kind of activity has been shown to help increase memory and emotion about the thing that is being written.

3. Speed Puzzles

If you have some simple jigsaw puzzles sitting around, this is a time to put them to use! You can also pick up simple puzzles for a really affordable price online if you need to prepare for this activity a few days in advance.

Break your teams into groups and have them work together on the puzzle - quickly. If the teams finish the puzzle in 5 minutes, everyone gets a reward (e.g. $5 coffee card). This can be a really effective activity and you take some videos of the teams working together.

In order to complete the puzzle, teams will need to communicate and execute in a fast, yet controlled collaborative manner.

When the puzzles are done, you can ask your teams to review how they worked together and talk about ways that they can improve in the future. Make sure that this discussion stays positive and that no one is singling out another participant in a negative way.

4. Count to 20

While this might sound like it’s too simple and that it won’t be fun, you might be surprised at just how effective this activity can be. Have everyone get in a circle and explain that the goal is for the group to count to 20 in the shortest amount of time possible with everyone taking turns saying one number without there being a designated order. If someone speaks at the same time as someone else, the group has to start over. Use your smartphone timer to see how fast your team can get this done.

This is a very simple way for your teams to learn to work with one another when they cannot communicate with emails or long explanations. The teams that can get this activity done will be good at understanding the team dynamic and excellent at non-verbal communication.

You can also use this activity to point out just how much non-verbal communication can impact everyone’s understanding of everyone else. If you have been having issues with people feeling left out or like others are not communicating with them well, this can also help those who are a bit shy to shine. This is an activity that requires patience, and people who are less outspoken often have more patience to offer.

Fun 5-minute team building activities

5. Compliment Circle

There are plenty of occasions when teams of people working together are not able to feel connected in a social way. This can happen when work deadlines are really intense or when there are issues with someone not getting along with the team. A compliment circle is a very simple way to make sure that people feel good about their team and to make certain that people feel appreciated.

The best way to make sure that this activity is done with a genuine feeling is to surprise your teams with its presence in their daily huddle or some other activity that gets everyone together. Without time to plan, your teams will be honest with one another, and the compliments will feel much more natural and heartfelt.

6. Personality Tests

If your teams love taking magazine tests or doing activities that talk about your personality and preferences, offer them a quick personality quiz. Once everyone is done taking their test, have them reveal their results and let everyone talk about the ways that they might be able to learn to work together better with people who test out in a different group.

Sometimes just knowing more about the way that other team members think and make decisions can help greatly with communication. This can be a hard topic to tackle without something fun to get the ball rolling, so a simple personality quiz can be a great way to get everyone talking in a way that is not confrontational or likely to spark arguments or hurt feelings.

You can also get all the people with the same personality type together and let them talk about the things that they have struggled with at work due to their way of seeing things. Let teams talk about how they can improve on their blind spots so that they are better at working with others each day.

 5-Minute Team Building Activities for Virtual Teams

7. Show and Tell

Have everyone show something or explain something that they think is central to who they are as a person. Everyone will need to explain what this accomplishment, achievement, or goal means to them and the other team members are welcome to ask questions. This is also an activity that is best done with a prop that can actually be displayed, but this is not a requirement.

8. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

This can be one of the most fun ways to get your teams talking and having fun at the start of a meeting or some other virtual event. Have a simple list of things that most people should have around their home in hand. Read off the items and let people scramble to go get them. Each round, someone will be slowest to come back, and they will be “out”. The last person standing wins!

Super easy team building activities for work

9. Brainstorming Session

While this might just seem like a work-only kind of activity, there are so many benefits to having teams brainstorm together. This can be a great way to get a group that is not working well in conjunction to focus on the same problem and make real headway into a solution. Have your teams pick a topic they want to brainstorm about, or you can decide for them. Set a timer and let everyone talk about the ideas that they have while someone keeps notes. If the session goes well, this can be the new roadmap for the project or problem after the activity is over.

10. Wellness Moment

If your teams have been working really hard and are stressed, provide a 5-minute wellness moment activity at the start of your next meeting. This might be a simple guided yoga session or a breathing exercise, or a meditation. Wellness moments can be critical for your teams to stay fresh and sharp, and they can also offer a shared moment of peace when things are crazy. Headspace has some great video shorts that can guide your team through a mindfulness or wellness moment.

12. DIY Crafts

Give everyone an item to make in advance, then have everyone bring their item to the start of the meeting. Everyone can share what they made with the provided supplies. The sillier the item, the better in most cases, and you can even hand out fun rewards like the strangest item, most beautiful item, and so forth. This is not an activity that is done entirely on camera, but it can be a really fun way to get teams talking about something low-stakes at the start of a meeting.

13. Campfire Moment

Have your teams use a campfire-inspired background at the start of the meeting and choose some activities to do. Maybe everyone was sent snacks to enjoy via the mail, or perhaps you want to share some campfire songs or stories together as a group. This can be a really relaxing and fun way to bond as a group, and everyone will love this activity if things have been stressful at work.

14. Two Truths and a Lie

This classic game is very simple to use for virtual team-building. Have everyone tell two truths about themselves and a lie, and then let the other team member guess which is which. This activity often reveals really interesting things about team members that others would not know. It can also really surprise people who have never talked with one another when they find out they have a lot in common. Make sure that everyone picks appropriate things to talk about, but otherwise, the topics of discussion are wide open, and the surprising facts might flood in!

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5-Minute Team-Building Activities Can be Easy to Use

If you have been worried about how to get your teams working together better or you are concerned about a lack of communication amongst your teams each day, these 5-minute activities can help your teams to reconnect and to start having fun with one another again. While work needs to get done each day, there is nothing that says that fun can’t be had at the same time. Teams that are having fun working together are much more effective, and the morale at your workplace will be much better if everyone feels welcomed and included.

As you've seen above, team building activities do not have to take hours to be effective. These 5-minute activities can be super effective, especially when done frequently. Don’t think that you can’t offer your teams the chance to bond just due to a lack of time. These five-minute activities are easy and quick but very effective!

Looking for Your Next Team Building Activity?

5-minute team building activities are great because they are short and sweet. However, you'll also want to mix in larger team building activities to really create a memorable experience.

A team building scavenger hunt is the perfect mix of fun and using a scavenger hunt app like Scavify helps make the organizing of the activity itself easy to manage. Teams can interact with the Scavify app in exciting ways, and you can record the performance of your groups so that everyone can talk about ways to be even more effective later on. There are so many benefits to using the Scavify app for your team building exercises that you will wonder how you ever did any of this kind of work without it.

Contact Scavify

Scavify is the world's most interactive and trusted scavenger hunt app. Contact us today for a demo, free trial, and pricing.

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