5 Minute Team Building Activities & Ideas to Energize Meetings

Home » Resources » 5 Minute Team Building ActivitiesUpdated: September 27, 2022

Here is our list of quick 5 minute team building activities.

Five minute team building activities are short tasks that improve teamwork. For example, doing stretches, pep talks, and decorating the office. The purpose of these games and challenges is to enhance cohesion in teams and energize meetings.

These exercises are examples of team building activities and can include quick morning meeting games and quick activities for conference calls.

This list includes:

  • 5 minute games for meetings
  • 5 minute team building activities for the workplace
  • 5 minute energizers
  • 5 minute activities for adults
  • 5 minute challenge ideas
  • 5 minute team building games

Let’s get started!

List of 5 minute team building activities

Strong teams achieve company goals more effectively because members feel motivated to work together. Below is a list of interesting 5 minute team building ideas to inspire your colleagues.

1. Stretches

Starting your day with stretches has physical and mental benefits. Stretching enables muscles to contract and relax and causes your body to release built-up tension. This relief eases lower back pain, enhances body flexibility, and calms the mind.

If you have a gymnasium at work, then you can conveniently do sitting and lying stretches like in that facility. Examples of these stretches include cobra stretch and upper back stretch. You can ask members to carry mats for the exercises. Standing stretches are easier to undertake as they do not need extra preparation or materials. Some best standing stretches include side and quad stretches.

Note: stretches may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. You must immediately stop if stretching feels like a sharp pain.

Here is a list of team building workouts to try.

2. 5 Minute Stories

Stories entertain, teach good morals, and improve imagination. At work, storytelling exercises can enhance communication skills and improve concentration. Sharing stories helps you to understand coworkers’ perspectives and beliefs and learn more about your peers.

To conduct storytelling exercises first gather your teammates. Team members will have five minutes to tell their favorite stories and highlight the central lessons. These stories may include real-world anecdotes, the plots of movies and novels, or bedtime stories, for example.

The purpose of this activity is to share insights and to let members relive fond memories.

3. Employee Sharing Day

In light of the phrase ‘sharing is caring’, this sharing activity enhances collaboration. Sharing also promotes empathy and builds a sense of community within the team. Coworkers can do this sharing activity during breaks, early in the morning, or at the end of the workday.

To make this activity fun, ask members to bring items from home. Participants can put these objects in a central place, like a staff canteen, where members can pick up offerings to enjoy. Ensure that each team member gets at least one object from the pool of items.

You can consider books, documentaries, home appliances, and healthy treats as inspiration for items to share.

4. My Secret Recipe

My secret recipe allows team members to express themselves through their favorite foods. This activity helps teams bond and get to know each member’s tastes and preferences.

To conduct this activity, select a member to share the recipe for their favorite dish. For example, if a member says they like spaghetti and macaroni, then that person will describe their best pasta recipe. The describer will also tell how to make the mentioned dish special. This share-out includes tips for enhancing flavor, texture, aroma, and color in that dish. The sharer can email or hand out recipes to coworkers, and team members can report back after trying these tricks.

5. Employee-guided Pep Talks

Pep talks are helpful because they boost teams’ confidence and enthusiasm. These speeches are most efficient before a major undertaking, such as work projects.

In this pep talk activity, the team leader will assign a member to guide the talk. That member will encourage the rest of the team regarding the task. For example, global competition may discourage the Research and Development team. In this case, a pep talk may inspire the team to form strategic alliances to counter the competition.

Good pep talks should address common team challenges and make team members feel more enthusiastic.

Good pep talk topics for work include:

  • addressing lack of motivation
  • curbing fear of failure
  • boosting confidence
  • dealing with harassment
  • understanding occupational safety

Some tips for delivering a pep talk include reminding team members of their strengths, sharing personal stories, and reciting inspiring quotes.

Here is a list of motivational quotes to help you craft the speech.

6. 5 Minute Trivia

Trivia is a mind-stimulating activity that involves recalling random information. When preparing trivia, it is best to consider interesting categories. Topics like literature, geography, and entertainment are common. However, you can also come up with wildcard categories like “zany news stories” or “strange coincidences.” From these topics, you will create a series of questions and answers.

During the team building session, members can pick the topics they wish to try. You will then ask the questions and provide answers at the end of a round. You can subdivide larger groups into mini-teams for better participation.

If you decide to go with 5 minute team building questions for trivia, then vary easy and challenging questions. This variety will help participants enjoy the activity.

Here is a list of trivia questions for work.

7. Decorating The Office

Introducing new decor, such as art, furniture, and knick knacks gives the office a new look. When team members personalize their offices, they express their individuality and feel more relaxed in the office space.

Generally, most people decorate their offices during the Christmas season. However, you can decorate any time of the year. Some office decoration ideas include:

  • potted plants
  • framed photos
  • wall hangings
  • mini aquariums
  • stuffed animals
  • fresh flowers

Attractive office space is pleasant and helps you become more productive.

8. Icebreaker Questions

Icebreakers top the list of 5 minute virtual team building activities for remote teams. These quick activities are suitable for teams that rarely meet.

This activity works best at the beginning of the meeting to help attendees feel at ease with each other. To play, the leader will ask members simple open-ended questions. By answering the questions, members will begin to chat confidently.

Some icebreaker questions to ask include:

  • What was your favorite cartoon as a child?
  • What is the cheekiest thing you did in high school?
  • What is the best thing you have bought this year?
  • What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Icebreaker questions aim to promote interaction and conversations among team members.

Here is a complete list of icebreaker questions for work.

9. What Changed?

What Changed? is a game that requires players to be observant of their surroundings.

To play What Changed? let a member volunteer to lead. This member will change something about the meeting room or themself. For example, placing a book on a table or untying their hair bun when the others look away. That member will then ask, “What changed?” and the rest of the team will guess and tell.

The best time to change a detail in the room is when others have left the room, say for a break. Or, you can ask players to close their eyes, and after the changes, the members can look.

10. Praise Time

Employee recognition is crucial in maintaining high motivation levels in staff. Recognition takes many forms, including public acknowledgment and thank you letters, sometimes accompanied by monetary compensation.

The praise time session offers an opportunity to cheer and recognize employees’ deeds and achievements. One way to conduct praise time is to let members stand in a circle. The team leader will choose one member and praise that member for an achievement. Then, the chosen member will do the same to another player before sitting down. The activity goes on and on until the last member sits.

Praise may come from either senior colleagues or peers. To ensure the compliments land, strive for sincerity.

11. It’s Your Day Celebrations

Celebrating each other’s special occasions makes members feel special and keeps teams connected. Personal milestones like achievements and anniversaries are reasons to celebrate as a team.

Celebrations need not be expensive or time-consuming. Some 5 minute team building ideas on office celebration include sharing snacks and treats, shoutouts on Slack, and presenting a card or gift.

By celebrating together, you strengthen the team bond and build a community. This happy activity takes little time, and your employees will love it. To cater to each member’s special moments, you can spread these celebrations all year long.

12. Two Sides of a Coin

The Two Sides of a Coin game allows members to perceive their stories in a more positive way.

To play, you will need to first pair members. The first member will narrate a negative experience. The other member will listen attentively and deduce all positive experiences from the story. The listener will then retell the story, highlighting the positive experience.

Example:

Player 1: When I got my scholarship to study Medicine abroad, I had a very rough time. My roommate and I were constantly homesick because we missed our families. We felt that the years dragged by, and I didn’t like the food there at all.

Player 2: My partner had the privilege to get a scholarship abroad to study Medicine. She was lucky to get a roommate whom they shared and consoled their homesick issues. While abroad, my partner had many chances to try the country’s cuisine, which was a new experience.

This game improves empathy and listening skills and sets a positive mindset.

13. Secret Office Friend

This Secret Office Friend game is among the best small group 5 minute team building activities for camaraderie. Friends make the workplace less lonely and more fun. When you have a friend to encourage you, you can overcome common office issues like stress faster.

In this activity, the team leader will write down all players’ names on a piece of paper, fold, and shuffle. The members will each pick one piece of the shuffled paper. Each member will be a secret friend to the person whose name they picked and will look out for the chosen friend. This activity can run through for the given time, say a week. The secret friends will take a few minutes to send an anonymous encouragement note every day. For example, you can write, “I noticed how much you struggled calming the agitated client today. You are doing a great job.”

Employees who have friends at work engage more fully at work.

14. Blow Your Trumpet

This game helps team members practice self-acknowledgement and understand that it is okay to mention their own achievements. Blow Your Trumpet also teaches employees to brag without sounding snobbish.

This game requires each team member to declare a personal achievement. The leader can confine the wins within the work scope and include personal matters that impact an employee’s performance. Members should also feel free to justify rewards received.

For example, a player may say, “I got a promotion to be a sales manager because I introduced more clients and increased sales by over 33% last year.”

Blow Your Trumpet makes a good ice breaker. The purpose of this activity is to make members appreciate their strengths. The game also challenges the rest of the team to meet similar achievements.

15. Show and Tell

Show and Tell is an interactive storytelling activity. In this game, members share experiences and memories represented by an item.

This 5-minute activity requires members to come with a beloved item from their home or office. Each member will showcase their item and tell why that item is memorable. Members can then have the opportunity to ask questions concerning the item.

Here is an example:

“I am showing off this special hand band. I bought it in Kenya, where we took a family vacation last year. It is hand-made and bears my child’s name. This band reminds me how great the vacay was and the hospitality of the native people.”

This activity helps team members to learn more about each other and connect more personally.

16. Dancing

Dancing stimulates the body to produce a ‘happy chemical’ called serotonin. This chemical regulates mood and makes dancers feel happy.

After heavy work sessions, dancing is a welcome relief. The activity leader will let the team choose a theme song. The song should be about five minutes long and may vary in pace. For example, you can use slow-paced dance to enhance memory and discipline. On the other hand, fast dance would be a better option for burning energy and reducing stress.

Dancing is the best approach to break the monotony and beat drowsiness. You promote creativity and expression by encouraging employees to embrace original dance moves and responses.

Learn how to do a team building dance, and you can listen to songs about teamwork.

Final Thoughts

Team building helps employees enjoy working. Five minute team building activities are handy when your team has limited time.

Engaging in 5 minute ice breaker games or activities is enough to inspire your employees If you are working on a tight schedule, then. These activities rejuvenate teams during busy days and improve concentration and enthusiasm for work. ‘My secret recipe’ and simple birthday celebrations are good examples of quick team activities for break times.

Carrying out these activities in less than five minutes can be challenging. Therefore, you should plan and gather required items before the activity.

For more speedy team building ideas, check out these lists of icebreaker questions, rapidfire questions and virtual energizer activities.

FAQ: 5 minute team building activities

Here are answers to questions about 5 minute team building activities.

What are 5 minute team building activities?

These are short team activities that last for about 5 minutes. Teams undertake these activities to improve collaboration, trust, and morale and to reduce self-doubt and burnout.

What are some good 5 minute team building activities for work?

The following are good 5 minutes team building ideas

  • questions and answers, e.g., trivia and ‘What Changed?’
  • talks, for example, employee-guided pep talks
  • sharing items, ideas, and experiences like in ‘Two Sides of a Coin’
  • physical activity like stretches, dance and breathing exercises
  • celebrating each other’s wins, e.g. during ‘Praise Time’

Undertaking these activities will recharge your team members without taking much work time.

How do you do team building activities in five minutes or less?

5 minutes team building activities are usually simple to conduct. By engaging and preparing your colleagues well, you can complete these short activities in less than 5 minutes.

Some 5 minutes team building ideas are elaborate and may need prior planning. Below Is a proven method to help you execute such complex activities.

  1. Establish your goals. Identify the aspect of team building you want to improve, for example, to boost confidence and to improve leadership skills.
  2. Research your goals. Look for team building ideas that match your goals. The best resources include team building books, the internet, and experiences from similar teams in your network.
  3. Plan the activities. Decide what activities you want to partake in and schedule them. Then determine how to conduct these activities. For instance, virtual versus in-person participation, and selecting members to lead an activity versus asking for volunteers.
  4. Engage the team. Inform your team about the team building activities and set clear expectations on rules, requirements and the desired outcome. This way your team will actively participate and enjoy the team building activities.
  5. Expedite in five minutes or less. Undertake the activity within the set time. For large groups with individual performances, you can spread the activity over a larger period, say a week. This will ensure that each member participates.
  6. Assess the outcome. You can evaluate the effectiveness of the games and activities through observation. Alternatively, use appraisal forms to gather feedback from the participants.

Following the above simple steps will enable you to manage team-building execution within five minutes.

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Author: Grace He

Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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