5 Minute Team Building Activities: Quick, Effective and Engaging Activity Ideas for the Busy Office

A group huddle between people with their hands in the center

Want to elevate your team from “am” to amazing? At Woyago, we believe that great communication is the key to a successful team, and that it can be achieved through simple 5 to 10 minutes team building activities.

We know that team building activities are important but sometimes it’s hard to find the time. That’s why we want to share our top 11 for 5 minute team building activities.

Why Are Team Building Activities Important?

How team building activities can increase cooperation?

One of the main advantages of team building activities is that they promote teamwork, cooperation and collaboration.

Indeed, they help to develop a sense of belonging within the team and drastically improve the relationships between team members.

Employees understand the value of teamwork and how it can make or break their chances for growth in an organization.

This is why a whopping 97% of employees and executives believe that when someone on the team lacks alignment, it can affect the outcome of any task or project.

Though forming teams seems easy enough – just assign tasks then let all parties involved know where they stand with regards to completing them- this isn’t always feasible.

Varying degrees between each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as emotional bonds that need developing over time before teammates feel comfortable trusting one another fully – are all factors in creating a cohesive team environment.

Problem solving through Team building

Right communication habits can also help employees learn to surface, diagnose and work through issues. Great as a problem solving tool, team building can help employees work together better and install a peaceful and fun work environment at the office.

5 minute team building as a productivity tool

Another positive effect of installing five minute team building sessions would be the rise in employee engagement.

The more a team member feels a part of a group, the more they will be willing to engage in the company activity. And according to the same study stated above, a great team energy and engagement outside formal meetings are the best predictors of increased customer satisfaction.

So what are you waiting for?

Read our simple and fun 5 minute team building activities from top to bottom and start enhancing teamwork, employee engagement and collaboration within your team today.

A happy team, makes for a happy office and company.

Top 11 five minute team building activities to bring your team members together

Black markers and a stack of Hello my name is stickers for the Say Your Name backwards 5 Minute Team Building Activity
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Say Your Name Backward

People named Bob are banned from playing this fun game.

Have each member of a group introduce themselves by saying their name backward and everyone else has to try to figure out what their name is. 

Fun and simple icebreaker, the participants will enjoy the challenge and realize it’s not that easy to put on reverse mode!

Perfect for introducing team members of a new team or project, who haven’t worked yet together, whether they are remote or not.

Afro american woman having attaching sticky notes on forehead playing guess who game with friends during creative party. Mixed race people having fun together while sitting on sofa late at night
Simple, easy and fun – ‘Who Am I?’ with sticky notes.

Who Am I?

Go grab those yellow sticky notes on your desk, because it’s time for their moment of glory!

This game involves writing the name of famous personalities on the notes and to stick them to the foreheads of every team member. Then, get everyone to go around the room and ask creative questions for clues as to who they are. The answer can only be “Yes” or “No” reply.

To add a little twist and fun, use the names of colleagues and management instead of celebrities. This spin on the game might help team members get to know each other better and is great for fostering unity as well.

Pro tip: This game could last for a long duration if all employees of the team play together. You could complete it in five minutes or less if you’re playing in pairs or teams of three.

Stack of paper documents on office table.
Paper is all you need for the Paper Tower game. Bonus points for using old reports and recycling!

Paper Tower

Building paper towers is a team-building activity that takes just minutes to do.

The instructions are easy: Split your team into small groups and give them a few pieces of paper. Teams then get five minutes to build the tallest tower they can before time runs out.

In this team building activity, teams learn and practice the skills of effective team performance. This includes mainly creativity, collaboration and communication with the other team members, in order to get the best idea on paper folding and to build the tower hand to hand.

A group of multiracial young women around an office chair
And the winner of Pirate’s Treasure is …

Pirate’s Treasure

As a pirate, you’re always on the hunt for treasure. So why not turn your workplace into an island and play as if it were already swarmed with pirates?

Get ready to be attacked by other team members in search of plunder! With this game, one person sits blindfolded at the center with a treasure under their seat.

The rest of the group (pirates), all stand around the chair and attempt to steal the treasure from the blindfolded guardian without being noticed.

Pirates need to be sneaky to capture the treasure undetected. If a team member succeeds in capturing the treasure, the round will be over and a new blindfolded treasure protector will be selected.

But if the volunteer notices the pirate while trying to capture the object, that pirate will be eliminated and the game will continue until the treasure has been stolen or there are no players remaining.

The Ultimate Ninja

Let your competitive side shine with Ultimate Ninja! Race against friends and colleagues as you try not to get hit. Be quick on your feet while giving yourself enough time to plan a ninja attack of your own!

Ultimate Ninja is one of the fastest, most hilarious party games out there. This activity works best with about ten people in a group or 10-player groups if playing in larger crowds. You’ll need enough space to play this game so spread out.

As a team, stand in a circle facing each other. Begin by saying “Ultimate Ninja!” and then freeze in your pose.

At the beginning of this game, it’s important for players to remember who was before and after them because turns go clockwise around this room.

The goal of the Ultimate Ninja game is to be the last ninja standing. To stay in the game, you must keep your hand unharmed and make sure that no one else can hit it either!

Each player takes turns attacking each other with a single motion on their turn – whether they’re trying to jump or take a large step anywhere but upwards, players are only allowed one quick move per turn.

When an attack does land though, another player has just as many chances at dodging out of harm’s way before someone gets eliminated from play for good – so being fast and nimble helps quite a lot when playing this surprisingly exciting experience!

The activity ends when the last Ultimate Ninja stands alone in the circle! Instructions sound more complicated than it actually is. Try it, you will love it!

The main objective of this activity is to create some team bonding while raising up energy within the group.

Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution
What will the Question Master ask?

Question Friday

Decide on a short time with your team and designate a person that will be your Question Master of the day. Get every participant to connect on the chat tool you are using such as Slack or Microsoft Teams at the scheduled time.

That’s when the Question Master enters into action. They will ask the rest of the group 1 question that can be very random from ‘who showered this morning? to ‘what was your favorite trip?’ to thought-provoking topics – “If you were to go back to college, would you choose the same major?”

The team members will have to answer the question and then discuss it with one another.

This is a great exercise because not only do you get your team talking but also start thinking about their life goals which can help in the long run for employee retention.

Question Friday is all about getting to know each other better, get vulnerable and open conversation between the group. Great icebreaker, this team building activity is perfect for teams working from home.

Group of young athletes getting ready to race.
Will your group be able to strike the right pose in ‘Photo Finish’?

Photo Finish

The objective of this game is for the entire team to cross the finish line at exactly the same time. Should someone on the team finish before or after anyone else, the whole team must start from behind their starting line and try again as many times as it takes to break through with a simultaneous crossing.

The activity can be set up indoors or outdoors. You’ll need to create a line on the ground with chalk or a rope for instance.

Pick a team facilitator that will take a picture of every attempt to ensure the synchronization of the participants and catch them at the critical moment!

If you want to add an extra challenge to the game, you can ask them to take the same pose at the finish line.

The challenge demonstrates how we may initially believe certain tasks can be completed in a quick manner, but that real life always gets in the way.

This 5 minute activity is very engaging and efficient for building communication between participants.

Truth or Lie

For this new team building game, place the employees in a circle. Give everyone a few seconds to think about 1 truth and 2 lies about themselves. Then ask every participant to express those out loud. The exercise relies on the rest of the group to guess which one is the truth among the three statements.

An easy 5 minute team building exercise, this can be done on site or with remote teams.

Blind drawing

Another great team building session could be the blind drawing game.

Pair up your team in groups of 2 and make them sit back to back in the room.

Blind fold one of every pair and give them a blank piece of paper and drawing material. To the other ones, give them a paper with a drawing or image on it.

Each pair will go one by one. The participant that has the image will have to describe the shapes and details they see without stating the actual word of what it is.

The other player then has to guess and draw what their partner describes.

The winner will be the pair that shows the most similar drawing to the original image.

Other than working on new skills for your employees, such as listening and drawing (well, that’s to be seen!), it is also a creative experience making this team building activity dynamic and surely promises some good art.

Would you rather?

Almost everyone has heard of or played ‘Would you rather’, the questions game where you ask a series of questions such as “Would you rather eat 5 cockroaches or 5 worms?”

This is a great game to play in small groups of 5-20 people and usually takes less than 5 minutes to play but engages everyone right from the first round onwards.

Want to take it up a notch? Play the live action version instead!

Divide the room in half with a long strip of tape and as you ask questions have the participants jump to either side as they answer.

Looking for the ultimate list of would you rather questions? Check out our blog post ‘105 This or That Questions: Parisian Twist Edition.’

How are you feeling today? Describe it with emojis if you can.

Emoji check in

This final team building activity is perfect for home office teams.

As a team leader, ask your group to send an emoji of their current emotions on your group chat.

The goal is to identify which emotion each person feels and then find out why they feel that way.

This team building activity will help your employees get in touch with their feelings and open up dialogue about those topics.

Teams are at their best when they’re determined to outdo each other. It’s a fun way of getting everyone involved and motivated for the task on-hand. All you need is 5 minutes and a great bunch of people.

Final tips to implement five minute Team building activities in the office

How can you make your team building effective ?

  • Keep it simple
  • Provide clear, concise instructions and expectations for the five minute activity
  • Select an appropriate location for the game, where there is enough space for all
  • Get every team members to participate
  • Allow a debriefing session following completion of the five minute team building activity. This is essential so that people can reflect together on what they experienced and what new skills did they learn
  • Use your experience from this exercise as fuel for getting better at something in your life or work.

What to do if your team works remotely?

If your employees work remotely, the 5 minute activity can be done on a video call.

The key to success in this situation is for everyone to connect on time, plug in their videos and microphone and listen carefully to instructions. Make sure that every participant hears and sees you well.

To ensure everyone is ready and willing to plug in the video, you can also start with asking simple questions and asking them to answer by putting their video on as a “yes”, or off as a “no”. This can be a small introduction to your 5 minute team building while waiting for the last members.

If you find this complicated or too short to organize 5 minute activities and games by Zoom or Skype for teams working from home, then, maybe you should think about organizing longer virtual team building hangouts.

At Woyago, we got what you need! Bring your colleagues to Paris for a picnic, a virtual biking tour or a wine and cheese tasting experience for an hour of team bonding, in the “streets” of one of the most beautiful cities in the world !

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article as much as we took to write it.

Will you be willing to try some of those games at work? If you do, did you notice a difference in your employees attitude? What was your favorite?

Before leaving, make sure to check our virtual team building tours, there might be something in there for you!