The Ultimate List Of 5-Minute Team Building Activities

Sabina Nisioi
Sabina Nisioi
5 minute team building activities

Table of Contents

There are so many ways to spend 5 minutes. It takes 5 minutes to get ready for a meeting (at least to put a shirt on, because we all know you’re wearing your PJ pants). It takes 5 minutes to run a mile (and it feels like 5 years). It takes 5 minutes to restart your laptop (if it’s a bit old). And all of those are fine, but what would you say if you could start your work day with a 5-minute energiser, instead of going through your emails, organizing your desk, returning a missed call, or updating your calendar? 

In today’s article, we talk about the best 5-minute team building games that help you get in the mood for work, while also strengthening the bond between you and your colleagues. Grab a cup of coffee and get inspired for your next get-together with your team.   

5-Minute Icebreakers 

5 minute incebreakers for team meetings

Icebreaker Questions

You couldn’t go wrong by starting with some fun icebreaker questions for work. These are suitable for a 5-minute team building activity, but you can also make them last longer if you’ve got some extra time on your hands. Come up with a list of questions to ask your team and you’ll see how they immediately engage in discussions, having fun or – even better – getting to know more about each other. 

Icebreaker questions are a nice 5-minute team building activity for the workplace indoors, but also a great 5-minute team building virtual activity. Just make sure to put people in pairs, create breakout rooms, and check out our list of icebreaker questions for virtual meetings! Afterward, ask them to share what they’ve learned about their colleagues. Fun? You bet! 

Time To Move

Who doesn’t love dancing?! Fine… maybe introverts. Still, it’s worth giving it a try because we’ve had some good feedback with this 5-minute energizer. When everyone has gathered, play a good track. Your team might feel a bit silly or awkward at first, but the right music will eventually do the trick. Moreover, people will definitely be more invigorated to dive into the tough stuff after the short dance session! Some suggestions?

  • Las Ketchup – Asereje
  • Teddybears – Cobrastyle 
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky

Will You Be My Office Pen Pal?

Some people still love using pen and paper. Do something different today and assign everyone a ‘pen pal’. Next, ask them to write something work-related – their energy level, their worries for the day, or if there are some things they look forward to dealing with. This is a great 5-minute icebreaker because it gives your team the chance to learn about each other’s plans and blockers for the day, while also checking their level of interest. 

Word Association 

This is a 5-minute icebreaker for team meetings that requires no materials or preparation in advance. All you need to do is give a prompt, then have everyone share one word that they strongly associate with it. If you have more time on the clock, ask them to also explain their choice. Be creative when giving that prompt. You could say things like ‘boss’, ‘workaholic’, ‘micromanagement’, ‘please’, ‘burnout’, ‘overtime’, ‘X’, (the company’s name). This way, you’ll see how your team perceives certain work-related aspects.

5-Minute Team Trivia

Although it’s a good icebreaker, this 5-minute energizer can be tossed in your meeting at any time. People won’t know what hit them, yet their competitive spirit won’t take too much to show up. Start asking random trivia questions from various domains – recent news, pop culture, social studies, or politics. This 5-minute team building activity is perfect to detach from work a little bit and engage in a group bonding game.

One-Word Storyline

Just like ‘Word association’, this is another 5-minute icebreaker that tackles your vocabulary and imagination. Have everyone sync up with each other and make them create a great story; one word at a time. Start the clock! No more than 5 minutes! Give the first player a word; they have to continue with one of their own.  The second player says another word, then the third and the fourth, until the time is up. Make sure to write down the words as they come, then get your team to read out the full story at the end.

Fun 5-Minute Team Building Games

Yas Ruoy Eman 

Not your usual ‘Say your name’. This is a fun 5-minute team building game because it requires employees to introduce themselves to the rest of the team by saying their names backward. No one can ask questions to get clues. Next, the colleagues have to guess what each other’s names actually are. If you’re faced with large droves of recruits, break the whole batch down into smaller teams and start from there.

My Secret Recipe

The ‘secret sauce’ of this quick team building is sharing your favorite dish. Ask players to express themselves through the food they love the most and you will see how they start bonding. People that love Italian food will definitely have something in common, while those whose weak spot is sushi will get together the next time they order Asian. If you have more than 5 minutes on the clock, ask them to present their favorite recipe (this share-out includes tips for enhancing flavor, texture, aroma, and color in that dish) or the place in town where you can find it at its finest. 

This Or That

If you’re looking for a game that tackles team building questions, this is it! In 5 minutes, you can have players get to know each other better and have a good laugh, just by choosing between 2 options – ‘this’ or ‘that’. If you have more time for this activity, you can make it even more engaging by playing some variations! Pair people up and have one member guess what the other’s preference would be before they answer. Other similar 5-minute energizers would be ‘Truth or Dare’ and ‘Would You Rather’. 

Caption This

This is one of the best fun 5-minutes team building games you could get. All you need to do is scroll a bit through your gallery (and we know that’s a gold mine!) and choose a few pics. Now, here comes the tricky part – not any picture will do. You must pick the ones that could be great memes! As long as they are thought-provoking, it’s your team’s job to turn them into something epic. Players must show the image to their colleagues and give them 10 seconds to come up with the funniest captions. You can even vote on the best one via a poll!

Two Truths And A Lie

Another 5-minute energizer is ‘Two truths and a lie’. Nothing entices people more than a detective game. Put everyone’s human lie-detector skills to the test and see who fancies themselves a master manipulator. Each player must be short and sweet when stating two truthful statements and one sneaky little lie about themselves to the team. The rest of the people involved must try and guess which is actually the lie. Don’t forget to start the timer. It shouldn’t last for more than 5 minutes. This is a great indoor game that can also be played as a Facetime team building activity, but also as a fun outdoor game for adults. Give it a try!

5-Minute Games For Meetings

5-Minute Games For Meetings

What’s Your Mood?

Excited? Glum? Bored? Nothing describes better your mood than… a piece of paper. Encourage team building and get everyone’s creative juices flowing, by playing ‘What’s your mood?’. You might have heard of it under a different name – ‘Draw your moor’. Still, it’s the same thing. Ask everyone to get a slice of paper, a piece of paper (and some pencils, if they really want to put 100% into this), and have them draw their mood. In just 5 minutes, you’ll find out how everyone’s doing, but in a fun way (not that classic beginning of a meeting, when the manager asks ‘How was your weekend?’), you’ll have people talking, and you’ll give everyone an insight into each other’s personalities (and drawing skills). If you have more time on the clock, this can be a great 5-minute team building activity for work to learn more about your team’s holiday or weekend plans.

Baby Pictures

Anything that involves pics and childhood is sweet and can turn into a great subject for a fun 5-minute team building game. Ask your team to show baby pictures of them, before checking the calendar for the day and discussing blockers. Next, show all of the pictures and ask your team to match each one of them with the adult. Give some bonus points for ridiculous attire or facial expressions! P.S. ‘Baby pictures’ can become a great ‘Caption this’! 

5-Minute Team Building Activities For Workplace Indoors

Team Stretching

Don’t frown if you’re a guy! Stretching has so many benefits for both men and women, especially if they spend almost all of their time sitting. Hence, this can be a great 5-minute team building activity for work when things get too stiff in a meeting. Just pause everything and have a quick 5-minute yoga session. If you don’t have too much room in the office, just a few simple standing stretches will do wonders. Just make sure to get the blood flowing, before moving on to the next part of the discussion. Just like ‘Time to move’, this 5-minute energizer might feel a bit uncomfortable for some at first, but stretching together is a great way to help everyone relax and feel more at ease around each other.

You’ll see how people will be more and more into it. You might even consider turning it into a morning ritual for the office if your team looks rejuvenated and energized by these stretching sessions.

Listen Up

This is one of the best conversation games for adults out there and it works as a great 5-minute team building activity for meetings as well. You can suggest it as an icebreaker or as a random game during the discussion if things get too tense. For ‘Listen up’, you need to prepare a bit in advance. Write controversial topics on different pieces of paper. Next, pair up your team and give a set of topics to each of them. Start a 5-minute timer. One partner must draw a card and speak for 2 minutes about their take on that topic. The other must remain silent. When the time is up, the partner has 1 minute to recap in front of everyone what they’ve heard. They should not rebut, debate, or agree – just summarize. This activity lasts only 5 minutes, but it gives people insights into each others’ views on controversial topics, and it will definitely spark interesting conversations later on during that day. If you have more time for this activity, you can make it longer by having the partners switch roles or come up with new topics to debate. 

Pictionary

This is a classic game that can be adapted no matter the context, that’s why it works even as a 5-minute team building activity! To play ‘Pictionary’, group your people into small teams. Give each player a word and ask them not to show it to anyone, especially to the other players in their team. Have them illustrate their words one by one. Players of that illustrator’s team have 30 seconds to guess what the drawing is. If they can’t guess, each other team can make 1 suggestion about what the correct answer would be. You can make it last for as long as you wish!

Team Balloon Pop 

This is one of the best games with balloons for adults, hence a fun 5-minute team building activity! Watch out though… it requires an outdoor setting, speed, power, dexterity, and the ability to quell the voice in your head telling you that you’re a 40-year-old man who’s too old for this! Start by grouping your players in teams of 4. Place 2 members of each team on one line, then the other 2 players of each team on another line (about 30 meters away). When you shout ‘Go’, player 1 must tie an inflated balloon around their back with a string, then run to their teammate on the other line. When the two players meet, they have to pop the balloon by squeezing it in between their backs. Next, player 1 runs to the back of that line, and player 2 repeats the process. The first team to pop all of their balloons wins the game!

Who Am I?

Ask everyone to write a secret about themselves on a piece of paper- something their coworkers don’t know about them. Next, read the insights aloud and have the team guess who each secret belongs to. This 5-minute game for meetings is perfect if you want to learn about your people’s interests but also relate to them on a deeper level.

5-Minute Team Building Virtual Activities 

5 minute team building virtual activities

The Birth Map

Remote collaboration doesn’t need to be boring! ‘Get to know each other’ activities are great 5-minute energisers that enhance the community spirit. Open Google Maps and create a digital ‘birth map’. Ask everyone to pin their name on the location they were born. This will also show you how diverse the team is when you see everyone’s birthplaces pinned all over the globe!

Emoji Quiz: The Song Edition

Test your team’s imagination skills with this fun 5-minute team building game! Turn famous songs into emoji combinations and ask them to guess the right answers! You can also come up with the movie/play edition and make it as challenging as you wish. Take a look at some examples:

  • 👁 ➡️ 🐯 = Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
  • 🟣 ☔️ = Purple rain (Prince)
  • 🇺🇸🥧 = American pie (Don McLean)

Zoomed-in Favorites

Can they literally see the bigger picture? There’s always at least one person at the office with a favorite team building book, a favorite perfume, or a favorite desktop photo of their cat. Get each player to secretly give you an image of their favorite workplace object. Offer a zoomed-in image of the object and ask everyone what the object is and who it belongs to. Only afterward, reveal the full-scale image.

Show and Tell

Learn what’s important for your people. Let them know when you’ll be playing this quick team building activity and ask them to present an object from their home or office that is meaningful to them. They can each have the opportunity to show off their item and share why it’s important to them and what it signifies. You can create incredible bondings here, just like in the case of ‘My secret recipe’.

On eTeamBuilding, we love healthy work environments. Productivity (shoo, procrastination!), mutual support, acceptance, gratefulness, and fun are keywords for that. Whether your teams are playing in person or managing a remote work collaboration, 5-minute team building activities are a great way to ensure everyone’s well-being. 

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