Chapter 5

5-Minute Team Building Activities

Check out our handy guide to the 10 best 5-minute team building activities. Super useful when you don't have a lot of time to organise.

Not all team building activities have to be these long drawn-out affairs that take up a large toxic waste amount of time.

For the times where you’re just looking to give everyone a quick break from work and just shake up the monotony a little, then you here are several quick and easy team building activities that all take no longer than 30 minutes to do.

1. This or that

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Duration: 5 to 15 minutes

How to play: A great icebreaker, this classic game that gets people talking about themselves and learning more about the people they work with.

The most straightforward way to play this game is to simply go through a few rounds where everyone has to choose what they would prefer between two given options.

You can make it even more engaging by playing variations of this game, like pairing people up and having one person try to guess what the other’s preference would be before they answer.

2. Bucket list

Objective: Team Bonding & Get To Know One Another

Duration: 10 to 30 minutes

How to play: One of the best ways you can learn more about another person is to ask them what’s on their bucket list.

Even if they haven’t had a chance to create a formal list beforehand, it can be fascinating to listen to them think out loud about what they would like to do or achieve.

Asking this question can reveal so much about what the other person’s hopes and dreams are, what it is that motivates them, and how all of it informs their personality and the kind of person they are today.

3. Show and tell

Objective: Get To Know One Another & Confidence Building

Duration: 10 to 30 minutes

How to play: Yes, you read that right, we’re taking this all the way back to grade school.

Set aside a time once a week to hold a regular show and tell session where two to three people are assigned to bring something from home and tell everyone else the story behind that object.

Even if the person doesn’t own that object, or it happens to be too big to bring into work, ask them to draw a picture of it. You can make this more interesting by giving your show and tell a theme like “Something that motivates you” or “What best represents your leadership style?”

While this might be a little cheesy and awkward at the start, this is an extraordinary team building activity that helps the presenter build their own confidence by sharing a personal story, and allows the audience to learn more about their fellow team members.

4. Office pen pals

Objective: Team Bonding & Communication Skills

Duration: 10 to 30 minutes

How to play: Bring back the lost art of writing by assigning everyone in the office a pen pal buddy.

Studies have shown that the simple act of handwriting provides a number of benefits to our brain from improving our memory, sparking creativity and even fostering a more positive mindset.

5. Word association

Objective: Communication Skills

Duration: 5 to 15 minutes

How to play: Whether you’re trying to get everyone into the right mindset of a meeting, or giving them a mental break by having them think of something random, the one-word word association game is as helpful as it is versatile.

All you need to do is give a simple prompt and ask everyone to share one word that they strongly associate with it and why.

6. Say name backwards

Objective: Team Bonding

Duration: 5 to 10 minutes

How to play: It really doesn’t get any more quick and easy than this particular team building game. This activity is particularly useful if you have a new team that is meeting for the first time and don’t really know each other yet.

As is fairly obvious from the name of the game, simply ask everyone to introduce themselves by saying their name backwards.

Team members then have to guess what each other’s names actually are and besides injecting a little humor into your standard introduction, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to remember someone else’s name if you heard it backwards first.