Companies can find plenty of information about long-form team building. But what about when you only have a small portion of time to get in a quick team building activity?
You don’t have to block off an entire day to treat your team to a break from the normal routine! If you want to celebrate a victory, break the ice, or just offer a quick pick-me-up, there are really fun and quick team building activity options! Your team will leave feeling energized and ready to re-engage with the work at hand. This could be the best 5-minutes of their day!
Go ahead and try out some of these quick team building activities!
1. Would You Rather…
Objective: Get your team moving
Divide the room in half with whatever you have available (tape, paper, coffee cups, pens, etc.) Then ask the group some would you rather questions. “Would you rather eat a hot dog or hamburger?” “Would you rather only have heat or air conditioning?” You assign a side of the room to each answer and team members will walk to whichever side they would choose. Your team members will find commonality and get to know each other better.
2. Waffles Or Pancakes
Objective: Get your team to open up and have fun
This is a game with minimal preparation similar to Would You Rather. Start with one team member and ask if they could only have one for the rest of their lives, which would they choose—waffles or pancakes? They will give their answer and explain why.
They will then ask the next team member which they’d choose—they have to use the answer they gave (either pancakes or waffles) and then add something else (pancakes or whipped cream).
That team member will answer and give an explanation and move onto the next. It’s a great way to engage every team member, without being too much or requiring a lot of depth. Even those who don’t like the attention will likely not be too overwhelmed by answering a simple question like this.
3. Positive Statements
Objective: Strengthen relationships by encouraging one another
Whether you’ve noticed your team struggling with getting along, or you simply want to make this a part of your company culture, Positive Statements is a quick team building activity that gets down to the heart. First, your team gathers together. Then everyone says something positive about each person. You can either have them say things out loud, or write them down to hand to the person. Don’t be surprised if this one gets emotional. Even the toughest people want to know they’re loved and appreciated!
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4. Word Association
Objective: Take a mental break and let your team members’ minds roam
This one is fast and simple. Start by give a prompt (like “Saturday morning”), and ask everyone what came to mind for them. For some it might be “cartoons as a kid,” or maybe “lake days.” This is great if you’re in the middle of a brainstorming meeting and everyone seems stuck. You need something to take people’s minds off the issue at hand and let them mentally go somewhere else. This is also a great one for remote work as it would be really simple to translate to Zoom!
Objective: Encourage collaboration and fun!
One of your team members is the detective. The detective closes their eyes and counts to thirty. While this happens, another team member is chosen to be the spy. The spy will begin with an action (like waving their hand or tapping their nose), and all of the others will follow along. The detective will open their eyes and observe. After a little while, the spy will change to a different action and the rest will follow. The detective will try to figure out who the spy is. The spy will continue to change the action until the detective figures out who the spy is. This game will make your team feel like kids again and allow them to let loose a little!
1. Bucket List
Objective: Get to know each other better
The game has simple instructions and only requires paper (if you’re in person) or a chat function. Everyone comes up with their top 5 bucket list items and takes turns sharing. What’s nice about this option is that it’s not a competitive game. Instead it serves as a simple, relaxed way to break up the day and let your team get to know each other better.
2. What’s My Name?
Objective: Get your team up, mixing and mingling
Write the names of celebrities or notable figures on postcards and stick one to each person’s forehead. They will then walk around the room asking yes or no questions about their notecard until they guess the person correctly. This one is can end in some great laughs as people struggle to figure it out, and sometimes guess way off base!
Objective: Break the ice and learn new things about your team members
This is a great one! You don’t need any materials, just an account with Quizbreaker, and they generate the questions. The rounds generally take 5–10 minutes, so you can play one round or keep it going for a little while. Each person will answer icebreaker questions, and Quizbreaker will generate them into “who said what” quiz questions. Everyone tries to guess correctly! It’s a great way to get to know team members and forge some bonds over shared favorites!
1. Sinking Boat
Objective: Work on collaboration and critical thinking within small groups
Group your team into fours and provide the prompt, “If your boat was sinking, who would you save, and in what order?” Then list off people, which could be anything relevant to you (a doctor, a pregnant woman, a child, a celebrity of your choice). The groups will decide together and share with everyone what they came up with at the end and why. This activity gets your team members working together and trying to solve a complex, but lighthearted, problem. They’ll have to tap into critical thinking skills as they make their choices.
2. Show And Tell
Objective: Improve public speaking and help your team get to know each other better
This one may feel awkward at first, because it’s reminiscent of elementary school, but this is a great chance for people to bring something from home that they’d like to share with the team. It can be hard to really get to know people at work if you don’t intentionally take time to do so.
This is also a great way to build confidence and speaking skills within your team. One suggestion is to have a weekly day for Show and Tell day and assign two people each week to bring something. You can even offer prompts like, “Something that makes you feel comfortable.” “Something that reminds you of a fun time.”
Benefits Of Quick Team Building
According to BBC, taking tiny breaks can improve our ability to concentrate, change the way we see our job, and avoid injuries related to sedentary environments.
Have you ever been stuck on a project and found yourself staring at your screen with absolutely no brain activity? This is the moment to grab the team and do a quick, 5-minute team building activity! You’ll soon find that tapping into a different way of thinking and giving your mind a break from the task at hand will allow you to come back refreshed and ready to dive back in!
Team building activities, whether short or long, will also benefit the team as a whole on multiple levels. Showing your team that you care about their well-being by providing quick team building opportunities will create a positive work environment, encourage communication and collaboration, and help develop critical thinking skills that can translate into their work projects.
Whether your team is remote or in person, large or small, there’s an activity for everyone! Get the whole company to join in, or keep it small with your department—there are so many ways to get out of the mundane and tap into a moment of fun and refreshment during your work day. You don’t need a huge budget to plan an entire day’s worth of activities. Improving your team morale can be quick, simple, and cost-effective. Find some awesome free online team building games here.
Looking for an easy-to-plan team-building activity that will wow your group? Book a Peerspace and whisk your team members away to a unique venue like a hidden rooftop, lush backyard patio, sun-drenched industrial loft, and beyond. Not only will you change your scenery using Peerspace’s creative spaces, but you’ll also create new memories in a new environment, facilitating team bonding.
Work environments don’t always have to be 100% about work. It’s been proven time and time again that team building exercises are a valuable investment. Even sprinkling in these 5-minute activities throughout your work week can add up to a great company morale, a high-functioning team culture, and outstanding results in the workplace.
Anecia is a Nashville-based writer who believes in the power of team building. She writes a variety of content focused on creative corporate team building ideas, to help teams become more dynamic, unified, and successful.