If you have ever worked in a company before where you have had team building days, you’ll know that they can be fun, full of excitement and usually a great way to get out of the office.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget to put on an away day for the team and sometimes the team building is more urgent than a pre-planned date in the distant future.
If you are in charge of trying to organize these team building events then you’ll be pleased to know that we have some great 5 minute team building activities for you to implement with your team.
What Are Team Building Games?
For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to encounter a team-building exercise, basically they are a way to help bring a work team together so that they can work in a more effective way.
These exercises build up communication, strengthen relationships and encourage empathy so that people begin to work as one team instead of a group of individuals.
As previously stated, some larger companies put on team building days for their workers to help strengthen the team.
These days can cost thousands of dollars and isn’t always feasible for small or medium-sized businesses.
Creating an in-house team building session is a great alternative that won’t bust the budget.
Why Are They Important?
Team building is really important to strengthen the group of workers that are in the office or business.
New starters and people that have been working in the company for years can feel isolated and out of place in the team.
To make sure that everyone is working as one cohesive unit is important both for the morale of your staff and for productivity.
By building a stronger team, you will have a happier workplace which money simply can’t buy.
How to Run a Team Building Session
So to start with you are going to want to make sure that you give everyone enough notice…but not too much!
People will feel frustrated if you pull them away from a project at short notice, but will equally feel bad-tempered if they have enough time to overthink it.
Schedule in an afternoon on a Friday when everyone will be grateful for the potential of an easy afternoon (or even an early finish) and let everyone know where and when to be.
Make sure that the room you have allocated for your team building session is big enough (no one wants to “squeeze in”) and put on refreshments.
Once you have your team in place, start with a quick name game or use stickers. It might be a good idea to put their job role on their name tag as well so that people can put a face to a department.
Introduce yourself and discuss what you want to achieve from the session and ask for feedback at the end. Feedback forms might be the best way to gather this information as people can then give it anonymously.
5 Minute Team Building Activities (Fun, Easy, and Cheap)
Now it’s time for the game!
Choose one or two of the 5 minute team building activities or games below and watch as your group of staff build on their work relationships.
1. Would You Rather?
This game is pretty straightforward and probably something you will have played before either as a child or as a party game (making it all the more enjoyable when a room full of professional adults play it!).
You will need to write a few “would you rather” questions before starting. If you need some ideas, grab this book with hilarious would you rather questions.
They can be as wild or as vague as you like but they must NOT be personal or relating to work.
Questions such as “would you rather spit in someone’s coffee or steal their sandwich?” will create arguments and animosity between the group.
Instead, try random questions such as “Would you rather marshmallow teeth or a hard candy tongue?”. Then split the room into two sides, one denoting each answer.
The team needs to make its decision and vote with their feet. You’ll be surprised by how funny everyone will find it and how surprised each side of the room will be at the other choices.
4 or 5 of these questions are enough to create a fun game and if you want to elaborate then you can always “interview” a random member of the team to see why they made that choice.
2. Truth, Truth, Lie
The truth, truth, lie game is straightforward.
You get your team to sit in a circle and spend a minute thinking of two truths about themselves and a lie. They then take it in turns to say these out loud to the group, without giving away which one is the lie.
Then the person next to them has to choose (with or without the advice of the group) which one is the lie out of the 3.
You then go around one by one so that everyone has a chance to give their 3 statements and everyone has a chance to guess which is the lie.
Person A has had a minute to think of three statements. They say, “I like cats, I drive a motorcycle and I like to knit”, the person next to them will have to choose which one of them is a lie.
Other members of the team shout out “I reckon it’s the cats”, others say “he can’t knit!”.
The ultimate decision lies with the person next to them and they get to say which one they think is a lie.
3. 20 Questions
20 questions is a good game for group participation and one of our favorites for 5 minute team building activities.
If you have one or a few people that prefer to be quiet or are shy, then this game might suit them well as it doesn’t involve everyone having to give an answer.
You ask one person (or they nominate themselves) to sit at the front of the room facing the group. They have to think of a person or an object but not tell anyone what it is. Then, people take it in turns to ask them a question.
You, as the adjudicator, have to keep count of how many questions they ask and if no one guesses what the item or person is in 20 questions then that person wins a prize.
If someone does guess correctly then they win the chance to be in the hot seat.
You can also do this as a pairs exercise.
You will have to pre-write objects or people on post-it notes and hand them out to each person.
They will then stick them onto their heads without looking at them.
The pairs will take turns asking questions to see if they can guess their own object or person before the other.
4. Human Bingo
Similar to guess who, human bingo is another whole group exercise that can be used to build on common similarities.
In order to get this game going, you will need to create Bingo cards in advance.
You can download and print these off the internet or you could create your own customizable ones. Alternatively, you can buy premade bingo cards on Amazon for nominal prices.
You need to make them a little bit different so that each person’s bingo card says something different to another person’s (otherwise it will be a pretty quick game and a close finish).
The cards should say statements on them that relate to everyday life such as “I have a dog” or “I go to the gym a lot”.
You give everyone a bingo card and ask them to mill around the room asking people questions. They will have to get to know each person or ask them specific questions to fill out their bingo cards.
Each time they find someone that fits the square, they are one step closer to shouting “Bingo!”.
A prize for the winner is actively encouraged and if you have a tie then you can ask a tiebreaker question or forfeit.
5. Paper Tower – 200
A straightforward one but nevertheless a good team-building exercise. The paper tower activity works by several members of your team working together and sharing ideas to create something.
Split your team up into smaller groups (usually, 3 or 4 works best) and give them several sheets of paper, some glue, tape, and scissors.
Ask them to build a tower with the paper they have been given and give them 5 minutes in which to do it. The highest tower wins.
There are several different variants to this including the materials you use (they could be drinking cups, paper straws, cardboard boxes, you name it), the challenge (you could ask them to build a bridge or a replica of something) and the deciding winning factor (this could be how much weight can your bridge hold, can you use the replica for its purpose, etc).
This activity can be a lot of fun and by picking the teams carefully, you will be able to see who has leadership skills as well as allowing other team members to shine.
6. Human Tower
This activity is best suited to a young, physically fit team!
The human tower is basically what it says, you ask your team to get into smaller groups of 6 or so and see which team can make the quickest human tower.
This is not only a good laugh for everyone, but it will also mean that they need to communicate effectively with each other and let people know where they feel most comfortable.
It is also a good trust exercise as each team member needs to know that the other one isn’t going to break or let the team down and therefore fall down!
A word of caution: be sure to risk assess this situation and if necessary, add a few mats or cushions in, just in case.
7. Who’s Missing?
This is a good game if everyone in the team knows each other.
This isn’t the sort of game that a group of strangers can do because no one will have learned everyone’s name in the 5 minutes leading up to this activity.
Once you have your group of people, ask all of them to stand up in the middle of the room.
It’s important to make sure that they don’t stand in a line or a circle. Ask them to close their eyes and tell them that you are going to tap someone on the shoulder who must then quietly leave the room.
After they have left the room, tell the group to open their eyes and work out who’s missing.
The alternate versions to this can be if you do it with pictures of the team and remove one (making sure that whoever it is that you have removed knows not to give the game away) and also with objects on a table or tray.
8. The Improv Game
By far one of our favorites at DeskUnity, the improv game is great for creative teams and outgoing team members.
You begin by asking everyone to stand in a circle. You choose two people to go into the middle of the circle and give them a scenario to act out.
This could be something funny or real life but as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with work then your team will be willing to play along.
Great starters are “one person helping another cross the road”, “two people drinking coffee at a café” or “two people meeting in a shopping mall”.
The couple then has to act out the scene and continue acting until another team member shouts stop (you might want to do this the first time to show the example).
The person who shouted stop has to go into the circle and tag in with one of the pair. They then have to change the scenario completely into something new and the other player has to act a new scenario out.
This game really does provide fun and laughter and you’ll be amazed at what some people come out with!
Keep changing the pairs, encouraging people to tag in (if you have to you can nominate people to take over) and the creativity will flow.
There you go!
We hope these 8 amazing 5 minute team building activities that your employees and co-workers will absolutely love.
Do you have any suggestions for a team-building game? Let us know in the comments section below.