Engagement

Best 5-Minute Team-Building Activities Your Team Won't Get Bored Of

Here are the 20 best 5-minute team-building activities you can play many times with your remote teams. Boost connection and collaboration in 2024.

I love having pre-meeting icebreakers with my team to live up to the atmosphere and uncover fun facts about each other. These virtual team-building activities help us bond even when we can't be together.

Drawing from my experience, I've collected 20 of the best 5-minute virtual team-building activities that are fun and different every time we play them. 

Our chats always take unexpected turns depending on our chosen topic and how we engage.

Easy to set up. Time-efficient. Fun and repeatable. 

These activities will breathe life into your weekly team meetings and build a stronger sense of unity!

1. Virtual Trivia

What you’ll need: A list of trivia questions.

Virtual Trivia involves a series of questions to let people explore interesting, non-obvious facts on various topics. 

It’s one of the simple 5-minute team-building activities that only takes a few minutes at the beginning of your meeting but really gets people’s attention and excites everyone.

Team members can either play individually or in groups. You ask the trivia questions, and others answer them within a set time. 

Points are awarded for correct answers, and the person or team with the most points wins.

Why Virtual Trivia Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

Trivia challenges the team's knowledge and quick thinking. Here are some exciting trivia topics for your team to bond over:

It's also a great way to reinforce company knowledge. And switching up the topics keeps things fresh so you can play regularly without getting stale.

You’ll likely uncover surprising bits of expertise from quieter team members, too!

2. Photo Games

What you’ll need: Photo Collage Icebreaker template for your team to submit and share their photos.

Find a free Photo Collage icebreaker template here

In this 5-minute team-building activity, your team members are challenged to share photos based on specific prompts, such as 'Your Workstation' or 'Favorite Hobby.' 

This can be done live during a meeting or as an ongoing activity where photos are shared on a team chat platform.

Why Photo Games Help as a Team-Building Activity: 

Photos save memories and spark conversations. 

Sharing personal photos offers a glimpse into each other's lives outside work. Hence, you can learn more about colleagues’ interests and backgrounds.

With this simple activity, you can catch up with your remote teams several times a month, seeing what fun, exciting things happen in their work and lives miles away. 

Here are some topics with additional ideas for your photo game:

  • Baby/Childhood Photos - “Who is this little guy?” or “What are the funniest childhood memories you’ll never forget?”
  • Pets - “What is the most naughty thing your pet has ever done?” or "Whose pooch or kitty is this?" (It'd be cool to match up cats with their owners if you're all feline lovers.)
  • Vacation - “What is your favorite country you have visited until now?” or “If you can choose to settle in a country you visited, which country would that be?” 
  • Embarrassing Moments - “The photo captured before the embarrassing moment.”
  • Favorite Memory - “The photo you memorized every detail by heart.”
  • Biggest Accomplishment 
  • Favorite Celebrity or Childhood Celebrity Crush

3. Two Truths and a Lie (Probing Questions Allowed)

Two Truths and a Lie

What you’ll need: No setup required.

I cannot think of more straightforward 5-minute team-building activities when we welcome a new team member than the Two Truths and a Lie. It’s our go-to choice!

The rule is simple, with no preparation needed. 

Each participant thinks of two true statements and one false statement about themselves. The rest of the team guesses which one is the lie. 

When guessing, they can pose three additional questions (more or less depending on your rules) to determine the truth. 

Facilitator tips: Use a timer to avoid the questioning part being too long.

This game is often full of surprises and laughter as truths and lies are revealed.

If you have more time, try a full round of all team members and keep track of points to see who the “Truth Detector” is.

Why Two Truths and a Lie Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This activity brings down walls between team members. Most of the time, you’ll find not-so-obvious facts about others.

When people pose more tricky statements (you'll gain experience crafting clever truths and lies after playing a few rounds), it challenges everyone's assumptions. It gets them involved in a more lively discussion.

Even if you guess wrong, being surprised forges connection. And that is the whole point of this game.

4. Charades

What you’ll need: A list of words or phrases. 

In Virtual Charades, one person acts out a word or phrase without speaking while the rest of the team tries to guess what it is. 

It can be played in teams or individually, with a set time limit for each round or until someone speaks out the word.

Why Charades Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

Telling a word without telling a word ain't easy! 

Charades is a classic 5-minute team-building activity that encourages creativity, non-verbal communication skills, and laughter.

Using full-on body language will be challenging at first, but gestures, movements, and facial expressions will become looser and more playful when your team gets more attuned to others. 

When the competitive spirit peaks, you may feel the urge to yell out the word. 

That’s how Charades is an excellent team-building activity that shows you the rule-follower (who does not break the silence rule) and the resourceful (who tries different ways to get their teammates to guess the word).

5. Icebreaker Questions for Remote Teams

What you’ll need: A set of good icebreaker questions for work.

Icebreaker questions are always a perfect on-the-spot 5-minute team-building activity. You ask unique and thought-provoking questions, and your team members answer in turn. 

Questions can range from “If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?” to “What's a skill you'd like to learn this year?”

Icebreaker Questions for Remote Teams

Here are some great sets of icebreaker questions to bond with your team:

Why Icebreaker Questions Help as a Team-Building Activity: 

The first five minutes can set the tone for the whole meeting. The game helps you start every meeting on a high note. 

Icebreaker questions are indeed conversation starters, which can reveal more profound layers of team members' personalities and preferences. 

This fosters a closer bond and understanding among the team.

6. Fun Facts Sharing

Fun Facts Sharing

What you’ll need: A touch of curiosity.

Fun Facts Sharing is one of the simple yet engaging 5-minute team-building activities. Each team member will be invited to reveal 1-3 unknown fun facts about themselves. 

To add an extra layer of excitement, you can introduce themes like 'quirky work habits' or 'nostalgic childhood memories.' 

It's not just about sharing; it's about discovering the unique quirks that tick each team member.

This encourages everyone to delve into personal stories often left unshared in the workplace.

Why Fun Fact Sharing Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This game opens up new avenues for understanding and connecting with colleagues on a more personal level. 

It breaks down formal barriers and fosters a sense of camaraderie. 

Sharing personal anecdotes in a light-hearted setting helps build trust and empathy among team members, crucial components of a cohesive team.

7. Never Have I Ever

What you’ll need: No setup required. However, you’ll need a sense of humor.

This classic 5-minute team-building activity, tailored for remote teams, is always a hit.

Each person starts with five fingers held up. Taking turns, team members share something they've never done. If someone else has done it, they lower a finger. 

As team members reveal things they've never done, you'll lower your fingers and raise eyebrows at the surprising revelations.

The goal is to be the last one with fingers still raised.

Here are some fun, work-appropriate questions to stir up the game:

  • Never have I ever forgotten to mute myself during a virtual meeting.
  • Never have I ever attended a meeting in my pajamas.
  • Never have I ever emailed the wrong person at work.
  • Never have I ever had to Google a term used in a meeting because I didn’t know what it meant.
  • Never have I ever mixed up a colleague's name with someone else’s.

Why Never Have I Ever Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

Putting a finger down to a “never have I ever” statement can begin a fascinating story. You learn more about your team members without saying a word. 

This game brings out surprising and often humorous stories, helping team members see each other in a new light. 

It's an excellent way for teams to bond over shared (or unshared) experiences and learn unexpected facts about one another, enhancing team dynamics and understanding.

8. Telephone Game

What you’ll need: Visit Gartic Phone, create a room, choose your mode, and send the invite link to your team.

Gartic Phone is played in different modes, with "Normal" mode mimicking the classic Telephone game but with drawing. It is one of my team’s favorite 5-minute team-building activities.

Each player starts with a phrase, draws it, and then the next player interprets and redraws it, leading to hilarious albums at the end.

A plus point of the Gartic Phone is that it has so many modes to play, for example:

  • Knock-off: Try to replicate the drawings.
  • Complement: Continue to complete the sketch of other team members.
  • Story: Continue a narrative based on the previous sentences written by other members.

Why Virtual Telephone Game Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This game enhances creative expression and showcases different perspectives within the team. You will see how team members interpret and express ideas differently.

It's a creative whirlwind that highlights the diverse ways your team members think and communicate. The sky is the limit!

9. Pictionary

What you’ll need: A list of words of your choice, or create a private room on Skribbl with its random word list and share the invite link with your team to play directly.

Pictionary

Pictionary, the classic drawing and guessing game, gets a virtual makeover. 

You will have online game-time sessions where your team draws and guesses words against the clock. 

Want to make it extra special? Upload a customized word list to Skribbl to reflect unique insights into your cultures and industries. 

Why Pictionary Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

It's more than doodles and wild guesses. Pictionary is a rollercoaster of quick thinking and snappy communication, perfect for forging stronger team bonds in a playful setting.

This can be a fun test of how your team can maintain efficient communication under pressure (while still having fun). 

It's an excellent exercise in fast reflexes and creativity.

10. Alphabet List Game

What you’ll need: No setup required. 

What is a thing in the office that starts with the letter “Q”? (Hint: Quarter bonus 😉)

Imagine a game where the alphabet isn’t just letters but a gateway to creativity. In the Alphabet List Game, each letter prompts team members to think of items related to a chosen theme, such as 'things in an office' or 'travel destinations.'

Each team member contributes to the list in alphabetical order.

Facilitator’s tip: Ensure everyone gets a turn and encourage quick responses to maintain the game’s pace.

Alternatively, you can play the letter-based version, where everyone comes up with words starting with a designated letter in different categories. Try it here

Why Alphabet List Game Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This fun 5-minute team-building activity can transform a regular team meeting into a memorable bonding experience.

Under time pressure, you might blurt out words that are very distantly related to the given theme. That is still the fun of it!

It's a fascinating and engaging way to encourage quick thinking and creativity. Plus, the collaborative nature of building on each other's ideas fosters a sense of unity and collective wit.

11. Brand Name Guessing

Brand Name Guessing

What you’ll need: Everyone should have a piece of paper and a pen ready, or you can organize digital drawing tools like Figma and Google Jamboard instead. 

We see hundreds of brand logos daily, but do we really remember them? Does Gucci’s logo have two Gs back to back, or are those the two Cs of Chanel?

Here's a challenge: Draw a brand logo from your memory and let the rest of the team guess its name.

Watch your team's drawing skills (or lack thereof) turn into a guessing game full of laughter and surprises.

This 5-minute team-building activity can be done using a digital drawing tool or showing hand-drawn images on camera.

Why Brand Name Guessing Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

It's a playful way to test memory and artistic skills. 

The brand that each member remembers can tell something about that person. Whether they care more about technology or high-end fashion? Or is your team verified foodies who recognize all food brands within 5 seconds?

This activity generates laughter and surprises, fostering a light-hearted team atmosphere.

12. Birth Map

Birth Map

What you’ll need: A digital map tool where people can pin their locations and stories. You can screenshot Google Maps or remake our Padlet template here.

The beauty of a distributed team is that you can have endless opportunities to expand your heart and learn about different cultures. 

There is no other intimate way to know someone than to learn about their hometown, where the life story began.

In Birth Map, each team member pins their birthplaces on a digital map and gives a brief presentation about their home country/city.

For the story to be engaging, it should mix general information about the country, a unique or symbolic culture, and your anecdotes. Don’t forget to surprise your colleagues with fun facts about your hometown.

Why Birth Map Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This 5-minute team-building activity is a cultural kaleidoscope, shining a light on the diverse tapestry that makes up your team. It is a heaven combination between getting to know each other and learning about new things. 

Understanding others’ cultures can give everyone in your team a more insightful and mindful lens in communicating and working with each other. This can help your team work together better as a whole. 

13. Word Association

What you’ll need: A list of prompt words.

This 5-minute team-building activity can end up being the most random game ever, and I love it for that!

One person kicks off the game with a prompt word, and then each team member will take turns saying one word associated with the one before them. 

The end. No other rules. Only creativity, immediate reaction, and chaos.

Some of my favorite situations of the game:

  • Apple: Phone, Pie, Newton, Worm 
  • Star: War, Peace, Flower, Sneeze 
  • Remote: TV (not even mention about work), couch, snack, French fries

You can set a time limit for each round to keep the pace lively. Or let the word chains continue organically until reaching a natural end.

Why Word Association Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

This game shows how each mind works differently (and no judgment allowed). 

Most of the time, you’ll slip out the word on the top of your mind. This is a getaway from a workplace environment where you always have to think carefully about what you want to say.

With an instant reaction, the game can reveal the unfiltered, creative, funny, and a bit goofy of the team member you have never seen before. It can lead to fascinating discussions and insights into team dynamics!

14. Spot the Difference

Spot the Difference
Spot the difference game (Source: LATimes)

What you’ll need: Two similar but slightly different images. Crazygames has premade sets of spot-the-difference images for you to go.

Did you write in your Resumé “keen eyes for details”? Now, it’s time to prove that. 

The rule is straightforward. You have to find all the differences between the two almost identical images. 

It can be an individual or a team game, based on your team’s preference. Whoever finishes first or completes the most within the allotted time will be the winner.

Why Spot the Difference Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This 5-minute activity sharpens your observation skills like no other.

It also promotes a collaborative effort among team members to find all the differences in the shortest amount of time. 

15. Two-Sentence Story

What you’ll need: Your imagination.

Here’s to the story that starts one way and ends up in the absolute opposite. 

With this activity, one person will begin with the premise of a story, and the next person finishes it. The winner will be the pair with the most exciting story voted by the team. 

The second person will have to follow what the teammate laid down, but the story's direction is unpredictable.

This is my favorite example from when our team played this game:

A: One morning, I woke up and realized I was lost in a jungle.

B: After finding a way around for 15 minutes, I hear music from afar - It’s a Blackpink concert in the middle of the jungle!

Why Two-Sentence Story Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

The game encourages creativity and collaborative storytelling. 

It is perfect for a good laugh and breaking the ice, creating a relaxed atmosphere where stories unfold most imaginatively.

16. Reverse Brainstorming

Reverse Brainstorming

What you’ll need: A topic to brainstorm.

Has your team ever gotten stuck in the middle of a brainstorming session?

Here’s the thing: If you cannot figure out the solution to the problem, let’s flip the whole thing and start by thinking about how to make that problem…worse!

That is what Reverse Brainstorming is about - Switching to thinking about the opposite of what you’re trying to solve.

With this, the team has to trust the process. I guarantee you this method can lead to innovative solutions and new perspectives.

I usually use this technique as team meeting ideas, yet it works wonders as 5-minute team-building activities, too!

For example, we once started our weekly team meeting with a quick reverse brainstorming session to enhance our AI Action Plan Generator user experience:

  • We started by each thinking of what would make Small Steps so bad, like long waiting time, complex sign-in requirements, overwhelming features, etc.
  • Then, we mixed things up by passing our bad ideas to another team member.
  • Everyone got to work on solving the poor experience they got from someone else.
  • And voilà, the result is a set of solutions to improve user experience.

Why Reverse Brainstorming Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

It gives the team a starting point. If you have not figured out how to improve a problem, it’s easier to identify how you DON’T want it to be. 

The game pushes boundaries, challenges conventional thinking, and encourages out-of-the-box ideas. This technique can lead to more creative and effective problem-solving.

17. What’s Next in the Song

What you’ll need: A playlist of songs and a platform to play it. 

Can you guess the song's next line when it’s abruptly stopped?

Try to sing the following sentence of this easy peasy lemon squeezy example: “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…”

That’s how you play this game. The host will play a part of a song and stop it whenever they want. You have to guess what the next word or line is. 

Facilitator tip: Make sure the song list is well-known and inclusive.

Why What’s Next in the Song Helps as a Team-Building Activity: 

This is a light-hearted way to test your team’s musical knowledge and reaction time. The game guarantees laughter and a relaxed environment to brighten up the meeting.

There is no better way to break the ice than people singing and jamming. I genuinely believe that music can blur borders!

18. Language Lesson

Language Lesson

What you’ll need: A list of terms or phrases, and a place to note down your “learning” if you want to, like Notion, FigJam, Miro, or Excel sheet.

Let’s expand your language horizon!

I’m living abroad, and one thing I do regularly is to ask my friends how to say common phrases in their language: “Hello,” “How are you?”, “Good day.”

And now I know how to say “parking lot” in Spanish.

That’s exactly how you play Language Lesson. With a list of words and phrases, each team member can contribute the translation in their language or a language they know. 

This can be a fun opportunity to learn about different cultures through their language. 

For example, In Czechian and Vietnamese, we can translate “Have a nice day,” but we don’t really use it naturally in every conversation like in English or Dutch. 

Why Language Lesson Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

The game is not just educational; it fosters cultural appreciation and inclusivity. This activity is perfect for language development and understanding in diverse teams.

Most importantly, it shows the willingness of each team member to learn their colleague’s and other languages. Learning about each other’s language is a foundation for a trusted and respectful relationship. 

19. Create Your Own Memes

Create Your Own Memes

What you’ll need: A quick meme generator or an online meme game platform like Makeitmeme, and a dose of humor.

Usually, meme-making is the task of the person in charge of your company’s social media. 

But I believe every team member is a hidden gem for meme-making potential!

With the workplace scenario topic, each member can generate a meme and share it with the team. 

It will lead to humorous and relatable content because no one has a more accurate insight about your work life than you do. 

Why Create Your Own Memes Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

The game is a fun, creative way to express everyday workplace situations. Memes bring teams together, lightening the mood and enhancing camaraderie.

For managers, you might also identify some of the unspoken problems of your team members via the memes they make.

20. 6-Word Memoir

6-Word Memoir

What you’ll need: No setup required.

Say more with less – this game is the quickest way to connect with others on a deeper level.

Each team member comes up with six words to summarize their life or experiences. Then, each person can share their words and explain their story. 

Why 6-Word Memoir Helps as a Team-Building Activity:

In the brief 5 minutes, you can learn about the six most impactful keywords in the person's life. How powerful is that?

This activity goes beyond the surface, fostering deep connections. It's about introspection and sharing personal stories in a way that brings the team closer together.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your team engaged and connected doesn't require extensive amounts of time or effort! 

These fun and easy exercises will help your team members get to know each other better, work together more effectively, and create a happier work environment.

Each takes only 5 minutes, and you can find all the necessary information to get started here, including game rules, platforms, and materials to play.

Additionally, a suitable virtual platform helps you ensure a smooth and interactive experience with your hybrid and remote teams.

Check out our comparison guide on virtual meeting platforms and virtual workspaces to find the best fits. 

Little team bonding moments like these can significantly affect how well your team works together and achieves goals!

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