15 Fun 5-Minute Team Building Activities For Remote Teams

Picture of Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

5 Minute Team Building Activities to Engage Your Virtual Team

Both employees and employers can benefit from the remote working model. Cost-savings are one of the biggest draws for business, while flexible scheduling makes it a sought-after option with candidates. However, hectic schedules are still a fact of life for many people working remotely. Even if someone manages to complete all of their assignments on time, there’s rarely any time left for social interaction and engaging with colleagues. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t treat your team to a little distraction here and there. While some of the usual team building activities are out, there are still plenty of ice breaking games and creative challenges you can try. Tight on time? How about trying these 5-minute team building activities that remote workers will love? 

What Are 5-Minute Team Building Activities? 

These bite-sized games are pretty self-explanatory really. When you don’t have time to schedule an event packed with longer games, 5-minute activities are a great alternative. Activities can include quick rounds of trivia, drawing challenges, and creative thinking exercises. Whatever activities you decide to use, the goal is the same. 

They might be on the short side, but 5-minute activities can still help boost morale among your teams and encourage employees to forge stronger, more meaningful connections with the people they work with. While you can turn to them when time is of the essence, they can also be deployed during longer team building sessions. Need a short and snappy icebreaker to make introductions? A 5-minute game is a good way to get longer sessions started. 

15 Quick and Easy 5-Minute Team Building Activities

Finding it hard to come up with ideas for condensed games for team building sessions? These 5-minute activities are easy to incorporate into any sort of remote meeting. 

1. Word Pairs 

This is a classic team building exercise that actually works rather well when played online. There are a few different approaches to this game, but a 5-minute version will work best in a simple format. Pull together groups of words, with an equal number of pairings in each. Players then have to find as many pairs as they can in the allotted time. You can be generous and give players a full five minutes to find the right matches, or have several shorter rounds to increase tension levels. 

2. Team Drawing Challenge 

This collaborative exercise is great for easing your teams into an all-hands meeting or interdepartmental get-together. For this game, you’ll need to assign players into groups. If you’re playing just for fun, everyone can participate as a single team. The goal of this activity is for players to work together to produce a single drawing. In the real world, this game is pulled off by having each participant draw on their own piece of paper before each one is taped together at the end. When meeting online, you’ll need to rely on virtual whiteboards instead. 

3. Speed Dating

How well do your remote employees know each other? If people are still struggling to make connections and communicate openly, it’s time to host a speed dating event. You can include this one as a precursor to any type of meeting, with participants randomly assigned another employer whom they then have a few minutes to get to know. You can mix things up and switch pairings after 60 seconds, or let each couple spend the whole five minutes finding out what makes the other tick. 

4. Instant Meme

You’ve probably come across more than a few internet memes in your time. However, how many memes have you actually created? All it takes is one witty line attached to the right image and you have a meme with viral potential. This fast-paced activity is perfect for inspiring creativity. To play, prepare a selection of random images that players will have to caption with a quirky quote or statement. You can source these images from movies, television shows, or even an old office camera memory card. 

5. 5-Minute Mafia Game

Mafia continues to be popular at parties and team-building events. Players are secretly split into two groups, with some being categorized as Mafia and the rest as villagers. Then, the game gets going. The gameplay alternates between ‘day’ and ‘night’ phases. During the night phase, anyone playing as a member of the Mafia is free to kill another player. When the day phase sets in, everyone comes together to debate the murder and pinpoint a suspect. Over time, groups are whittled down until a majority remains. For a more bite-size version of this game, think about splitting a larger group into smaller ones so a winning side can be decided more quickly. 

6. Who Am I?

A game of Who Am I? will always go down well. To play, every player is assigned the name of a well-known person at random. While they’re kept in the dark, the identity of their alter ego will be revealed to everyone else. The oblivious player then needs to ask a series of yes/no questions to narrow things down until they can confidently guess their identity. You can make things a little easier by settling on a theme. Pick famous figures from history, iconic characters from literature, or legendary sports stars.

7. First Job and Worst Job

If you’re looking for a 5-minute game that will let your team learn a bit more about each other, you’ve found it. Everyone takes turns getting nostalgic about their first experience of working life. Once this walk down memory lane is done, the cycle begins again, only now everyone has to reveal wince-inducing tales about the worst job they ever had. 

8. Icebreaker Questions

If you’re meeting remote teams for the first time, you’ll need to have plenty of icebreaker questions in the bank. All the usual topics can be covered here. Ask employees about where they grew up or what their favorite movie is. If you want to make it more related to business, anchor your questions to work topics instead. Here’s a list of trivia questions to ask coworkers.

9. Break Out the Baby Pictures

Nothing brings out the red faces like embarrassing baby snaps. If it’s been some time before your teams have gotten together online, take these previous few minutes to brighten everyone’s mood with a baby picture gallery showcase. You’ll need to ask employees to send these in ahead of time if you want to incorporate them into a slideshow or frame a game around them. We also have a ready-made ”Who’s that baby?” template you can use.

10. Say Your Name Backward

Can you say your own name backward? If your name is only two syllables long and you’re struggling, just imagine how badly others are going to fare. This quirky icebreaker will get people thinking and laughing as you kill some time before tackling more urgent agenda topics. 

11. What’s On Your Bucket List?

A bucket list says a lot about a person. Even those people who are well into their adult years have plenty of unfilled wishes and dreams. Sharing a list of the places you long to visit or goals you wish to achieve might seem a little personal, but it’s actually pretty liberating to share these secrets with the people you work with. 

12. Name That Song?

If you think you’ve got a good ear, you shouldn’t have any issues piling up the points with this game. The easiest way to play this game virtually is to play a few seconds from a famous song and ask everyone else to guess the title and artist. If you want to make things a little less tricky, a multiple-answer format is something to consider. Check out our 80’s music template, as well as the list of music-infused activities for more inspiration.

13. 5-Minute Trivia 

Trivia games are one of the most adaptable activities for remote teams. You can cram a surprising amount of questions into a few minutes, so don’t be afraid to mix things up when it comes to topic choices. You can also up the ante and make questions progressively harder. You can turn 5-minute trivia into an elimination-style game if you wish. When the five minutes are up see who, if anyone, is left standing. 

14. Draw Your Mood

Sometimes, it’s impossible to put our feelings into words. Visualizing them is a different matter entirely. Using virtual whiteboards, encourage participants to sketch out what they’re feeling in pixel form. There doesn’t have to be any competition element to this one. Instead, enjoy it more for its therapeutic value. 

15. Stretches 

Speaking of therapy, nothing calms the nerves before a big meeting than taking a moment to stretch and decompress. Just a few light stretches can do our bodies the world of good, so why not lead your team through a selection of desk-based stretches that they can put to use themselves every day?

Gloww – The Perfect Platform for Virtual Teams and Online Activities 

Now that remote working is here to stay, we need to embrace a new approach to team building. Thankfully, virtual team building activities aren’t a world apart from traditional ones. Many of the icebreakers and collaborative exercises used in conventional offices can be repurposed for remote teams, while others have had to be developed from the ground up. 

If you’re keen to bring the social element back to remote working, you should be putting a premium on team building activities and morale-boosting experiences. With Gloww, you have plenty of useful tools for turning your virtual meetings into immersive experiences that will engage, inform, and inspire. 

Have a look at our other team building activities such as 18 trivia games, 8 virtual activities for boosting remote teams, as well as New Year activities for even more fun.

Already know what team building games or virtual trivia games you’re going to pick for your next virtual meet? Get started with Gloww now. Are you after more than the usual games and activities? Explore our premium pricing tiers to learn more about Gloww’s advanced features. Got a Gloww-related question you need answering? Get in touch with the team and we’d be happy to respond. 

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Picture of ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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