In modern workplaces, mentioning "team building activities" often conjures images of full-day workshops, ropes courses, or elaborate trust falls. While those activities have their merits, a hidden gem often gets overlooked—the power of the 5-minute team-building activity.
Yes, you read that right—five minutes can make a remarkable difference in team engagement and connection.
When you think about the hustle and bustle of the workplace, there’s always a heavy vibe of tight schedules, looming deadlines, and a general sense of urgency. This makes it even more critical to come up with those quick activities that will take no longer than a quick coffee break.
59% of employees report that they are experiencing burnout. The truth is, the busier people are, the more they’ll need those quick breathers that allow them to step back while also improving team dynamics.
In this article, we'll explore the magic of these bite-sized icebreakers and team-building exercises that can seamlessly fit into any workday, leaving your team energized and better connected without consuming precious hours.
1. Coffee Maker Questions
Team building exercises don’t need to happen through a face-to-face activity or a video call. Sometimes, even the team channel can be a great platform to get the team together for a quick engagement activity.
The Coffee Maker feature from CoffeePals, the virtual coffee break platform, sends thought-provoking questions to your team channels twice a week. Everyone can then jump in and answer the questions, sharing their perspectives about anything from bucket lists to dream vacations. This initiates fun conversations that help everyone get to know each other better.
Think of it as a virtual way of having everyone around the coffee maker or the water cooler, swapping stories and building strong relationships through random conversations.
2. Gratitude Break
A little gratitude can go a long way! Having quick gratitude breaks throughout the day can help boost morale and make everyone feel they’re a valuable team member.
There are so many ways to have gratitude breaks. You can open up team meetings by asking everyone to acknowledge specific team members who made an impact that week. It’s an excellent way to start meetings on the right foot.
You can also make these gratitude breaks more spontaneous. How about randomly sending the hashtag #GratitudeBreak on your team channel and having everyone jump in and mention something they’re grateful for? You can have these random breaks a couple of times a day just to promote that attitude of gratitude.
3. Meeting Mini Games
People expect collaborative games that take time to complete in a regular team-building activity. But who says short games that take 5 minutes or less aren’t good team-building activities?
A quick round of 2 Truths and a Lie or This or That can help the group learn more about their team members.
2 Truths and a Lie is a classic icebreaker game where people say three statements about themselves, and then other players guess which statements are true and which one is a lie. This or That lets everyone pick between two options, like “pancakes or waffles?” or “pizza or burgers?”
It’s a great way to start the day or to kick off your meeting. You can also have random mini-game sessions in the middle of the workday, especially if you notice some team members starting to lose energy or focus.
4. Show and Tell
Everyone has something to share. That idea made Show and Tell such a huge hit when we were kids.
But this activity isn’t just something that piques the interest of others in school. Even the workplace can be a safe space to share some of your life with your colleagues.
You can have one or two people in focus for every show-and-tell session to make sure you keep the activity to just five minutes. Ask them to talk about anything interesting, like their pet or a new hobby they picked up. Have them show you a picture of something they value dearly or a sweater they made on their own.
5. Something Weird
It’s always fun to discover weird things about the world. Did you know that Australia is actually wider than the moon? Or that Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn?
Mind-blowing tidbits like these will give everyone something to talk about for sure. It gives everyone a sense of awe and the feeling that we are all citizens of a world we haven’t fully understood or discovered.
Even better, everyone can swap weird stories and facts about themselves. Some might share that they sleep with their eyes half open or have a potato for a pet. The weirder the tidbit is, the better!
6. 5-Minute Trivia Challenge
Who doesn’t like showing off their stock knowledge through a round of trivia games? You can even keep score and see who gets the most number of correct answers at the end of the 5-minute round. Try splitting the team into two or three groups to encourage people to collaborate more.
If none of you have the bandwidth to prepare a list of trivia questions, you can use any app that can do that for you. Quizbreaker has a free trial that could help you decide if the product is for you. Kahoot also has business packages that don’t just allow you to have quick trivia rounds; it also serves as a platform for interactive training presentations.
7. Word Cloud
Word clouds are a fantastic way to show the team’s collective thoughts through single-word contributions from each team member. This can provide an immediate and powerful visual representation of common themes and interests.
How do you get started? You could develop a single word or theme and have everyone contribute a word or two that relates to that central topic. For example, you can say “teamwork” and ask everyone how they can define that in one word. Feed them into a free word cloud generator, and you’re good to go!
You could also create word clouds to set the right tone for every meeting. Tell them the main focus of the meeting, then have them contribute to the word cloud. It’s a great way to get everyone’s pulse on relevant topics.
Because word clouds require everyone to contribute something, it gives everyone a voice that shows them they are a valuable part of the organization.
Got 15 Minutes? Start Having Virtual Coffee Breaks.
If you have more than 5 minutes, go for virtual coffee breaks.
Virtual coffee break platforms like CoffeePals connect team members so they can have a virtual version of the usual water cooler talk in the office. During these virtual sessions, colleagues can discuss non-work-related topics, share personal experiences, or simply catch up.
Virtual coffee breaks are excellent team-building activities for the following reasons:
- Encourages Informal Interactions: They create a relaxed atmosphere for team members to chat about non-work topics, fostering personal connections.
- Combats Isolation: For remote teams, virtual coffee breaks combat feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belonging.
- Strengthens Relationships: These breaks help team members get to know each other on a more personal level, which can enhance teamwork and collaboration.
- Boosts Morale: Offering a break and a chance to recharge can improve team morale and overall productivity.
- Easy to Implement: They are simple to set up, requiring minimal planning and resources, making them accessible for all teams.
If you want to get your team started on virtual coffee breaks, try CoffeePals now and see team members building stronger work relationships, improving their capacity to collaborate and become more productive members of the team.