5-Minute Virtual Team Building Activities to Boost Your Team’s Spirit

Posted in Employee Experience

Did you know that workplace fun is the #1 driver of well-being across every generation in the workplace, according to Great Place to Work? Did you know that laughter increases your oxygen, stimulates your heart and lungs,  and increases your happiness endorphins? Or that, according to scholars, feeling surprised can actually increase employee happiness and help us to deal better with change? If so, just wait till you hear about 5-minute virtual team-building activities!

Since we launched our Enboarder Connection Cards and started playing our incredible Networking Game, we’ve been thinking a lot about the power of games and fun to drive a positive employee experience. We have witnessed firsthand some of the amazing benefits of taking time out to have fun and get to know co-workers on a personal level. 

Adding a little unexpectedness and fun into our daily routine can help connect employees on a human level. It primes us to be more collaborative and creative and is a great way to shake things up and create space for new joiners in our organizations. (A perfect addition to that remote onboarding checklist!) 

Multicultural group of friends outside

Last week, we shared some super fun ideas for summer team-building. But you may not always have the time or budget for a big shindig. How can you integrate fun and camaraderie into your virtual or hybrid team’s daily or weekly schedule?

Here are 50 ideas for your in-person or virtual teams that will take no more than 5 or 10 minutes out of your day!

Fifty 5-Minute Team Building Activities for Virtual Teams

  1. 🧘 Group Stretch: Facilitates a collective energy boost and stress relief, reinforcing a sense of unity.
  2. ✈️ Paper Plane Contest: Fosters creativity and friendly competition, leading to increased camaraderie.
  3. 🤔 Office Trivia: Strengthens company culture knowledge while encouraging teamwork and healthy competition.
  4. 💬 Compliment Circle: Boosts morale and promotes positive interactions, fostering an environment of mutual respect and appreciation.
  5. 😊 Emoji Mood Board: Allows team members to express current feelings creatively, enhancing emotional connection.
  6. 🤷 Would You Rather: Sparks conversations and laughter, helping team members bond over shared preferences.
  7. 📸 Desk Photo Contest: Provides insight into personal workspaces, promoting personal connection through shared workspace ideas.
  8. 🧠 Mindfulness Minute: Encourages a shared moment of calm, improving focus and reducing collective stress.
  9. 📖 Story Round Robin: Stimulates creativity and listening skills as each person builds on the story, enhancing group cohesion.
  10. 🎩 Funny Hat Day: Encourages self-expression and light-heartedness, leading to laughter and relaxed interactions.
  11. 🤝 Two Truths and a Lie: Encourages sharing personal stories, building trust as team members learn more about each other.
  12. 🕺 Impromptu Talent Show: Team members showcase hidden talents, enhancing mutual appreciation and camaraderie.
  13. 📝 Quick Sketch: Team members draw portraits of each other, fostering fun and artistic expression.
  14. 🌐 Geography Quiz: Learn about different countries or regions, promoting cultural awareness and learning. 
  15. 🐾 Pet Introductions: Personalizes the remote work environment by sharing a piece of home life, fostering deeper personal connections.
  16. 👥 Share your Connection Cards: Highlight fun facts and create guessing games around your Enboarder Connection Cards. 
  17. 🏡 Remote Office Tours: Offers a glimpse into each other’s home offices, promoting understanding and personal interest in each other’s work environments.
  18. 🎲 Hybrid Bingo: Integrates in-person and virtual elements, ensuring everyone is involved and connected no matter their location.
  19. 🔍 Be a Secret Spy: Play Codenames online and guess the secret identities.
  20. 📊 Mood Meter: Uses real-time polling to gauge and acknowledge the team’s mood, promoting empathy and understanding.
  21. 🎤 Hybrid Karaoke: Encourages self-expression and entertainment, fostering a fun and inclusive environment.
  22. 🧊 Virtual Icebreakers: Ask a series of virtual icebreaker questions, for personal sharing, deepening bonds through personal stories and items.
  23. 🧳 Virtual Travel Guide: Team members present a short guide on their hometown or favorite place, sharing personal stories and insights.
  24. 🏺 Art Interpretation Game: Show an artwork online and have team members interpret it, encouraging creativity and open discussion.
  25. 🥢 Haiku Challenge: Ask everyone to deliver their updates in the form of a poem — in this case a traditional Japanese haiku!
  26. ⏱️ Speed Storytelling: Promotes brief but meaningful exchanges, helping team members understand each other’s roles and interests better.
  27. 📜 Historical Figures Day: Team members represent a historical figure, sharing interesting facts and stories, promoting learning and fun.
  28. 🕹️ Online Gaming Session: Play simple online multiplayer games that require teamwork, such as puzzle games or trivia. 
  29. 🏅 Virtual Awards Ceremony: Recognize team members’ strengths and achievements in a fun, informal setting. 
  30. 📅 Future Forecasting Session: Discuss future trends related to your work, encouraging strategic thinking and collaboration.
  31. 🌱 Plant Swap: Share tips on plant care or swap seeds/plants, encouraging nurturing and growth, both metaphorically and literally.
  32. 🖍️ Get Your Crayons On: Do a round or two of a free, online drawing & guessing game like Drawsaurus. 
  33. 🎶 Playlist Sharing: Shares personal music tastes that can build connections and memories, deepening bonds.
  34. 📷 Camera On, Quick Pose: Introduces a playful element to meetings, encouraging laughter and light-hearted interaction.
  35. 🏞️ Virtual Background Challenge: Encourages creativity and sharing personal interests or humorous aspects, creating talking points and laughter.
  36. 😂 Meme Competitions: Invite people to use a meme creator to express your culture. This allows expression through digital culture, engaging in a light-hearted battle of wit and humor.
  37. ⌨️ Typing Speed Race: Offers a fun and competitive break from routine, engaging everyone in a friendly competition.
  38. 🖋️ Rap Reporting: Invite people to give weekly updates in rap form. This provides a platform for personal expression and fun!
  39. 🚀 5 Minute Hackathon: Team members share ideas for new projects or improvements, fostering innovation and ownership.
  40. 🏝️ Desert Island Decisions: Discuss what items you would take to a desert island and why, encouraging strategic thinking and team consensus. 
  41. 🎤 Mock TED Talks: Give short, informal talks on topics of personal interest or expertise, encouraging learning and confidence in public speaking.
  42. 🙏 Gratitude Moment: Sharing gratitudes enhances positivity and appreciation for each other’s roles and contributions.
  43. 📚 Book Recommendations: Encourages sharing personal interests and insights, leading to deeper conversations and mutual interests.
  44. 🗣️ Language Lesson: Teaching a word or phrase in different languages enriches team culture and fosters inclusiveness.
  45. 🏆 Inspiring Quote of the Day: Ask a different person to bring a quote to each meeting that uplifts the team, providing inspiration and a positive start to interactions.
  46. 🍿 Movie Pitch: Team members pitch a movie idea, encouraging creativity and persuasive communication.
  47. 🚀 Space Mission Game: Plan a team mission to space, discussing roles and strategies, promoting teamwork and problem-solving skills.
  48. 🧙 Magic Trick Tutorial: Have a team member who knows a bit of magic teach a simple trick. This activity encourages sharing unique skills and adds a sense of wonder and fun to team interactions.
  49. 📽️ Guess the Movie Line: Play a game where team members quote lines from movies and others have to guess which movie it’s from. This game is fun, fosters a relaxed atmosphere, and helps team members discover shared interests.
  50. 🎵 Name that Tune: Use a free online site like Songlio to play music clips and challenge your team to identify the song.

As you create your own list of onboarding activities or queue up fun ideas to complement your employee onboarding automation,  don’t forget to sprinkle a few of these fun ideas in!

Ready, Set, Engage: Transform Team Dynamics in Just 5 Minutes

In today’s hybrid work environment, maintaining and strengthening team bonds is more crucial than ever. Hopefully, you can implement a few of these 50 virtual team-building activities that can help you to connect with your own team’s diverse interests and skills. (We tried to include something for everyone!)

Are you wondering how to integrate these without a lot of awkwardness or cringe? The key to smooth integration is timing and relevance. You can use them to warm up an all-hands gathering by incorporating them at the beginning of weekly team meetings or as a mid-meeting break. They are especially helpful in shifting energy levels, loosening people up, and getting them engaged—setting a positive tone for the work ahead.

One good practice for regular activities is to pick the next idea at the end of your current meeting, so everyone can get mentally prepared for what’s next. (Or pick out the most fabulous outfit!)

Choosing the right activity based on the meeting context or team mood is also clutch. For instance, a “Mindfulness Minute” can be ideal during more stressful periods, while an “Impromptu Talent Show” might be perfect for a lighter, celebratory team meeting. Regularly rotating activities keep the dynamic fresh and prevent everyone from getting bored — and you can also ask people to take charge of the week and pick their own. Involving team members in choosing the activities can boost participation and enthusiasm, making these moments feel more like a natural part of the team culture rather than a compulsory task.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that these activities are inclusive, providing options that accommodate different personalities and work styles. By embedding these playful and constructive breaks strategically into the workflow, you can seamlessly foster a culture of connectivity and creativity, making every virtual interaction something that team members look forward to.

Including these kinds of quick, low-hassle fun activities will not only break the monotony of daily work — it will also promote a culture of communication, creativity, and collaboration.  Whether it’s sharing personal stories, showcasing hidden talents, or engaging in friendly competition, each activity is a step towards building a more connected and productive team. 

Want to learn more best practices that can help to create a culture of connection and belonging? Check out some of the amazing practices of top companies in our 8 Secrets to the World’s Best People Programs Ebook!

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