The Slice

15 Quick Team Building Activities That Take Less Than 10 Mins

July 28, 2023

We've put together this list of fifteen quick team-building activities that take ten minutes or less. You can use these to start your next meeting with a bang, as a break during your next brainstorming session, or as a fun mid-week activity to energize the whole team.

Team building activities are a great way to boost productivity, enhance communication, boost morale, encourage creativity, and much more. They are particularly useful for remote teams, who don't have nearly as many organic opportunities to get to know their co-workers and build relationships.

At the same time, you can't constantly be erasing the afternoon's task list just so you can engage in a three-hour team-building exercise. Sometimes, you're looking for something that will help inspire collaboration, boost motivation, and strengthen your team in just a few minutes' time.

That's why we've put together this list of fifteen quick team-building activities that take ten minutes or less. You can use these to start your next meeting with a bang, as a break during your next brainstorming session, or as a fun mid-week activity to energize the whole team.

1. Birth Map

An excellent quick exercise for remote or hybrid teams, you can easily create a custom map where everyone on your team can pin their birthplace. All you need is to start a shared Google My Map to create a fun visualization of where your entire team hails from.

This is a great choice if you're looking for ways to help your team get to know each other better. Not only will everyone get the opportunity to learn more about their teammates, but you can also use this as an icebreaker where each member has the opportunity to talk a bit about their birthplace.

For already fairly well-established teams, there are several other short map-based activities you can try. For example, you could have everyone pin the place they'd like to visit most in the world, where they went to college, or their favorite vacation spot.

2. Two Truths and a Lie

Two Truths and a Lie is a fantastic and fun icebreaker you can use to help get everyone on the same page before a meeting.

In this simple game, each team lists two facts and one lie about themselves. The rest of the team then has to guess which statements are untrue. This can be used for in-person meetings or during video conferences.

For this activity, you'll want to give everyone three to five minutes to write down their three statements. You'll want to make a point to mention that they should keep these to themselves and not share them with anyone else on the team.

Once everyone has had the opportunity to write their two truths and a lie, call on team members to share their statements. The team can then have thirty seconds to pick the lie, and each individual reveals which one they believe is untrue. You can either have people take turns sharing their opinions or have them send them to you through chat so you can share the results.

Finally, the original participant can share which of their statements was actually a falsehood. You can then continue going around so everyone has a turn. If you want to add a little more gamification, you can use a point system for the team members that were best at detecting the lie out of the statements.

3. What Do We Have in Common?

Searching for a team-building activity for a group of new hires? What do we have in common is a great game for remote teams that are ready to get to know each other a bit better.

In order to play, all you have to do is invite one team member to start by sharing a few thoughts about themselves and their interests and hobbies. Another team member can chime in when they have a shared interest, and then they can add more information about their other hobbies. You can keep playing until everyone has connected to the larger group by having at least one shared activity or interest.

4. Share the Love

Consider this morale-boosting activity if you're looking for a short and sweet exercise you can do with your team. It might feel a little corny at first, but this can be an excellent opportunity to add positive energy to the team atmosphere.

All you have to do is have one person start by complimenting one of their team members. The person who received the compliment then has to give positive feedback to another team member. Go around until everyone has received some love from one of their co-workers.

5. Trivia

Everyone loves a rousing game of trivia, and your team is no different. Though there's definitely a time and a place for a full-on live trivia event with your team, you can also incorporate short little trivia sessions to help jump-start those brain cells.

The possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to using trivia in the workplace. You can select a topic related to a project you're working on, a recent change to company policy, or your industry in general. On the other hand, you can help everyone take a bit of a break from work with fun topics like pop culture, sports, or history. 

6. Tall Tales

Are you searching for a way to help get those creative juices flowing before a meeting or a brainstorming session?

If so, tall tales is just the game. This is a fast icebreaker that helps your team start thinking imaginatively.

All you have to do is start telling a story, but only share the first few sentences. The next participant will pick up where you left off and add a few more sentences to the tale. Everyone takes a turn contributing their ideas to the yarn. Even the most nervous teams will loosen up a bit after having some fun creating a story together, with unlikely plot twists and silly additions practically a certainty. 

7. Lightning Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts don't have to be multi-hour endeavors. You can play this game either in-office or remotely.

With more extended games, you might give participants a list of objects to find (or a list of descriptions that each of their objects needs to match with) and give them a set amount of time to bring them back. With a lightning scavenger hunt, you're just pairing down the number of objects and the amount of time people have to find them.

When everyone returns to their computer screens (or to a physical location, if you're in the office), they can share why they felt the object they picked fit with the prompt. Though this might seem silly, it can be a great way for everyone to move around a bit and put their problem-solving cap on while also potentially allowing your team to learn more about one another.

8. Birthday Line-up

These days, a lot of the team-building activities you find are geared toward teams that meet virtually. If you and your team are meeting IRL together, you might want to find more interactive games to incorporate into meetings and other events.

The birthday line-up is one short and sweet game you can play in person. To get things set up, you'll want to ask your team to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a line. Then, instruct them that they'll have a specific amount of time to stand in order from the earliest birthday to the latest birthday in the year, based just on the month and day and not on their actual age.

You might think this sounds like a game for children, but there's a twist. The players aren't allowed to speak to one another at all. Instead, they have to communicate using body movements and hand signals alone.

As you might imagine, hilarity often ensues as team members wave their arms around and try to indicate their birthday by holding up their fingers. When you want to work on communication, decision-making, and problem-solving, this activity is really fun (and quick!) to perform in person.

9. Draw Your Mood

Do you feel like you get the same, flat response every time you ask your team how they're doing? People get into habits when it comes to common pleasantries, which can mean we aren't as aware as we'd like to be of how our team members are.

Drawing your mood is a fantastic exercise to use either in person or remotely. For in-person teams, you'll want to hand out a pen and piece of paper to each team member. For remote teams, you can use an online whiteboard such as the Zoom Whiteboard that integrates with their video conferencing software.

In order to play this game, each player just has to draw out their mood in the form of a visual representation. They can use images, symbols, words, colors, shapes, or anything else they can think of to communicate how they're feeling. After about five minutes, give everyone the chance to present their drawings to their team and discuss them.

10. Personal User Manuals

This is a creative little activity that you can use to help improve team dynamics and nurture a positive company culture. All you need to do is ask your employees to create a "Personal User Manual" for themselves, which is essentially a short video where they introduce themselves and discuss their workplace preferences. For example, an individual could share that they prefer to work alone, or another could state that they work best when in the company of other productive individuals.

Once the videos have all been made, you can upload them to your knowledge hub or intranet, so your entire team has the opportunity to check them out.

11. This or That

A great game for decision-making and communication skills, the game this or that asks your team to choose between two scenarios that are either equally appealing or unappealing. The questions can be funny, serious, thought-provoking, or absurd– anything that gets those gears spinning.

Bonus points for the whole team if a question splits the crowd and ends up turning into a healthy debate!

12. Silver Linings

If you're a bit tired of the endless optimism of team-building activities, you might find the angle of this silver linings activity a bit refreshing. While the goal is to help develop positive mindsets, it also gives your team an opportunity to share some of the darker moments of their life with their co-workers.

To play, pair up co-workers who don't normally interact with each other often. Then, the first person will start by sharing a negative experience they've had either in their professional or personal life. The other person will then take the story and try to reframe it by highlighting the silver linings of the situation. The first partner then retells the story, incorporating these new positive aspects.

Then, the two partners will switch places, and the second person will recount a negative experience they've had and go through the exercise again.

This is a great way to teach your team about the importance of mindset and the ability to alter our perspectives about perceived misfortunes or failures.

13. Flip It Over

Are you looking for an in-person team-building activity that's short and sweet? This one is great for encouraging active cooperation. All you'll need is a large towel or a blanket your whole team can stand on while leaving a quarter empty.

Then, instruct your team to flip the blanket over without stepping off of it. You'll be surprised how fun and silly this game can get in just a few short minutes!

14. Sound Ball

Here's one more in-person team-building activity that can really help the whole team get energized, share a laugh, and let off some steam.

You'll just need a ball of some sort that can be tossed from person to person. To play, you have to have one person start by throwing the ball to a teammate while making a noise. The catcher will need to try and recreate the sound the thrower made and then throw it to someone else while making a new noise.

Everyone will look and feel ridiculous during this one, which is kind of the point. Playing silly games like these when you have the opportunity in person can help create funny shared memories and allow the whole team to relax a bit.

15. Guess the Childhood Photo

If your team isn't too big, you can definitely play this game in ten minutes. However, if you're dealing with a large crowd, you'll want to schedule a little more time for this one.

To prepare for this activity, ask everyone on your team to send you a handful of their childhood photos. Depending on your situation, You can mix them up and display them over video conferencing software or IRL. Everyone then gets to guess who's who, which can be a fun way to get to know each other better!

Immersive Team-Building Activities For Remote Teams

There's a lot to be said for short and sweet team-building activities, but taking some time and engaging in more immersive exercises can also be highly beneficial. At PizzaTime, we specialize in offering remote experiences and catering for teams across the globe.

Whether you want to throw a pizza party, send your team to a virtual escape room, or host a virtual happy hour with a live DJ, we're here to help! If you're ready to improve team dynamics, boost morale, and just have a seriously good time, you can start your order today.

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