12 Quick Team Building Activities to Energize Your Team

Unlock the transformative power of quick team building activities, regardless of your company's time limit, through this comprehensive list.
12 Quick Team Building Activities to Energize Your Team
Finding time to engage in team building activities is often a challenge for many companies. In fact, according to the SHRM, timing team building activities correctly is one of the most common bottlenecks faced, which sometimes leads to avoiding team building altogether.

At Teamland, we understand this challenge and have solutions. Today, we'll introduce you to 12 quick team building activities that deliver excellent results without compromising productivity.

Quick team building activities with collegues

5 Benefits of Quick Team Building Exercises

At times, companies may believe that longer team building activities yield better results. However, it's important to note that quick team building activities also offer valuable benefits. These are some of the most notable benefits of team building activities that won't take you more than a few minutes:

  1. Efficiency Boost: Quick team building activities enable teams to quickly establish rapport and understanding among members, fostering efficient communication and collaboration.
  2. Rapid Bonding: These activities create immediate opportunities for team members to bond and build trust, enhancing team cohesion and camaraderie in a short amount of time.
  3. Engagement Spike: Quick activities inject energy and excitement into team dynamics, increasing engagement levels and motivating individuals to participate actively.
  4. Problem-Solving Skills: These activities often involve solving challenges or puzzles under time pressure, sharpening team members' problem-solving, communication skills, and promoting creative thinking in fast-paced environments.
  5. Time-Saving: As the name suggests, quick team building activities require minimal time investment while delivering significant benefits, making them ideal for busy schedules and maximizing productivity.


How to Choose Truly Quick Team Building Events

Choosing quick team building activities may seem like an easy task, but many things can go wrong if not done correctly. Before engaging in team building events that are not supposed to take much of your time (such as 5-minute team building games), consider the following:

  • Define Objectives: Clearly outline the goals and objectives you aim to achieve through the team building event. Determine whether the primary focus is on improving communication, fostering trust, boosting morale, enhancing collaboration, or addressing specific team challenges. 
  • Consider Time Constraints: Evaluate the time available for the team building event. Since the emphasis is on quick activities, opt for ones that can be completed within a short timeframe, such as 15 to 30 minutes, or even less time. Avoid activities that require extensive setup or debriefing sessions, as these can eat into valuable work time.
  • Choose High-Impact Activities: Look for team building activities that pack a punch in a short amount of time. Focus on activities that are easy to understand, require minimal explanation, and offer high engagement levels. Also, consider activities that can be conducted with minimal resources and preparation to ensure seamless execution.
Quick team building activity in the office

12 Quick Team Building Activities to Rapidly Boost Team Morale

Now it's time to explore the available team building activities that will ignite joy within your team. Here, we'll focus on activities that take a maximum of 30 minutes, sometimes even less (so, no Trivia games or extensive outdoor activities), ensuring that this list of suggestions works for you even if you're concerned about company productivity and deadlines.


1. Bucket List Challenge

Let's start with the Bucket List Challenge, a dynamic and engaging quick team building event designed to inspire collaboration, creativity, and goal-setting within a limited timeframe.

In this activity, teams are provided with a list of adventurous, ambitious, or personally meaningful goals, akin to items on a bucket list. The challenge is brainstorming and selecting a set number of items from the list that the team collectively wants to achieve within a specified time frame, such as 20 minutes.

Once the goals are selected, teams strategize and allocate responsibilities among members to create action plans for each chosen item. 

  • Best For: In-office and remote teams.
  • How to Play: Teams quickly choose goals from a list and work together to accomplish them within 20 to 30 minutes, promoting teamwork and bonding.


2. Pancake vs. Waffles

In Pancakes vs. Waffles by Teamland, teams engage in a dynamic decision-making game where they collectively determine the fate of competing options, starting with the age-old debate of pancakes versus waffles.

As the game progresses, participants embark on a journey of deliberation and choice, navigating through a series of eliminations and additions of new contenders. Each round prompts lively discussions and encourages team members to advocate for their favorite choices, gradually revealing not only individual preferences but also shared values and team dynamics.

As easy as it sounds, this quick game is perfect for exploring team cooperation, fostering team camaraderie, and injecting a dose of fun into team interactions, especially suited for new hires and virtual team building scenarios.

  • Best For: Hybrid teams.
  • How to Play: To play, Pancakes vs. Waffles teams collectively decide whether to keep pancakes or waffles, with the losing option being eliminated.


3. Show and Tell

In the fun game of Show & Tell, teams embark on a journey of sharing personal stories and meaningful objects, fostering deeper connections and team bonding.

The entire team gathers around a chosen theme, such as childhood favorites or items within arms reach, and takes turns revealing the importance of their selected objects.

For instance, you can set a 1-minute timer for each member to find and share about an item close at hand. 

Ideal for groups of four or more, Show & Tell offers a refreshing opportunity for team members to get to know each other on a deeper level.

  • Best For: Small remote and in-office teams.
  • How to Play: Team members share personal stories and objects based on a chosen theme, fostering connections and team bonding.


4. Rose, Thorns and Buds

Roses, Thorns, and Buds is a simple team building activity (although highly effective) designed to assess projects, tasks, or daily experiences by prompting each team member to share a positive highlight (Rose), a struggle or challenge (Thorn), and an opportunity for improvement (Bud).

This activity encourages creativity, debate, and insight from all team members by fostering open discussions and acknowledging strengths and weaknesses. 

To play, simply set aside 10-15 minutes at the start of a meeting, introduce the activity, and go around the team, with each member sharing their Rose, Thorn, and Bud, facilitating discussion and prompting with guiding questions as needed. 

  • Best For: Small in-office and remote teams.
  • How to Play: Each team member shares a highlight, a struggle, and an improvement opportunity.


5. Spy Master

Spy Master by Teamland is a fast-paced team building activity where players, in groups of 4-20, take turns as the spy, trying to blend in while others attempt to uncover their identity.

Lasting less than 30 minutes, participants engage in detective work, asking questions in breakout rooms while spies secretly pass notes, all while trying to deduce who among them is the covert agent.

With each round increasing in difficulty and hilarity, players must skillfully give clues to identify the spy without giving themselves away, making every decision critical to success. 

  • Best For: Small hybrid teams.
  • How to Play: Players take turns as spies, blending in while others attempt to uncover their identity through questioning, notes, and deduction, all in under 30 minutes.


6. Paper Plane Competition

We are all familiar with Paper Plane Competitions! This thrilling team building activity that combines creativity, collaboration, and friendly competition is a classic that every cohesive team should try.

Having fun with colleagues

In this engaging challenge, teams are tasked with designing and constructing paper airplanes within a specified time frame, usually under 25 minutes. Each team member contributes their ideas and skills to craft the most aerodynamic and visually appealing paper plane possible, employing techniques such as folding, cutting, and balancing to optimize flight performance.

Once the construction phase is complete, teams gather to test their paper planes in a series of exciting flight competitions. These include distance challenges, accuracy contests, or even aerobatic maneuvers, depending on the activity's objectives. 

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized in-office teams.
  • How to Play: Teams design and construct airplanes with just a piece of paper, then compete in flight challenges to test distance, accuracy, and aerobatic maneuvers.


7. Spelling Bee

Now, let's talk about Spelling Bee, a lively team building activity where participants compete against colleagues to demonstrate their spelling prowess in a virtual or hybrid event setting.

Participants engage in friendly competition, aiming to claim the prestigious Smart Bee trophy by correctly spelling words presented one letter at a time. With up to 10 rounds of varying difficulty levels and the option to select from five renowned dictionaries, the challenge offers opportunities for both seasoned spellers and those looking to improve their skills. 

Ideal for groups of 4 to over 100 participants, the Spelling Bee provides an inclusive, quick, and engaging experience suitable for diverse teams.  

  • Best For: Small, medium, and big-sized hybrid teams.
  • How to Play: Team members compete against each other, spelling words letter by letter to earn points and claim the Smart Bee trophy.


8. Word Association

Word Association is a dynamic team building activity that stimulates creativity, communication, and quick thinking within a group setting. The members will gather in a circle or virtually, and one person begins by saying a word aloud. The next person must then quickly respond with a word that is associated with the previous one, forming a chain of interconnected words.

This rapid-fire exchange continues around the circle or group, with each participant building upon the word provided by the previous speaker. 

As the game progresses, word associations become increasingly diverse and unexpected, sparking laughter, insight, and creative thinking among participants. 

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized hybrid teams
  • How to Play: Participants take turns saying words that are associated with the previous word, forming a chain of interconnected associations.


9. Short UNO Competition

Did you know that a standard UNO game only lasts from 5 to 10 minutes? The Short UNO Competition offers a fast-paced twist on the classic card game, UNO, creating an exciting team building activity that promotes strategy, communication, and friendly competition.

The objective remains the same as in traditional UNO: players aim to be the first to empty their hands of cards by matching colors, numbers, or special action cards.

However, the shortened gameplay time frame adds a sense of urgency and intensity to the competition, requiring players to make quick decisions and employ strategic thinking to beat their opponents. 

  • Best For: Small in-office teams.
  • How to Play: Players aim to empty their hands by matching cards in the short UNO competition.


10. Caption This

Caption This is a lively team building game where teams are presented with a series of amusing or intriguing images, and their task is to generate captions that best fit each image.

Participants brainstorm ideas, share their suggestions within their teams, and select the most creative or humorous captions. 

Through this lighthearted, quick and interactive game, participants strengthen their communication skills, boost morale, and build stronger connections with their colleagues, making Caption This an ideal choice for energizing team meetings or as an icebreaker activity during team building sessions.

  • Best For: Small and medium-sized hybrid teams
  • How to Play: Teams come up with creative captions for amusing or intriguing images to spark laughter and collaboration.


11. Magic Show

We know that time is critical for your company, so at Teamland, we have designed The Magic Show, an activity that offers a brief yet enchanting team building experience, blending captivating virtual magic performances with interactive elements to engage participants.

Led by a skilled magician, the show mesmerizes audiences with dazzling special effects and encourages active participation, creating a sense of wonder and excitement among team members in only 15 minutes.

Whether as a break during a busy workday or a standalone activity for team bonding, the Magic Show offers a magical experience that leaves a lasting impression on participants.

  • Best For: All group types and sizes.
  • How to Play: The Magic Show is a quick, interactive virtual experience for team entertainment, including performances and a magic lesson in 15 minutes.


12. Quick Custom Team Event

 If you have something special in mind, we can create the quick team building games that you need. Teamland specializes in creating quick custom activities tailored to your team's preferences and timeframe, ensuring a memorable experience lasting up to 30 minutes.

Whether you're seeking an energizing icebreaker, a collaborative challenge, or a creative team building exercise, Teamland offers personalized event planning services to bring your vision to life. Simply share your ideas, themes, or objectives, and let Teamland curate a professional and engaging experience, complete with event kits if needed and an enthusiastic host to facilitate the activity.

  • Best For: All group types and sizes.
  • How to Play: Varies depending on the activity.


Summary: The 12 Best Quick-Paced Team Building Events

As you can see, it's possible to have fun with your team in under 30 minutes. Here is a list of quick, fun, and special team-building activities.

  1. Bucket List Challenge
  2. Pancake vs. Waffles
  3. Show and Tell
  4. Rose, Thorns and Buds
  5. Spy Master
  6. Paper Plane Competition
  7. Spelling Bee
  8. Word Association
  9. Short UNO Competition
  10. Caption This
  11. Magic Show
  12. Quick Custom Team Event

Author Details

Written by:
Najeeb Khan
Head of Training & Events
Leadership Development, Team Training, Belonging, Diversity & Inclusion, & Innovation
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What you should do now

Whenever you're ready...here are a few ways we can help you:

1. Book a team social event. If you'd like to work with us to have more engaging team events, book an event.

Don't know what activity to pick? Use the Team Building Idea Generator for options.

2. If you'd like to learn remote work strategies for free, head to our blog where you'll find several guides and posts.

3. If you'd like to create a offering for companies for a skill that you have, then contact us and let us know.

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