Farewell office parties - Goodbye James bannerOffice farewell party ideas needn’t be sentimental or sad.

They can be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your departing teammate’s efforts, both work-wise and personally.

Thanks to these tips and ideas, you’ll have everything you need to give your teammate a cool send-off.

Before you plan your farewell party ideas…

To make sure your friend gets the best send-off, you’ll need to organize some things in advance.

  • First, make sure there’s a handover of their work, to you or another team member. Block out an hour or two in the week for this.
  • Grill them for as much detail of their work as possible – so you have all you need to continue their job. Until their replacement (if there is one) arrives.
  • Key details? Work outstanding, phone calls needing replies, contact details of clients, and invoices unpaid (if their job involves invoices or money).
  • Do get your teammate’s personal phone number, in case you need to contact them.

Your farewell party idea’s also best organized in secret, too. Email is the best tool for doing this.

Try and keep the planning as low key as you can. Someone leaving your team can be an emotional time for everyone.

Instead of making a big deal out of their impending departure, save all the excitement (and sadness) for the teammate’s last day.

5 quirky office farewell party ideas

This Has Been Your Life

For teammates that have worked a long time, host a ‘the life of our team’ farewell party.

  • Ask everyone in your team to email you a statement, about the one thing they remember most about their teammate.
  • Invite other people outside your team to contribute. These statements don’t have to be long – two to three sentences can be enough.
  • Collect all the statements and read them out at the party. Your teammate must now guess who wrote what. Present these statements in a book as a goodbye present.

It’s a fun way to relive work memories – and the book’s a great work reference.

Awards Ceremony For One

Why not create an awards ceremony, where your teammate is thanked for their best contribution to your team/company?

  • Write down a list of five amazing things your teammate did for your team.
  • Then ask everyone in the team to vote in a secret ballot.
  • Engrave the most popularly voted item on an award, like a silver bowl or actual award.
  • Present your award at the party – by first counting down all five contributions in order of popularity.

This is one of those dress-up farewell party ideas, so teammates should dress as if they’re going to a real awards show. All tuxedos and evening gowns, please.

Decorate and create catering to reflect the awards theme.

A Very Special Surprise Party

A farewell party is by itself a surprise party. But if you know your teammate is leaving ahead of time, you can try planning a surprise party for them.

This party doesn’t have to be held in the workplace, and can also involve the guest of honor’s friends and family.

You can surprise your teammate by pretending you’re all going to a meeting or team lunch (even an exit interview) – and <bang> it’s really a surprise party.

A surprise party like this is also perfect for a teammate whose retiring from the company, or is being moved overseas to another office. A maternity leave is another reason to plan these surprise party ideas.

Mystery Photo Shoot

Create a team portrait as the perfect going away gift. To keep it mysterious from your friend, hire a professional photographer.

  • Have them shoot a team photo first that DOESN’T include your friend. Have everyone dressed smartly and sitting.
  • Then have the photographer shoot your teammate separately – and digitally combine both photos into one.
  • If your teammate is suspicious as to why they’re being photographed (and on their own), make up a story, by telling them it’s an official company thing.
  • Since your teammate will still be working for the company at the time of the shoot, you can tell them they will be obliged to take part.

Present your teammate with a large-sized team portrait at their leaving do.

How Well Did You Know Your Friend?

Intimate farewell party ideas work too, if your team insists on a private party.

Why not create a quiz party with your guest of honor as the quiz topic? Find out how well your team knows your departing friend.

Here are some questions you could use:

  1. What time does James prefer to take his lunch?
  2. What is James’ favorite TV series?
  3. Which train line does James use for work?
  4. Name two ways James uses to handle stress at work.
  5. What photo’s on James’ desktop?
  6. Where did Matt take his last vacation?
  7. When is James’ birthday?
  8. Who are James’ two favorite people in the world?
  9. Where does James like to shop for Christmas?
  10. Name three of James’ hobbies.

Take a photo of the winner with your teammate.

Make sure to create a lunch or dinner in your teammate’s honor.

Image: Swiss James

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See you on the other side.

Tom.