Never have any good office party ideas to hand, when your teammates suddenly decide “let’s have an office party"?
Yeah, it really sucks. I’ve been there.
And thanks to the way parties are usually run, many people tend to dread the office party.
They’re always so formal and stuffy, right? Even though we spend a lot of time at work – that it feels like a second home, sometimes! – the thought of chatting to your teammates about life beyond work gossip can freak us out.
Free drinks and food aren’t enough. With these office party ideas, you’re going to discover ways of creating an event everyone will want to be at.
3 reasons why office parties usually suck
Most times, we attend only as work people. That means talking about work stuff, which can be boring.
There’s also an assumption we know each other, just because they sit in the same office. (Or, can I say this, that we all really like each other!)
Finally, the sense of obligation – of needing to throw a party to bond people – reeks in traditional parties.
If you’re organizing a party because you have to – it’s better not to. Otherwise it sucks all the joy out of the room.
If you’ve not got people toasting each other at your do – at least once – that’s a warning sign of how rigid your party might be.
If everyone’s still buttoned up in their suit and dressed like they’re in a business meeting, something has gone wrong.
3 things you can do to brighten yours
Fortunately, with a slight adjustment, you can create events that are memorable and fun for everyone involved.
By doing this, you give your team the chance to unwind – to forget they’re at work (for a while), to bond as people.
And with so much choice when it comes to work events, there’s no time to waste.
Use any of the office party ideas below for your next do.
1, Tell everyone in advance to leave work at the door
This is the wisest thing you can do, for your teammates and for your sanity.
No one is allowed to talk about work, while at the party.
Everyone needs to be briefed on this, before the party begins. You could even add a few game to it – anyone who says anything about their job, it’s a dollar or Euro in the pot.
OK, there might be some work topics that can’t be off limits. This is for you and your team to discuss. Anything such as the business meeting next week, something financial or strategic, should be off the table.
2, Add in a few fun office games
You got an upcoming party, but no time to plan it, theme it, do anything wild? Have no fear – party games to the rescue.
- These games are similar to party games, except they’ve been toned down so they can be used at work. Give this list of 15 office games a go.
- Got a serious meeting coming up? Or you know everyone at the meeting is going to be tense? Use these meeting icebreakers.
- Got a new teammate to break in? Having a slow week? People up for a bit of fun? Then try these little fun activities.
3, Tweak up your office party ideas
Got an office Christmas party coming up?
Most people dread the annual party. Watching your managers do embarrassing things is cringeworthy stuff.
But a Christmas party can be SO much more than that
The venue, time of day, who you invite, size of team can offer you lots of creative possibilities
Read this to plan your next Christmas party.
Here are 6 hot Christmas office party games too.
Know someone’s about to be promoted? Or is about to retire?
And is it a secret that even they don’t know about it?
Then consider throwing them a surprise party. You can host this at work or a venue near to work.
- Take your teammate on a pretend staff lunch and <bam> it’s actually a surprise party. Organize a meeting outside of the office and <bam> it’s a surprise party
- You can plan your surprise party in only 10 steps.
Snowed in by deadlines? Long hours in the office?
Then why not treat everyone to a movie marathon. All you need is a projector, a screen and a laptop.
- Make an event out of it, by supplying snacks, food and beer. Email your team with a list of movies, and ask them to vote for their top two
- Planning a movie party is also easy.
Someone leaving the company?
Leaving parties can be bittersweet affairs. You’re excited to hear they’re moving on, doing something new.
But at the same time, you’re sad to see them go.
- Organizing a leaving do at work can also be tricky. It won’t be much of a secret – which can spoil things
- However, it can be done. Read about these farewell party ideas.
4, Theme up your office party ideas
Want to have a few fun office drinks?
I hear ya. Shaking everyone out of the work mode is so important here.
Time to stop talking shop, and start talking about our lives.
- Throwing a spring cleaning day? Chucking out old files and admin stuff? Then check these Spring office party ideas.
Got a Dress Down Friday?
Unless you work some place where casual clothing is allowed, most companies offer a Dress Down Friday or Where What You Like Day.
- To jazz this up, ask everyone to dress in their Saturday look. That means their weekend clothes, especially the slopping kind
- Keep the weekend feel going, with takeouts and pizza for team lunch and newspapers lying all over the place
- Or, instead of casual clothes, ask people to wear clothes according to a black and white color scheme
- Decorate your office in their colors too – from stripey coffee mugs, to polka dot tablecloths. Add a stripey rug to the floor.
Throwing a team lunch? Welcoming a new teammate?
- Why not organize a Team Potluck. Ask everyone to bring their favorite dish to cook.
- Or host an ethnic potluck, with food from everyone’s cultures. If they’re from the same culture, as them to bring in regional dishes.
One last thing…
Take plenty of photos at these events but not too many. And definitely not any embarrassing photos. If teammates want to opt out of being included, then let them, don’t focus anyone into it.
Bonding at work can increase morale – and get use through those stressful times or are a bit grumpy.
Those photos will also remind everyone of the “family" you all are – and the good times you can have together.