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12 Work Party Ideas & Games That’ll Sizzle, Not Fizzle

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By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

12 Work Party Ideas & Games That'll Sizzle, Not Fizzle

We all need to kick back once in a while, shaking off the stress of work for an evening of social fun with our colleagues. Especially with more businesses turning to remote and hybrid working, it’s more important than ever to find the right work party ideas to strengthen the professional bonds that make for a successful, effective company.

To get you started, we’ve put together a list of 12 office party games, creative workshops, and brain teasers to bring your team closer together. There’s something for every type of occasion, from quickfire contests that can take just 5 minutes to work holiday party ideas for larger-scale corporate shindigs.

1. How Do You Organize a Virtual Office Party?

There are three key steps to organizing a virtual office party. The first is to set objectives for the gathering. Is it just a social occasion or do you also want to include a skills-learning element? Second, choose a video chat platform that fits your requirements and that everyone on the team can access. In the majority of cases, common software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams will suffice. 

Finally, make sure that everybody receives the invite in advance. Since most video chat platforms allow you to schedule meetings months in advance, the link should be sent out well beforehand.

2. 12 Work Party Ideas & Games That Elevate Your Celebration

2.1. Brainy Trivia Challenge

trivia

Trivia competitions are one of the easiest office party ideas to organize because all you need is a list of entertaining questions. These battles of the brains effortlessly build camaraderie between colleagues, who will get to know more about one another’s interests as the quizmaster takes them through topics as diverse as movies, politics, and sports. Incorporate songs and still images into the queries as a way to keep people engaged throughout the evening.

You can also take the trivia challenge virtually with companies like  Hooray Teams, which offers hosted Virtual Trivia sessions that can be customized to your requirements. For example, if you want questions themed around Halloween, movies, or entrepreneurs, they’ll put together a quiz that fits the exact bill.

2.2. Escape Breakout Quest

Escape rooms are one of the most common work party ideas for good reason - since they test your communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. By pooling their skills, groups must solve a series of puzzles in the fastest time possible, proving their mental mettle in the process.

Thanks to the format’s popularity in recent years, most cities around the world now have at least one escape room facility available for in-person office events. For teams that predominantly work virtually, there are also several websites, including Hooray Teams, and Deadlocked Rooms, that specialize in creating virtual escape rooms to confound and entertain. Some, like Hooray Teams, provide a lineup of great themed rooms like - Dungeon Things, Patient 360, professional hosting and customization as per your preferences, while others, like Deadlocked Rooms, supply the game and leave the rest up to you.

2.3. Cupcake Wonderland Workshop

Cupcake wonderland workshop

If you’re on the hunt for creative ideas for office events, cupcake decorating is a sure-fire winner. Not only will your team learn how to create Instagram-worthy pieces of edible art, they’ll also have something delicious to devour at the end!

YouTube is a great resource for free cupcake-decorating tutorials and tips, teaching the basics of piping and fondant sculpting. To add more of a professional, polished touch to your cupcake team party ideas, companies like Hooray Teams’ Virtual Cupcake Decorating Class provide kits delivered straight to your employees’ doors, complete with readymade cupcakes, piping bags, and all the other necessary tools and ingredients. They can also arrange a virtual cookery teacher to guide the activity for more hands-on, personalized instruction.

2.4. Cookie Art Party

Sticking to a similar work party ideas theme, cookie decorating is another way that staff can show off their creative side while bonding with coworkers over icing and sprinkles. Add to the fun by asking staff to vote for the best bedazzled cookies at the end, awarding prizes to the winners.

Food decoration is also one of the best office holiday party ideas, adding festive flair to seasonal celebrations. It’s possible to arrange kits and tutorials that are specifically designed for particular annual events, from St. Patrick’s Day to Halloween.

2.5. Mixology Bash

Mixology Bash

Raise the spirits of your team with a cocktail-making workshop that will teach them how to shimmy their shakers like a pro. Mixology masterclasses are fun, social, and impart a reusable skill that can be deployed for years to come at the office party.

As with many of the corporate party ideas in this post, cocktail classes can easily be hosted virtually, either using online guides or through a team-building specialist like Hooray Teams’ Virtual Mixology Class. To make the event more inclusive, consider preparing an alcohol-free alternative for colleagues who don’t consume gin, vodka, and the like.

2.6. Themed Costume Party

Exchange everyday work clothes for something with a bit more pizzazz by holding a themed costume party. There are many possible work party ideas for dressing up, from themes tied to seasonal events like Oktoberfest or Chinese New Year, to ‘80s glam, to heroes and villains.

Costume parties give staff the chance to show their fun side, creating an informal environment where everyone can feel free to engage in more casual conversations with their colleagues. They also have the benefit of being incredibly flexible, so that you can hire out a venue for the event, hold it in the office, or host it completely online.

2.7. Karaoke Royale Night

What better way to find out who does the best Lady Gaga impression than at a karaoke night? As one of the most fun office party ideas, singing sessions are a chance for everybody to let their hair down and release some stress. This can be particularly beneficial following busy periods at work when staff might appreciate the acknowledgment of their hard grind with an evening of frivolity.

It doesn’t have to cost much either. Karaoke nights can easily be held in the office or virtually using clips from YouTube. For a more professional-feeling experience, sites like KaraFun and Singa provide a specially designed platform to host group singalongs.

2.8. Movie Magic

Movie nights never go out of style. Many streaming services today, as well as third-party add-ons like Teleparty, facilitate virtual watch parties through web browsers. This way, employees can enjoy the pleasures of communal movie viewing from the comfort of the sitting room couch. In some ways, it’s even better than an in-person experience, since you can use the chat function to discuss the film without disturbing everybody who wants to fully focus on the movie.

While virtual movie nights are one of the simplest work party ideas to organize, a potential downside is that everybody has to have their own streaming subscription. For example, if you want to watch a teamwork-themed movie like Ocean’s Eleven on Netflix, every participant will need to have a Netflix subscription.

2.9. Melting Pot Soiree

Melting pot soiree

A riff on the office potluck party; a melting pot soiree involves each virtual attendee introducing a dish that means something to them. This could be a meal that reminds them of childhood, a traditional recipe from their culture, or even just something that they love to cook.

Unfortunately, a melting pot event doesn’t involve as much eating as a traditional potluck, but it does allow colleagues to share a bit about themselves with the rest of the team. Through learning about one another’s backgrounds, staff will develop a better understanding of the perspectives and experiences of their coworkers, encouraging them to open their minds to other viewpoints and opinions.

2.10. 60 Seconds Showdown Fast Fun

When you only have a limited amount of time or just want a quickfire game to wake people up, there are several fun staff party ideas that only take 60 seconds. The rules should be short and sweet, such as reciting the alphabet backward as fast as possible or writing down as many countries as they can remember in a minute.

Just because these games are simple doesn’t mean they can’t also be silly. An excellent 60-second game to break the tension is Cookie Monster, where participants take in turns to put a cookie on their forehead and then attempt to move it into their mouth solely by using their facial muscles.

2.11. Board Game Bonanza

Board Game Bonanza

They might be called board games, but today an actual board isn’t necessary for a competitive round of Risk, Monopoly, or Cluedo. All these classics make for amusing work party ideas to play as a team, although they tend to work better with fewer numbers. For larger gatherings simply divide people into smaller groups and have everyone switch around after a designated amount of time so they get to socialize with more people.

If you want something that relies more heavily on teamwork and communication, set up an online game of Codenames, which involves describing words to your teammates, or Pictionary, which relies on creative drawing skills.

2.12. Workplace Olympics Arena

Forget desk chair races and rubber band archery, one of the best low budget office party ideas is to host a virtual Olympics. Staff can compete in disciplines such as speed typing, name the national anthem, and charades, with the team who scores the most “medals” winning a prize.

Try and include a mixture of individual and team events, emulating the real Olympics. While team games obviously foster better collaboration, solo games evoke a useful reflective exercise, as each team will have to discuss their members’ strengths and weaknesses constructively before deciding who is best suited to take on an event.

3. FAQs

3.1. How do you make an office party interesting?

There are lots of office party ideas for adults that can add a little entertainment to a work gathering, including costume parties, competitive games of skill, and trivia contests. Each team of staff is different, so consider polling employees beforehand to see what they would most enjoy at an office party. 

3.2. How do you plan a fun party?

Begin by deciding on the goals of the party, then set a date when everybody can attend. Once you have those important details sorted, you can focus on the nitty-gritty of planning and preparing the content of the event. 

3.3. What games to play at staff party?

Mixology workshops and escape rooms are good small office party ideas, but for larger gatherings you may find it easier to host a quiz or a movie night. If you’re specifically looking for holiday party ideas for work, consider arranging some themed entertainment, such as a Christmas wreath-making workshop or a Halloween dress-up contest.

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