No hard and fast rule says the office only has to be the place where you do your job. We spend a large chunk of time at our jobs, and it’s where we form many relationships, make life-long friends, and build camaraderie that often extends beyond the typical workday. Quality relationships among workers are the most impactful driver of employee satisfaction in the workplace.
Team celebrations foster a culture of team spirit that works wonders for bonding with teammates and nurturing connections among employees. Simple acknowledgments, such as celebrating team successes, spark worker loyalty — to the company and each other. That’s why bringing your company together as a cohesive unit is important. Employees and leaders alike will naturally become more engaged — driving collaboration and sparking innovation.
Have lunch together
A lunch offering is a great way to engage in a work celebration. Feeding your employees goes beyond just a simple “thank you” for a company win, and nothing perks up the team spirit quite like a tasty mid-day meal. Give your crew a team lunch to celebrate, and add some pep to your rally.
The steps are easy:
- Find out what your team likes — send out a formal poll or ask around.
- Set a date — one to three weeks out is fairly standard.
- Select a venue — cater in or eat out.
- Pick a local favorite — some caterers need one to three weeks’ notice, depending on how busy they are.
- Come together
Organize a party at the office
The best work celebration ideas almost always involve a festive get-together. Get your team into the office after hours on a Friday — or whenever works best (for us, it’s usually a Thursday) — and throw a party at your workplace.
This is a perfect option if you have a tight budget. You can pick your own appetizers, meals and drinks. And if you want to spice things up, you can hire live entertainment to keep everyone engaged. One of the hottest trends for smaller parties right now is to get your team together for a psychic reading where you combine entertainment with psychic advice.
The party ideas are endless, whether it’s a simple function serving hors-d’oeuvres and drinks or a wildly themed event. Here are a few ideas to help kick off the party planning.
Put together festivities to fit the season. If summer is upon you — or just around the corner — have a picnic in the park or an indoor beach bash at the office. Toss up some tropical decorations, offer light finger food, and serve some tropical drinks — piña coladas, mai tais, and margaritas are all great choices. Put on a summertime playlist to keep the atmosphere alive, and you’ll have a seasonal soiree the office will talk about for the next year.
Whether it’s summertime fun in the sun, a spring fling, or a walk through a winter wonderland, follow suit with decor, vittles, and libations that fit the season.
It almost goes without saying that you can’t throw a Halloween party without having a costume contest. Whatever spooky-style drinks and snacks you provide, voting on the best costumes will be the highlight of the festivities.
Pull up a chair and roll the dice with a casino-themed shindig to keep the night exciting. Pass out chips that players can turn in for prizes at the end of the night, and set them loose on blackjack tables, roulette wheels, and other fun games of chance.
Serve martinis — shaken, not stirred — and other high-falootin’ cocktails, and don’t forget to queue up Viva Las Vegas a time or two on the party playlist.
Plan a fun evening to celebrate an upcoming holiday. Each holiday has its own built-in theme — which takes care of a good portion of the decoration, food, and drink ideas.
Red and green are the standard colors for the winter holidays, but there’s nothing to stop you from tossing in gold and silver to liven it up. Include gingerbread and sugar cookies in your available snacks. Eggnog and warm cider — with or without a spike of liquor — round out the traditional drinks.
Many office cultures gravitate toward a particular team sport. Whether your office is a crew of football fanatics, baseball backers, or state-side soccer supporters — there’s bound to be a championship game to bring them all together.
Gather at the office or — better yet — queue up the Superbowl, World Series, or the quadrennial World Cup finals on the big screen TV, and get that sound system primed for the big game. Set out easy-to-grab snacks and finger foods. Chill some beers. Place some friendly wagers, and settle in for the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies any championship — no matter what sport or team your group follows.
For those eagerly anticipating the biggest sporting events of this year, the Superbowl kickoff happens on February 13, at 9:00 PM Eastern Time/6:00 PM Pacific Time. The first games of the World Cup begin on November 20, and tournaments end on December 18 in 2022—game times yet to be determined.
Carnival fun night
Consider a carnival theme as a workplace celebration idea. Either scale the festivities to fit into available space on your company’s grounds or secure a venue for a larger event.
Though carnival rides aren’t an option for most organizations, carnivals offer much more fun than bumper cars and high-rising seat drops. Call in clowns and jugglers, queue up a circus music playlist, and set out carnival games. Have a ring toss and whack-a-mole, and offer up a variety of board games as well.
Give out popcorn and cotton candy. If it’s an adults-only event, serve cocktails with wacky names — like “the canoodling clown” or “the fire eater.”
Planning the party
The steps to getting a party planned will be pretty much the same, regardless of the theme you choose. You’ll likely encounter some differences in which provider to contact, the amount of space you’ll need, and the budget, but the nuts and bolts of planning won’t vary by much.
- Decide on a date for your function
- Set a budget
- Choose a theme for your party
- Order themed decorations and door prizes that fit your motif.
- Contact providers to cater your event and to hire wait staff and bartenders.
- Acquire larger props for your party if necessary — such as a life-sized animated zombie for your Halloween party or gambling tables for a casino night.
- Find entertainment for your function, like a D.J. for just about any theme or jugglers and clowns to liven up a carnival night.
Plan a virtual celebration
Many companies have permanently gone to a hybrid or remote-work model — which works ideally for most tech companies and organizations that rely heavily on technology. If you work at one of these companies, the chances are good that your team is spread out across the country — or even farther.
Your company’s non-traditional structure shouldn’t preclude you from planning an enjoyable work celebration. Assemble your team for a virtual team celebration. Give them a chance to let their hair down and blow off some steam at their computer, along with their cross-continental counterparts.
The steps to bringing a virtual celebration to your office are probably the easiest to take out of all our team celebration ideas:
- Start planning a month or two ahead of the expected date of your virtual event.
- Put out a poll for workers’ available times.
- Set a date and a time based on employee availability.
- Get a head count of all who can participate.
- Contact a virtual provider to set up the engagement. Some may need some lead time for sending out necessary materials to participants.
- Follow up to ensure participants received all necessary materials a few days before the gathering.
- Get together for your get-together, celebrate, and have a good time.
Get creative with a DIY workshop
If your team isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, give a do-it-yourself workshop a try. With various DIY party options, you can learn how to make scrumptious foods, grow a miniature herb garden, try your hand at macrame, and many other enjoyable skill-building activities.
Many workshops include the option to go virtual, so your team can participate from home as easily as from the office.
The steps are simple:
- Poll your team to find out what they’d like to try.
- Set a date — If it’s a virtual event, allow some lead time. Providers may need to send materials to participants.
- Contact a provider to acquire the materials and host your function.
- In the event of a virtual function, follow up with team members to make sure they received their materials ahead of the workshop.
- Gather together — online or in person — and do your thing.
Have fun in a mixology class
Who doesn’t like a good drink? Whether your team is a group of teetotallers or enjoying a little nip in their glass, a mixology class will give them a lively celebration. Learn to blend flavors and drinks to come up with the perfect cocktail. At the end of the course, you’ll all have something tasty to show for it, along with having a new skill under your belt. Whether learning mixology from the ground up or how to blend a non-alcoholic boba tea, there’s a course to fit your crew’s sensibilities.
The only steps you need to take to get this ball a-rolling are to contact a provider and to set aside a time to get together.
Send care packages
From supporting our troops to giving back to the community, putting together gift packages is a great team celebration idea and also a fantastic way to contribute at the same time. Put together care packages and show your team’s support for their neighbors and community.
- Poll employees to select a group or organization to send care packages. Some ideas include:
- Troops overseas
- Citizens in less fortunate countries
- Homeless shelters
- Nursing homes
- Youth recreation centers
- Contact the organization in charge of donations to your selected group. Find out what items would go best in a care package and how many care packages you’ll need to make.
- Create an itemized list of needed items.
- Set out a donation box in the workplace unless the company wishes to provide all items for the care packages.
- Assemble the team and have a care package-packing party. You can provide snacks and drinks, and participants will provide extra hands to put together the care packages.
- Drop off the assembled packages at a location designated by the donation organization.
- Some organizations may pick up care packages. Others may request that you ship them.
Celebrate with swag
Your team works hard to keep the ship afloat. From team leads, directing traffic to customer support reps and keeping the clients happy, their contributions are what make the magic happen. A little acknowledgment goes a long way in keeping their drive alive.
Give them unique swag to represent and celebrate their impact on the company’s success. From fanny packs and baseball caps bearing the company logo to a simple box of delicious treats, a gift box offered on Thriver is perfect for your work crew.
Plan a wellness day
Mental and emotional well-being are paramount in keeping a group engaged and committed to their work. When all the gears are turning, the machine runs smoothly. Taking time to celebrate your team with a day to recharge mentally and emotionally will make a tremendous difference in their performance and overall satisfaction with the company.
Plan a day of wellness activities for your team, and serve a healthy lunch. After lunch, gather for group discussions and educate them on the importance of mental health in the workplace. Thriver blogs are jam-packed with good advice on improving and maintaining mental health in your company, providing a slew of resource material to help you along.
Round out the day with a meditation experience to clear their minds and invigorate their spirits.
Have fun together
For most employees, an evening of enjoyment and fun outranks all other means of celebration. From arcade rentals to improv comedy, mentalists to magic shows — or even a night out at the movies — there are countless ways to give your team a fun time that falls into your budget and timetable. Have fun, and shoo away the serious face for a day or two, whatever choice you land on.
Organize a volunteer day
Volunteering is a wonderful work celebration idea. Many people find giving back to their community to be fulfilling in so many ways. It allows them to see a new side of their community. They get to meet many new and interesting people, and they bond together as a team.
Volunteering is also an opportunity for your company to expand corporate outreach. Organize a day of volunteering with a program on Thriver, and celebrate by giving your time and talent.
Planning will vary from program to program. Reach out to your volunteer outfit of choice and work with their organizers to plan your crew’s contribution.
Cook and eat together
Food reigns supreme in the world of celebrating and company gatherings. Ask any person anywhere, and there’s a very high likelihood they’ll say they like food. Couple that love of food with social interaction among friends and coworkers, and you have a recipe for a best-ever work celebration.
Organize a cooking class experience, like the Pasta Party offered on Thriver. Cooking together ignites creativity and collaboration while eating together provides time to get to know each other and bond as a team.
There are as many ways as there are reasons to celebrate, but find reasons to honor your hard-working company crew in any celebration. When you take the opportunity to acknowledge your employees, you give them a sense of value beyond just what they do for the company, and they invest more in themselves.