17 Fun Office Happy Hour Ideas for Your Company

Jan 5

Read time:

You know how important building a company culture is. And at the heart of this is a sense of community. 

The problem? According to our recent survey, employee engagement is the number-one struggle for most HR people. Without employee buy-in, that foundation of community doesn’t exist. One way to overcome this issue? Fun events employees just can’t resist, like office happy hour! 

Here are 17 great virtual and in-office work happy hour ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

1. Host a cross-department meet-and-greet

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

This work happy hour idea is a simple and intuitive one. You need your team to mix and get to know each other, plus you want more interdepartmental collaboration. So bring everyone together with a cross-department meet-and-greet! There are plenty of ways you can facilitate mixing, from assigned seating to team-building exercises that require collaboration across departments. After all, what is happy hour at work if you aren’t making new connections?

2. Treat the office to dinner

Format: In-person

Remember those popcorn and pizza days from elementary school? While we might be a bit more sophisticated than our childhood selves, we still get excited over a free and tasty meal! The key here is to set up your work happy hour dining space to facilitate conversation and mixing with people outside of the usual social groups. Consider incorporating conversation starter sticks at each table to help get things flowing.

Not sure what to serve? Check out these corporate catering options

3. Get competitive with Trivia

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

We all have a competitive side, and when harnessed correctly, it brings the workplace together rather than causing rifts. This team’s happy hour idea lets this side of everyone’s personality come out without things getting too high stakes. You can easily customize the trivia to celebrate a specific holiday, engage employee interests, or even tie into your company’s mission and vision. 

Outsource the game master tasks so you can play along, too! Schedule your team happy hour trivia here.

4. Engage in a little puzzle play

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

Maybe competitive trivia offers more of an adrenaline rush than your team wants from their happy hour after work. Perhaps their vibe is a little more chill and meditative. In this case, bust out the puzzles and start putting them together. This is a great way to get people to work together outside of office tasks while keeping things relaxed and easy. 

You can find some fun multiplayer puzzles for your remote team here

5. Paint and sip

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

It seems we’ve all been having our Bob Ross moment as of late. Whether this is due to pandemic boredom or just a desire for creative outlets, it’s a trend you should capitalize on in your happy hour with coworkers. The premise is simple: you provide your team with the supplies they need to each create their own painting, as well as some drinks to sip on as they work (cocktails, mocktails, lattes, etc.). Conversation flows naturally, and getting to see the masterpieces at the end is always fun. 

Make your paint and sip hour easy to pull together by booking the paint night

6. Incorporate visualization

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

Your corporate happy hour doesn’t need to be purely for fun; it can advance your company goals, too. One way to do this is with team visioning. Through a guided workshop, you can help your employees visualize success in 2022, professionally, personally, and beyond.

The seminar Visualizing Success in 2022 is designed to help your team do just that – no need for you to become a visualization master just to lead your happy hour at work. 

7. Volunteer in the community

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

We all know that feeling we get when we help others. It’s energizing and motivating. And when we get to share it with others, it’s even better. While volunteering might be one of the most out-of-the-box happy hour ideas for work, it is easily the most rewarding and truly brings people together over a common cause. 

Consider these virtual volunteer opportunities for your remote team. 

8. Share skills over lunch

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

We all have our unique talents. So, why not share them over a happy hour lunch and learn? Ask each department to have a certain number of people sign up to share their skills over a midday meal. These can be related to work – perhaps a unique approach to solving common problems – or just for fun!

A person presenting on an online call

This is an engaging happy hour activity to help employees learn without feeling like they are sitting through a university lecture while also letting people get to know more about their coworkers. 

9. Organize a potluck 

Format: In-person

There are few things that people bond over as well as they do with food. And unlike catering a meal, when you organize a potluck company happy hour, each person gets to share a little something of themselves. With a single dish, you can really get to know someone, discovering everything from their cultural background to their creative flair. Plus, who doesn’t love getting the chance to discover a new-to-you tasty treat?

10. Host an office scavenger hunt

Format: In-person

Most fun happy hour ideas focus more on sitting down and getting to know each other. However, many people need something more dynamic to stay engaged. Enter the office scavenger hunt! With this happy hour idea, you get people up and moving, working together to find the right items and solve the puzzle. It’s both collaborative and competitive, so it checks off multiple boxes, all while keeping people entertained. 

11. Create an office memory wall

Format: In-person

This office happy hour idea is all about celebrating your workplace community. Ask your team members to gather up items that signify something special about their experience with your company. These can be photos, logos, menus, trinkets – basically, anything that they associate with their time at your company. Then, everyone works together to create a memory wall collage. If you choose to make this a permanent installation, you can update it once a year to keep things going. 

12. Pour some cocktails and mocktails

Format: In-person

Out of all our work happy hour ideas, this one is the most obvious. Make happy hour a genuine happy hour by mixing up some cocktails and mocktails. Look for fun and creative recipes, hire a bartender, or encourage your team to jump in and mix up their own creations inspired by their department, current project, and more. You just might find yourself surprised by who amongst you is a secret mixologist!

13. Manage your stress

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

Sometimes, corporate happy hour ideas need to move beyond being tons of fun and focus on helping people unwind in a different way. We are always under plenty of stress, both at home and at work, and since the pandemic, our stress levels have heightened. With a stress management workshop, you can help people let go of some of the weight on their shoulders and destress in a healthy manner. Just keep in mind that this is still a happy hour, so keep things light and easy going even while tackling a big topic.

14. Share some laughs

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

They say laughter is the best medicine. While we certainly believe this to be true, we also think that laughing together is one of the best ways to bond.

Employees laughing in front of their laptops

The key is to set up your silly work happy hour in a way that people are laughing with each other, not at each other. Think about goofy activities, dad joke competitions, and sharing some puns that are so bad, they’re good. Who doesn’t love closing out the workday with some good-spirited laughs?

If you prefer to take the spotlight off the team and just let them sit back and giggle, schedule Juggling and Jokes experience. 

15. Organize a creativity workshop

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

One of the top attributes employers want their workforce to have is creativity. But this skill isn’t purely innate; it also needs to be fostered. With a relaxed creativity workshop, you can help your team nurture their creative spirit on an individual level and collaboratively. The workshop itself can focus on work-related topics or step outside the box. Either way, your team will be honing skills they can apply to their projects, improving your outcomes as a company. 

Try a virtual guided creativity workshop for your remote employees. 

16. Compete to have the coolest workstation

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

This office happy hour theme idea is all about showcasing individuality – and that creativity you might have worked on in a previous happy hour! You can center this around specific holidays and events (say, the launch of a new product at your company) or just let your team members take the reins and make of this what they will. To make this a group activity, have everyone take a tour (virtual tour for remote teams) once the workstations are decorated and give each team member a chance to point out their favorite aspects of their workstation creation!

17. Relax and take a deep breath

Format: In-person, virtual, or hybrid

This work happy hour idea is all about unwinding. And unlike many of the other ideas on our list, this one will help employees relax outside of work as well. Using breathwork training, guide your team on how they can use controlled respiration to physically lower their stress levels, clear their minds, and position themselves for greater success. 

Cheers!

These 17 office happy hour ideas are sure to bring your team together and get your employees engaged. Whether you implement one of these ideas or use them as a launchpad for your brainstorming, we are confident your team is going to have plenty of fun! 

Check out list of team activities for more fun at the workplace.

Thriver icon

Related stories

Subscribe

Be the first to know about our latest articles and exciting news

Podcast

Listen to our latest episodes on the Thriver Podcast

Thriver Platform

The trusted platform for thriving workplaces

Discover, book, and manage workplace culture services all in one place