21 Office Party Ideas for Work in 2022

Home » Resources » Office Party IdeasUpdated: March 18, 2022

You discovered our list of the best office party ideas.

Office party ideas are methods for celebrating special occasions at work. Office parties unify coworkers and solidify a sense of community through a planned event. The ideas on this list suggest games, food, activities, decorations, and other fun features that make your work party a memorable affair.

This category includes company Christmas parties, and is an in-person version of virtual team building celebrations.

This article includes:

  • office party food ideas
  • office party games
  • office party activities
  • office party decoration ideas

Grab your party hats, because here come the ideas!

List of Office party ideas

From baby showers to black-tie breakfast parties, here is a list of ideas for office parties that will entertain and engage your crew.

1. Office Party Bingo

Bingo is one of the simplest office party games. Everybody knows the rules, and the game requires no setup or equipment beyond Bingo cards. To make your life easier, we made an Office party Bingo card you can use at your next company gathering.

To play, hand cards to party entrants, and encourage guests to play while mingling. The first player to mark five consecutive squares and shout “BINGO!” wins a prize. Preparing a few prizes is a good plan, since sometimes multiple folks hit Bingo.

Be sure to randomize the squares, so not every guest gets Bingo at the same time. Feel free to add your own ideas, too. Customizing squares to be company-specific gives the game a more personal feel.

Check out icebreaker Bingo for more ideas.

2. Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties and office happy hours are one of the best work party ideas. These events give employees the chance to relax and socialize while having a drink. You can take the party to a local bar or rent out an event space, or book a bartender to visit the office. To make the event more memorable, you can create signature cocktails, or give the group mixology lessons.

Here is a list of ideas for doing happy hours remotely.

3. Office Games

Holding Olympics-style games is a fun way to blend celebration with competition. For entertainment, partygoers can team up and square off in a series of challenges like relay races and desk chair soccer. Winners can get trophies or medals, and all the “athletes” can get festive after the games by sharing snacks, drinks, and sportsmanlike conversation.

Here is a guide to doing virtual Office Olympics.

4. Bad Day Party

Everyone has bad days. Sometimes, the office collectively has a bad day. On these occasions, lighten the mood with a bad day party. Bad day parties involve anything that will cheer the group up, such as a karaoke machine, punch balloons, nerf guns, motivational quotes, and snacks. Employees can de-stress by talking or playing games with colleagues, and focus on topics other than work.

Since rough days are rarely predictable, most bad day parties are spur-of-the-moment affairs. To simplify your spontaneous party setup, assemble a bad day party team building kit  ahead of time, so supplies are already on hand. After all, the last thing you or your teammate wants to do on a stressful day is to wait in line to buy plastic forks at Walmart.

You can also set aside a small budget for ordering food or splurging on other indulgences, such as mini-massages or trips to the batting cage.

5. Murder Mystery

Folks love a good whodunnit. By playing a murder mystery, you transform the entire office into a lifesize game of Clue. Many companies offer pre-made murder mystery scripts that you and your staff can re-enact. Though you could acquire props and costumes to create a more immersive atmosphere, at minimum you will need characters, clues, and enough players to make the game a challenge.

During your party you can play a fun murder mystery game. First, get a script, then assign parts to players. Participants act out characters and read lines, and partygoers stay alert for clues to try to solve the mystery before the activity ends. Props, costumes, and dramatic flair make the game even more fun.

Check out this list of online murder mystery games.

6. Earth Day Soiree

Earth Day is on April 22. Few folks know that fact offhand, because though we observe the day, we rarely celebrate it. This year, you and your team can honor Earth Day with an environmentally-friendly soiree.

Some Office Earth Day party ideas are:

  • Volunteer to care for animals, clean up trash, or plant trees and flowers
  • Learn how to compost
  • Eat sustainable, locally grown food during a team building lunch
  • Upcycle used products into crafts, such as wine cork coasters or light bulb succulent terrariums
  • Host a recycling contest throughout the month, and announce the winning department at the party

As climate research increases, corporations and consumers care more about going green. By hosting an Earth day extravaganza, you remind employees of the importance of nature and encourage your staff to be more environmentally conscious.

Here are some virtual Earth Day ideas for work.

7. Office Awards

Office award shows are a party and employee recognition activity rolled into one entertaining evening. Recognition makes employees feel valued, appreciated, and secure in the workplace, and is a useful employee engagement technique.

Hosting an awards ceremony and party is a way to make staff feel even more special. Most companies order custom-made trophies to hand out to winners, with categories ranging from “rookie of the year,” to “customer service award,” to “top performer.” Humorous categories like “ruiner of everybody’s diets,” can also be fun.

Hosting the awards at a restaurant or event venue makes the affair more momentous, but you can create a buzzy atmosphere in the office by rolling out a red carpet, hanging gold twinkle lights, and floating star-shaped balloons. Encouraging a fancy dress code adds an extra layer of fun and glamor. Provide food and drinks to enjoy during the ceremony, and recruit a charismatic host to present awards and charm the crowd.

Here is a guide to doing award shows virtually.

8. Black-tie Breakfast Party

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but the occasion rarely receives the pomp and circumstance it deserves. One of the best office party breakfast ideas is to host a black-tie breakfast. A black-tie breakfast party starts the day off on a fun and fancy note. This affair involves more than a box of bagels on the breakroom table. The dress code is cocktail attire; think dresses, suits, or upscale pajamas. This type of party is great for big days when your team has a formal presentation, and needs to arrive in formal dress.

Black-tie breakfast party ideas:

  • Mimosa bar. You can limit drinks or sub sparkling cider for champagne if you host the party on a workday.
  • Breakfast hor d’oeuvres, such as french toast sticks, miniature quiche, and single bite cinnamon buns
  • Fancy pajama costume contest
  • A tea tasting or coffee tasting experience
  • Artful mugs as party swag

Breakfast is one of the best office party food ideas, since hectic mornings and commutes often prevent folks from enjoying a proper meal. By laying out a solid spread and planning energizing activities, you can ensure your team starts the day on a positive note.

9. Photo Booth

Photo booths are a hit at any party. DJ’s and event companies rent out photo booths for a few hundred dollars, but this kind of budget might only be an option for swankier corporate retreats or holiday parties. Luckily, you can DIY your own photo booth for any occasion.

Here are the materials you need to make your own photo booth:

  1. Tripod or selfie stick
  2. Polaroid camera OR a tablet or smartphone.
  3. Photo booth app (if using a device)
  4. Backdrop
  5. Props, such as feather boas, cowboy hats, and oversize sunglasses

Though professional booths are pricey, budget photo booths are cheap and easy to assemble. Dollar stores are great places to buy props or you can print free accessories.You can also use a sheet or throw together a simple balloon or streamer curtain to use as a background.

Photo booths are one of the most popular office party activities. Posing for pictures is fun enough, but you can entertain your guests even more by hosting a photo competition and offering a prize to the team with the funniest photo.

10. Movie Night

Movie nights are classic office get-togethers in part because they are so easy to throw together. At minimum, all you need to throw a movie night is a film or two and a television or screen and projector. Of course, these events are more fun if you add extras like popcorn and candy, movie trivia games, and Hollywood-worthy decor.

You may want to model your movie night after a particular theme.

Office movie night theme ideas:

  • Holiday movie party
  • Internet clip video party, like a cat film festival
  • Oscar party
  • Favorite films
  • Rom com marathon
  • B-movies

With streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, you can select and project a film right from your laptop or phone.

Here is a list of team building movies to foster camaraderie.

11. Cultural Festival

Educating and celebrating diversity enriches workplaces. Your office can salute many nationalities by hosting a cultural festival. In place of observing only your own country’s national holidays, pay tribute to international holidays. You could either set up different stations on the same day for a trade-show like extravaganza, or hold a series of parties throughout the year.

Here are a few global holidays and festivals you may consider:

  • Holi: An Indian spring festival often celebrated by throwing brightly-colored powder, occurring at the end of March
  • Dia Day Los Muertos (Day of the Dead): A Mexican holiday lasting from October 31 to November 2 where the living honor ancestors with shrines and feasts.
  • Lunar New Year: Following a lunar calendar, many countries in Asia celebrate new years over two weeks in January or February, where families celebrate together by eating large meals, cleaning, and honoring ancestors.
  • Oktoberfest: A German beer-centric festival that takes place the last week of September and first week of August.
  • Carnivale: A mid-winter celebration popular in Brazil and the Caribbean that features parades and elaborate costumes.

You could also celebrate mainstream holidays like New Year’s and Halloween by featuring customs from around the world. Of course, you want to honor other cultures, not appropriate them, so a tactful approach is necessary. Consider inviting authentic vendors, artists, and restaurateurs to educate and entertain your group, or inviting colleagues from these cultures to voluntarily lead activities.

12. Blast from the Past

Nostalgia possesses a wide appeal and extraordinary bonding powers. Throwback parties are great ideas for office get-togethers. To throw a blast from the past, pick a decade such as the fifties or eighties. Or, you could ask your staff to arrive dressed in fashion from a decade of choice, and use the outfits for a fun guessing game.

Food, decorations, and activities should relate to the chosen time period. For instance, you can hang a disco ball for a seventies party, dress in tie-dye at a sixties party, and serve old-school diner-style burgers and shakes at a fifties party. Of course, you should curate an era-appropriate playlist, too.

If you select a recent decade, then reminisce about your company’s history during that time. You could also ask guests to submit a photo of themselves from that era, and invite other attendees to view the slideshow and guess the coworkers from the photo.

13. Potluck Party

Food has united humans for centuries. Potluck parties are a basic and low-cost office party idea that are easy to plan and execute. For best results, create a sign-up sheet, so no two colleagues bring the same items, and no one forgets drinks. This record also helps guests know which chef to compliment for a scrumptious dish. Stocking up on disposable plates, napkins, utensils, and cups is a good idea, as many folks do not think to bring these supplies. You may also want to provide serving utensils, crock pots, and extension cords.

Big spaces like canteens allow your whole group to mingle at the same time, but if your break room is tiny then you can allow employees to dip in and out to chat and snack periodically throughout the day.

14. Demolition Derby

Even the most serene office spaces get stressful sometimes. Your staff can blow off steam by participating in a demolition derby. Though unconventional, a demolition derby makes for an unforgettable office event. Destruction is the theme of the party.

How to throw a demolition derby:

  1. Acquire cheap or free china, glassware, and other fragile materials from thrift stores, yard sales, and Craigslist.
  2. Secure a spacious, and preferably sound-proof room
  3. Lay down tarps
  4. Provide maks, goggles, and gloves
  5. Bring a baseball bat and a sledgehammer
  6. Allow employees to go to town and break objects to their hearts’ content!

For even more atmosphere, build a smash-happy playlist with songs like “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus or “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.

15. Spring Cleaning

Cleaning is few folks’ favorite task, but tackling messes together is more fun than sprucing up alone. If your building is due for a spring cleaning, then turn the event into a party.

Some office spring cleaning party ideas include:

  • Take before and after photos
  • Schedule a tutorial with an organizational expert
  • Hire a DJ or play music on speakers
  • Offer food like sandwiches, pizza, and cookies
  • Gamify the tidying process by initiating cleaning races
  • Screen episodes of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” in the background
  • Gift each attendee with swag bags full of home cleaning products
  • Allow employees to reimburse the cost of a cleaning service to tidy their own homes
  • Hold a flea market where departments trade unwanted items like spare furniture or extra desk organizers.
  • Thank the custodial crew for always keeping the building clean and offer a present

There are many ways to make the event fun. Best of all, once the party ends, your staff will have a clean and serene work environment free of distractions.

16. Casino Night

Casinos feature various forms of entertainment, such as food, drinks, gambling, dancing, and live performances. There is something for everyone to enjoy, meaning that casino nights are great themes for office parties. You can either take a trip to the nearest casino, or transform your office into a swanky lounge. If you choose the latter option, then decorate your workspace with glitter, feathers, cards, and dice. You can set up game stations like blackjack and roulette, and help your teammates perfect their poker faces by running team building activities like Two Truths and a Lie. Tutorials like bartending lessons and card-dealing how to’s help round out the evening. To recreate the full casino experience provide plenty of food and beverages, and entertainment, such as comedians, singers, dancers, or perhaps even fire jugglers.

17. Recruitment Party

Greek organizations often host recruitment events to educate and entice new pledges. You can take a page out of the fraternity and sorority playbook by turning the standard company job fair into a recruitment party.

Here’s how:

  1. Pick a fun theme like outer space, the nineties, or jungle
  2. Advertise the party on intern job boards, local college networks, and company social media
  3. Stock up on snacks
  4. Plan large group icebreaker activities
  5. Decorate your space
  6. Invite staff to mingle and speak in small groups to interested interns

Recruitment parties offer employees the chance to break away from the normal work routine and can serve as a valuable reminder of why your teammates chose to join the team.

You and the team can brainstorm ways to market your company that fit with the party theme. For instance, a travel-themed party can tout your international locations, while a nineties party might tell the tale of your company’s founding during the dot com boom.

During your party, share your company’s mission statement and values so that potential recruits understand your organization’s motivation.

18. Baby Shower

Officemates celebrate both personal and professional accomplishments together. Baby showers are common office party ideas, since these gatherings are often the last chance teams have to spend time together before a colleague departs for monthslong maternity leave.

Office baby shower ideas:

  • Gift the honoree a baby book and ask all parents in the office to write child rearing advice
  • Invite the colleague’s spouse or partner to join the celebration
  • Chip in on a larger present from the gift registry
  • Order miniature food for the occasion
  • Assemble a “pregnancy cravings” care kit full of junk food or GrubHub coupons

Though traditional baby showers are typically all-female affairs, office baby showers welcome all genders. After all, many men are fathers and have parenting knowledge to share, and male colleagues can be just as happy for their coworker’s new arrival. To further shift the paradigm, host a baby shower for a male associate.

Pregnant colleagues do not have to be the sole recipients of office baby showers. You could throw other non-traditional office showers by honoring adoptions of older children, the start of a pet fostering relationship, or even the “birth” of a project or side hustle.

19. Company Tailgate

A tailgate is a parking lot party where folks hang out in the back of trucks or on top of trunks, and enjoy food, drinks, and sports-related entertainment. Company tailgates are ideal office party ideas for major sporting events like the Superbowl or the hometown team’s playoffs, but you could also host tailgates for company softball games, or just because.

To hold a company tailgate, section off the parking lot for the event. If your building uses a parking garage, then we recommend you use the top level, so your staff can enjoy the sunshine. Only a few designated employees should park and open their vehicles, preferably folks with big cars like trucks and minivans.

Some company tailgate party ideas include:

  • Allow employees to wear team colors or jerseys
  • Project the game on a large outdoor screen
  • Initiate a flag football match
  • Hand out theme-appropriate company swag like hats, sunglasses, and foam fingers
  • Run a car-decorating contest
  • Rent grills or food carts, or order pizza and wings

Even non-sports fans will appreciate the chance to get outside, socialize, and eat good food with coworkers. The sports and the corporate world both center around teamwork, skill, and determination, making tailgates the perfect workplace celebration.

20. Beach Party

Since seniors often settle oceanside, the beach party is an apt theme for an office retirement party. Beach parties are great ideas for other office occasions, too. If located near the coast, then you and your crew can roadtrip to the shore and enjoy an afternoon or evening of sun, sand, and waves. If landlocked, then recreate the experience by donning leis, swapping office chairs for lounge chairs, and feasting on fish.

More ideas for an office beach party are:

  • Curate a summer-friendly playlist featuring hits like Katy Perry’s “California Girls,” “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s, or any song by The Beach Boys.
  • Square off in a limbo contest
  • Serve fruity and summer cocktails and mocktails
  • Engage in a team building game of beach ball keep-it-up
  • Hire an ice cream truck or stock the break room freezer with frozen treats
  • Swap the images on your LCD displays or computer monitors for tropical scenes
  • Hand out company swag like fans, sunglasses, and towels

Though summer seems like the most natural time for an office beach party, you can banish the winter blues by throwing an indoor office beach party during the colder months.

21. Desk Decorating Contest

Office decor is functional, but not necessarily exciting. Transforming your building into a festive, party-ready space can involve serious labor. One of the best office party decoration ideas is to let staff handle the setup by hosting a desk decorating contest. Simply select a theme, such as the eighties, Christmas around the world, or movie madness. You may consider setting some ground rules, such as no fire hazards, only safe-for-work content, and a maximum budget of twenty dollars.

On the day of the party, departments spend an hour decking out the space. When complete, a panel of judges or peer vote decides the winner. For extra fun, you can even map out a scavenger hunt to encourage coworkers to visit every desk.

Check out more workplace competition ideas.

Conclusion

Celebrations build rapport and camaraderie between coworkers. Workers get the opportunity to mingle and bond with unfamiliar colleagues, which helps form a more cohesive sense of community among your organization. Parties are also great for employers to give staff a break or show appreciation.

The standard birthday sheet cake in the breakroom or Secret Santa at Christmastime is fine, but the party ideas on this list involve ingenuity and out-of-the-ordinary factors that are sure to dazzle and delight your team.

For more workplace party tips, check out this list of event planning books and this guide to holiday party etiquette.

We also have a list of fun break room ideas for work and return to office celebration ideas.

FAQ: Office party ideas

Here are the most common questions and answers about office party ideas.

What are office party ideas?

Office party ideas are ways to celebrate special occasions with your coworkers. These ideas cover categories like food, themes, decorations, planning tips, games, and team building activities.

What are good office party ideas?

Good office party ideas include company tailgates, photo booths, and Online Office Games.

How can I make office parties fun?

Office parties are a way to escape the monotony of work routines. One way to make these gatherings fun is to choose an exciting theme, such as a beach party, company tailgate, or casino night. Parties offer coworkers a chance to unwind and get to know each other. You can help colleagues socialize outside their immediate departments by planning fun icebreakers and team building activities. Entertainment is important, too. Games and performances can make your event more fun. Of course, everybody loves good food, so quality catering brightens any gathering.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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