Uh-oh – you need an excellent idea for a fun work event, and you need it now. But how can you come up with an idea for something different that gets employees working together in fun ways?
Think about your options. Happy Hour is so 2021. The last “trust fall” turned out to be more of a “trust flop.” And the truth is that you’d really rather not play another round of Two Truths and a Lie (how many truths do you want to reveal anyway?).
Fortunately, we know a thing or two about engaging, interesting, work-friendly ideas your company can use for teams and occasions big and small. Let’s get into it, so you can hurry into the fun.
What are The Benefits of Hosting Work Events?
Goosechase has plenty of experience in bringing some serious fun to the world of serious business. But we don’t just believe in hosting work events because they’re fun - and they are! Work events are great for team bonding and building collaboration skills - qualities that lead to happy employees and a happy workplace. Here are some big benefits your company can enjoy by hosting work events:
- Creating Enthusiasm: Creating events outside traditional workday activities gives employees an exciting opportunity to build teamwork, have fun, overcome challenges, and develop new skills - without worrying about meeting work goals. This excitement allows them to develop a genuine affinity and enthusiasm for the team and the company culture.
- Building Engagement: Don’t think disengagement is a problem at your office? According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace report, over 51% of the U.S. workforce (51%!) is not engaged. The good news is that you can use events to give employees great opportunities to stay engaged and involved.
- Fostering Communication Skills: Fun work events break down barriers and encourage people from different parts of the organization to chat and get to know each other. They mix freely, without even realizing they’re building better communication skills!
- Improving Employee Retention: You put a lot of work into finding, hiring, onboarding and training employees, so you certainly want them to stick around. That means keeping them interested, engaged, and enthusiastic about being on the team. Businesses that put an emphasis on employee engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism. The bonus is that they’ll also be more likely to stay with your company. Depending on the standard turnover rate, organizations can achieve anywhere from 24-59% less turnover by focusing on engagement. If a promise like that doesn’t set your feathers aflutter, we don’t know what will!
- Team Building: Teams that enjoy working with each other are more likely to achieve team goals, come up with new ways of solving challenges, and even become friends outside the office. Fun work events where they can connect in new ways, see each other in a different light, and blow off a little steam, can really provide a little goose grease for team cohesion.
Fun Work Events for Large Teams
We’ve found that larger teams need more structure to keep everyone engaged, but with enough wiggle room for spontaneity and personal expression. Here are a wingful of fun employee engagement ideas sure to bring your large team together:
- Office Olympics: Take advantage of mild weather and organize something fun outside. Create a field day or Office Olympics full of individual competitions and team-building events. Don’t make all the activities physical; build an inclusive list of events, so everyone has the opportunity to participate. Depending on your budget, you can even rent out sports equipment (plus a bouncy castle, for good measure).
- Pause for a Cause: Many worthwhile charitable organizations feature great team-building events, such as walk-a-thons or bike-a-thons. Find one of these great causes and get your team members pumped up to participate. Include ways for everyone to join in, either as part of the team, cheering them on, or setting up the refreshment tent for the after-party. Anchoring your activity around a heartwarming goal will give your colleagues opportunities for genuine connection.
- Produce a Mockumentary: We’ll bet you anything you’ve seen “The Office” on TV. At LEAST once. How much fun would it be to produce a “mockumentary” style video, about your workplace, to share with the team? Turn the spotlight on and take the pressure off: It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood blockbuster, since most of the fun is in the planning. Get a dedicated team together, film with cell phones, play around with basic editing software, and call yourself Spielberg. Set up a big premiere night complete with dress code, red carpet interviews, and a surprise blooper reel.
- Explore Your 9-5 Hometown: If your team works in the office every day from 9 to 5, there are probably a ton of local attractions and activities right in the area they have never had the chance to see. Charter a boat cruise, organize a bike ride, or set up a walking tour of favorite local spots. Some local landmarks, like historical sites (or even cemeteries, for the brave!), offer guided tours or character reenactments, so your group can get to “meet” some of the local characters that made your community what it is today. Give team members a new-found appreciation for the daily commute!
- Building Bridges: Did you ever have to build one of those bridges in school? You know, the ones made out of popsicle sticks? Well, it’s still a great idea for a team-building event. Split your group into teams and supply them with all the materials they need to create a bridge - sticks, styrofoam, tape, paper, glue, whatever. Have them work together to create a bridge that can hold a lot of weight. Watch the fun as you test out the completed projects, and hold your breath to see which breaks last. Award extra points for creativity, unique design, story-telling, or bridges with wings!
- Sparks Fly: Creating team fireworks isn’t just for summer celebrations. Host a fun activity - free Goosechase Experience template below! - to encourage coworkers to get to know each other. Be sure to post and tag us in videos of your team-building creativity as groups build human pyramids or go “Dancing in the Street."
Use this Goosechase Experience template as a starting point to create a zany day of fun and games and get people mingling!
Fun Work Events for Small Teams
There are plenty of fun events you can create to keep your small but mighty team enthused and energized:
- Craft a Cold One: Let your team members become brewers for a day by ordering beer-making kits from a company like Beer Making Experience. It can be an ongoing project with teams working from home, or you can set up a night at a local brewery to help brush up on their skills - plus a taste test after! Another bonus: technically, you won’t have to buy the drinks! If folks on the team want to opt out of alcoholic beverages, you can set up the same program for tea blending.
- Virtual Murder Mystery: Perfect for physical, virtual and hybrid work units, this concept works especially well with small teams as it’s easier to control the clue hunting. It builds problem-solving skills, and helps the team learn to work together as they try to solve the identity of the virtual evildoer. Develop your own, or check out a company like Tiny Theatre, where play is a verb. (Fun fact: Our team got so absorbed in the mystery solving, we set up a Miro board that we populated with facts and connections in real-time during the show. If there was ever a time for a dual screen...)
- Arts and Culture: Supporting local arts is a great way for employees to engage with the community, while also having fun. Attend sporting events from professional to farm team, support live theater from Broadway tours to high school musicals, try out different types of concerts, spring for a painting with a twist class, or sample a local wine/beer and farm-to-table food pairing.
- Food Tour: Make arrangements with local food guides, restaurants, or pubs to bring your group in for a sampling tour - think of it like a tasty treasure hunt. Try appetizers at one restaurant, entrees at another, and make a final stop for dessert. Most restaurants will have a room they can set up for your group, and may be willing to offer a special menu at a preferred price. Food is the ultimate bonding tool, and you can get up close and personal by going family style! You can use Goosechase for everyone to check in at each location, snap photos of each course (and each other!), prompt fun conversations with riddles at the table, and then easily share and relive the memories at your next all-hands meeting.
- Tasting Competition: He thinks the best pad thai in the city is across town, she thinks it’s at the restaurant next door. They think the new donut place everyone’s buzzing about is “the best they’ve ever had”, she thinks nothing can beat the legendary mom-and-pop shop’s. Everyone’s got a favorite version of any food, and even more people have an opinion. Ask the team to vote on a hotly-debated dish and invite them to bring in their personal favorite versions (expensable, of course!). Host a team-wide taste test, cast votes, and settle the issue once and for all.
- Movie Night: Go to a movie theater, or hold a movie night in the office. You can ask for recommendations, select cult classics, or just go for the laughter. Have plenty of popcorn and candy. After the movie, have a contest for the best impersonation of the lead characters or the most humorous retelling of the story line. Check out these Halloween and Holiday watch lists for film inspiration.
Fun Work Events on a Budget
Creativity is one thing, but when it comes to budget…are skies ever the limit? Here are some fun work events that are friendly to your teams and your budget:
- Game Night: For the price of a few board games or video games (or have folks bring in their own!), you can create a fun and challenging work event on a budget. Depending on your team, you can host classic or electronic versions of many games, such as Monopoly or Clue. For a group-friendly video game, try Nintendo’s Mario Party Superstars. With easy controls and a straightforward game concept, any combination of people can play and enjoy. Don’t forget to have great snacks on hand - lean into the theme with childhood favorites like fruit snacks, cheesy chips, and ice cream floats!
- Potluck Party: Liven up your lunch hour by hosting a themed potluck! Pick a theme (Brunch? Family favorites? TikTok recipes?), circulate a document (or set up a Goosechase Mission!) beforehand outlining what everyone’s bringing, and enjoy everyone’s homemade - and “homemade” - creations.
- Local listings: Having a fun work event doesn’t always mean HOSTING a fun work event…see if your city or local organizations (like your BIA) are running any free events (municipalities host cool community Goosechase Experiences, free of charge, all the time! Check out our Twitter, where we share some in real-time). Get a group together, RSVP, and have all of the fun with none of the party-planning stress.
No matter the size of your team, it's easy to take any of these fun ideas for work events and turn them into Goosechase Experiences. Forget boring email instructions; invite them to a Goosechase Experience that includes every step as a Mission (for example, Missions for picking up your beer-making kit, booking the afternoon off in your calendar, logging your contribution to the potluck, etc.). The scavenger hunt format will keep everyone on track, and the leaderboard will keep every teammate on their toes.
What kind of a Mother Goose would we be if we didn’t give you a little bonus egg now and then? While we do have a passion for the outrageous, we are absolutely serious about helping you create the best possible office environment.
We know how important great teams are to great offices, so here are our top five tips you can use to help bring a team together in the day-to-day:
1. Surround team members in a supportive and fun environment, and look on in pride as your goslings grow into leaders of the flock.
2. Create open channels of communication, and encourage team members to use them.
3. Have a clear purpose, and don’t send out mixed messages that will confuse your team.
4. Hold honest, open sessions to work out differences and misunderstandings in the spirit of collaboration.
5. Celebrate good times! At the risk of sounding very un-Kool and the Gang, “It's time to come together, it’s a celebration, come on!” Celebrate accomplishments, big and small, and watch your team get even more excited about the next project.
Most importantly of all, HAVE FUN! Use Goosechase to create experiences that build relationships and strengthen team bonds.
Are you getting goosebumps yet about coming up with your own fun ideas for work events? We hope so. Work and play don’t have to be two separate entities. You can build engagement, strengthen teams, and create enthusiasm with some great events that get your entire team flying together.
Need more ideas for fun things to do for work events? Goosechase has tons of ‘em! Our online platform lets you quickly and easily create delightful interactive experiences for your entire company - whether you’ve got a small team, a large team, or a team on a budget. Check out our How it Works page to learn more.
What is GooseChase?
GooseChase is an online platform that helps organizers create and run digital scavenger hunt experiences for team building, learning, public engagement, or a variety of other events. Sign up and try creating a free recreational game, or contact us to learn more about our enterprise solutions!