Gone are the days when work was simply about clocking in and out after filling the day’s quota. Company culture has shifted into the spotlight these days and for a good reason. With the average employee spending most of their week at the office (or home-office) around co-workers, it’s no wonder that more people are seeking an emphasis on positive culture in their work days.
With this shift, many companies are getting more of a budget allotted to company-sponsored bonding activities and culture initiatives. While we love a traditional happy hour at the local bar, we’ve got more creative ways to build bonds with your teammates. Try out one of these unique happy hour ideas with your team – speaking from experience, they’re sure to love them!
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Kiss Boring Happy Hours Goodbye!
1. Murder Mystery Night
Start by sending out a survey via email to your team and see who would be interested in participating. Murder mystery nights are a lot of fun, but require a bit more involvement than your average game night. Because of this, you want to have a headcount prior to ordering your kit! Pick a theme and have the box with all of the needed materials sent straight to your office.
Each teammate will get a different character to play and together you’ll spend time leaning into the backstory of your character to try to solve who committed the murder. Having done this with a team previously, I can honestly say it’s a blast! Encourage everyone to show up in costume to kick things up a notch.
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2. Cocktail-Making Class
Swap out a pre-made drink at the bar with a class teaching your whole team how to be their own mixologist! Order all of the needed supplies in advance, or partner with a local bar to teach the course. Want to amp it up a level? If you’re hosting this happy hour in your office, lean into the theme and decorate the space like an old speakeasy!
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3. Wine & Paint Night
You can’t beat a wine and paint night for bringing teammates together. I guarantee, even the most inexperienced artist is sure to have a fun time. Between the wine, appetizers, and humor of trying to paint a straight line while a little buzzed, your team will have a memorable experience and a souvenir to show for it!
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4. Chili Cook-Off
Line this happy hour up with an upcoming game weekend or holiday to get everyone in the spirit! Supply beer and sides, and encourage the team to sign up to bring in their very best chili in a potluck style cook-off competition! Nominate an MC and print off scoring cards for the whole team to judge the winner.
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5. Trivia Night
This activity can either be done in the office with an appointed MC, or you can sign up your whole team for a local trivia night! A lot of bars and breweries host them weekly, so with a rough headcount of attendees you can reserve tables in advance! If you plan to hold the trivia night in the office, make sure to bring speakers and provide food, drinks, and prizes to give people even more of a reason to stay and participate!
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6. City Scavenger Hunt
Having coordinated two city-wide scavenger hunts myself (including one in New York City), I can wholeheartedly say that they are an absolute blast for all who participate! The one creating the scavenger hunt will be the judge (and unable to play), and the rest of the participants will be split into randomly divided teams. Start creating the scavenger hunt by picking landmarks in a predetermined area, and using clues or riddles to make the players guess what location is being referred to.
When it’s time to play, send the teams out on foot to race the clock and try to decode the clues, getting photos in front of the different landmarks to send to the judge. Make sure to reward the winning team with a prize for their hard work!
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7. Arcade Bar Happy Hour
Swap traditional office happy hours at a bar for an evening at your local arcade bar! Give everyone two drink vouchers, and let the employees pay for their own arcade tokens. Having activities such as arcade games will help spark small talk, and give new employees a chance to acquaint themselves with their team in a relaxed setting!
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8. Top Golf
Top Golf and similar chains are a lot of fun for a corporate happy hour, because they give the team a chance to unwind and bond in a setting that is far removed from work. I recommend hosting this happy hour activity during a half day at the office!
If you do it after a long work day, people may be too tired to want to stay and play golf. I recommend working with their sales team to pre-rent bays, order a few appetizers to come out throughout the event, and coordinate allotted drink tickets. As an added bonus, allow employees to expense Ubers so they can come and participate safely!
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9. Potluck & Ice Breakers
If your company is new to happy hours or work events, start with something simple. Host an office potluck for lunch, and spend an hour midday having your team partake in an icebreaker.
Create a bingo card with different boxes such as ‘was born in another country’ or ‘knows how to surf’, and let them wander during the potluck lunch meeting their teammates. Whenever someone can relate to one of the boxes, they’ll sign their name in the square until the card is full.
This is a great opportunity to learn names and fun facts about the people you work with. You never know what you may have in common with someone!
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10. Goat Yoga & Brews
Look for local goat yoga studios or breweries that host yoga and brew classes.
Have interested teammates sign up to meet at the brewery, and do a little team building while balancing a goat on their body. Weird huh? But there’s no denying that it’s memorable and likely to cause quite a few laughs. Finish the day with beers at the brewery!
Photo Credit: Glamour.com
Company Culture Is King!
Your team wants to feel valued, and one of the big ways to do that is to emphasize a positive and growth-oriented company culture. Lead diversity initiatives, put time into planning team bonding activities, and listen to your employees’ wants and needs. We hope that starting to incorporate some fun happy hour ideas and social activities is the perfect way to start!