All work and no play… well, you know the rest. What is an office environment without the opportunity to, every once in a while, let your hair down and hang loose with your business colleagues?

As more companies are seeing employees returning to the office after two years of remote working, there has never been a better time to make it truly worth everyone’s while. So why not give your dedicated staff another reason to look forward to returning to the daily grind?

Office parties – for Christmas, holidays, or no occasion at all – can greatly help to create stronger working relationships by building trust and strengthening communication among co-workers. And, more than anything, it's a token of appreciation from employers that resonate with a dedicated and hard-working staff. We’ve put together a list of some super engaging and creative ideas for businesses looking to go all out this year with a celebratory office holiday party. Check them out below:

1. Turn it into a karaoke party

karaoke office party meme

Without a doubt, one of the greatest, most sure-fire ways of getting people together for a great time is an invitation to karaoke. A holiday office KARAOKE party appeals to everyone, regardless of their taste in music. Karaoke has something for everyone. Hosting an event for your employees at a nearby karaoke bar is sure to strengthen existing work relationships thanks to the lowering of inhibitions and the universality of singing popular music – even badly. Karaoke at a nearby venue, or, depending on the size of your guest list, in the office, all but guarantees a blast.

Additionally, you can try turning your office party idea into a full-time position. Karaoke rooms at work have shown to improve employee satisfaction can be easily incorporated into any office environment. Have the karaoke equipment on stand-by for any occasion – even just for any old Friday afternoon.

guy singing his heart out in an office karaoke room

You can use a karaoke software like Singa to get started and give everyone thousands of songs to choose from. The best part about having a permanent karaoke room in your office is that it creates a unique any-time-after-work experience for staff members who want to let loose while eliminating the pent-up stress from the week. If things get too hectic, call it a day at 4:30 pm and have everybody meet to triumphantly sing it out before heading into the weekend. You can learn more about getting started with a karaoke room here.

2. Promote your staff with a talent show

For employees who spend their days clacking away at keyboards, sitting behind computer screens from within their cubicles, the opportunity to showcase something other than their words-per-minute typing skills could be a total game-changer.

office talent show guitar players
The Singa team showing off their guitar skills

Everybody’s got a hidden talent. And if you are working in a supportive and fun environment that allows for creativity and expression, especially during the more laid-back months of the calendar, then chances are you’d be up for a little show-and-tell. Throw your staff a talent show party, either in the office (like in Conference Room A) or at a local venue (see idea #1) –– incorporate a stage, select a handful of shyer staffers to serve as judges, and pump up the audience and gather some great prizes.

3. Find out "whodunnit" with a murder mystery event

It was probably Sharon from HR

Now, who among us hasn't considered, at one point or another…doing away with your boss? Well, without going too far into the details, a murder mystery event might just be the next best thing. A popular trend in social eventing, murder mystery-style gaming is not only incredibly fun and engaging, but also provides an opportunity for team building, deductive reasoning, and creative thinking.

What could be better than a celebratory office party that also (secretly) doubles as work? Bringing co-workers closer together is the ultimate goal of any holiday party, but an idea like this one is sure to leave a lasting and memorable impression for years to come. Imagine being the one who “solves” the boss’s “murder”? We’re talking BIG RAISE opportunities right there.

4. Make it one great, big movie night

Movies are magic. They are a great unifier. So why not center your next office holiday party around some classic titles? Whether you take your crew out to the cinema, rent out an entire local independent theater, or host the evening on a big projector on-site, a movie-themed office party is a great opportunity for conversation and strengthening connections. You can even host movie theater karaoke afterwards!

people performing at movie theater karaoke at Iron Sky, Helsinki

But that's not all. Of course, a 90-minute-long office holiday party that ends when the credits start to roll is not exactly fun enough – keep things going after the movie with some film trivia over cocktails and canapes. When office parties (which can occasionally start a little awkward and slow since people aren't necessarily in their default "office" mindsets) have a universally adored theme, like movies, they tend to get people involved quicker, and typically last longer.

5. Make an escape… to an interactive escape room

Do you have an office full of observers who like to think on their feet? How about those who always seem to know who has been lifting snacks from the kitchen fridge? For those with a keen eye for detail, an interactive escape room adventure might just be the best idea for your next holiday office party.

escape room photo image
Try escaping from whatever this is!

Not only are these fast-paced, creative outings ideal for team building, but they're also just incredibly fun. Many companies have some of their most senior C-suite members routinely participate in escape rooms because of the social benefits and endless opportunities for shared critical thinking. But who says escape rooms have to feel like work?

Many locations offer scenarios that put a spin on things. Horror-style haunted houses, jailbreaks, pop culture-themed escapes, the list goes on. Or, if you're feeling confident, set up your escape room in the office, maybe on a different floor where employees don’t usually have access. Make a night of it. And then, make it happen more often than once a year. There are even digital escape rooms you can do if you have a remote or distributed team.

online digital escape room team building

6. Board games in the board room? Absolutely!

There’s a reason board game cafes have been such a growing trend over the last ten years – nothing brings people together like some good-natured competition, friendly interaction, logical thinking, and a roll of the dice. Throw in some beers and nachos, or rosé and ratatouille, and you’ve got the makings for a massively fun evening. Tabletop board games and interactive gaming is a billion-dollar industry, so hosting an office party centered around some classic and/or new board games is a no-brainer.

Sing sing karaoke lyric board game
We keep a few musical board games around our office. 

Consider setting up individual stations in the department – trivia-based games one on end, strategy games at the other. Interactive cosplay here, video gaming there. The opportunities are endless for appealing to everybody’s unique taste. Take it one step further and host a quiz night where employees can win prizes, you can even use our Eurovision music quiz here.

There you have it! Some unique ideas for your next office holiday party. Interactive, engaging, community-building, and just plain fun – see how many concepts you can incorporate into your company calendar during the next holiday season.