18 team building party games and activities for Kiwi companies

Here are some of the best office party ideas to help you get started on planning your next work social event. They’re all designed to be fun, bring people together, promote cohesion and let people know there’s more to work than working.

Team Building Party Ideas

From welcoming new team members and celebrating achieved goals to acknowledging a challenging patch, a well-planned office party can do wonders for workplace morale. Here are some of the best office party ideas to help you get started on planning your next work social event. They’re all designed to be fun, bring people together, promote cohesion and let people know there’s more to work than working.

1. Corporate quiz 

The classic pub quiz has become increasingly popular across most age groups in New Zealand. Whether you pitch office teams against each other or create random teams using a draw, the competition is bound to be fierce. There are multiple companies in New Zealand that can set the whole thing up for you and even run it if required. Offering prizes for teams that end up in random places – like first, fifth and last – can add to the fun and keep everyone engaged. 

2. Charity party 

Giving back to people in need often resonates strongly with company values. Making a charity event part of your next celebration provides an opportunity for teams to interact and connect with the community. One of the favourites is a team-based bike assembly contest that ends with the surprise of kids in need coming in to collect their brand new donated bikes.

3.Cooking class 

Sharing a meal is a centuries-old way to bond with others. From pizza making to developing expert culinary skills in a MasterChef style competition, the opportunities for team-building over food are endless.

4. Party in a box 

This works particularly well if you have remote or off-site teams. Everyone is sent a box containing everything they need to take part, creating an exciting build-up to the main event. It can be anything from a party involving costumes and props to a selection of craft beers with tasting notes. You can gather in person or have a video party on Zoom or Teams.

5. Scavenger hunt 

Exploring the city to find landmarks from cryptic clues or collect specific items is a great way for teams to strategise and work together. Issuing concession cards can also promote the use of public transport, if that’s a company goal. Grouping items into several point categories adds a strategic element.

6. Random acts of kindness 

A bit like Secret Santa, this activity involves pulling names out of a hat, then bestowing the person selected with an anonymous random act of kindness.  Cupcakes, coffee, flowers, pot plants or chocolate treats are always a popular choice. Or the act of kindness could be a service, such as washing and polishing a car, tidying a desk or leaving a compliment on a sticky note. 

7. Escape room 

Escape room experiences are now available in many New Zealand cities. Teams have to solve clues and puzzles to escape from a locked room before the time runs out. Even your quietest team members will get vocal in this one, as time steadily ticks away. Online versions are also available for virtual teams.

8. Murder mystery party 

These fun-filled interactive whodunits come in all shapes and sizes, from hosted dinners at country retreats or city restaurants to hiring specialists that make the whole thing happen at your location. Murder mysteries can include themed fancy dress and assigned characters for each person to play. There are online versions for teams who work remotely.

9. Happy hour 

A regular social gathering that doesn’t involve too much planning makes it easy for teams to get together, celebrate successes and feel appreciated for their work. Knocking off an hour early once a month to enjoy a free drink and a bite to eat can be all it takes. For remote teams, send out their choice of craft beer, pre-mix drinks or alcohol-free treats, plus a few nibbles to create an online happy hour in a box. 

10. Pet day 

Adorable fur babies and feathered friends can transform any office into a smiley, chatty environment. It’s a good idea to check for allergies first, then come up with a plan that works for everyone. Having a few small gifts on hand for the visiting pets is a great way to thank them for coming in to brighten up everyone’s day.

11. Food truck fiesta 

Setting aside an outdoor space and bringing in a local food truck or two is an easy way to run a work party. Specialising in street food to go, food trucks allow your teams to mingle and choose their own eats when it suits. Small teams could simply meet at a public food truck event and be given some cash to spend.

12. Family and house mates picnic 

Work is an integral part of people’s lives, so it makes sense to invite partners, children and house mates to some company get-togethers. A BYO picnic in the park is easy to organise and gives people the freedom to mix and roam as they choose. Finding somewhere beside a children’s playground can help keep the little ones happy. If you want to ‘give’ to the guests you could consider hiring something like a guest magician, an ice cream truck or even a bouncy castle.

13. Retro game night 

Setting up a room with tables of retro board games and video consoles provides an opportunity for people to interact in fun ways. You can set a time limit, so people regularly form new groups and try a range of retro games to talk about later. 

14. Decade party 

Parties themed in the 20s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s can be a huge success. Stepping into a different time gives people the freedom to be larger than life. Fashion, music, dance moves, food, iconic drinks and even major news items from the decade can all become part of the fun. 

15. Karaoke night 

Whether people lip-sync or sing their hearts out, karaoke nights give teams an opportunity to support and encourage each other. Inevitably, a few hidden stars are revealed and some usually confident players appear less so. Karaoke is great for helping people to safely step out of their comfort zone.

16. Photo booth fun 

Whether you hire a full-on photo booth or just provide a DIY selfie space with fun props, fun with photos  helps to ignite your occasion. A photo booth also ensures your event lives on in countless images that get shared with colleagues, family and friends for days and weeks to come.

17. Construction challenge 

Working together to complete a construction challenge is time-proven way to strengthen workplace teams. Planning, communication, time management, collaboration, critical thinking and continuous improvement all come into play. Whether you work with paper and tape or construction sets like Lego and K’NEX, a series of timed challenges with prizes and breaks in between makes for a memorable event. When it’s all over, construction sets can be donated to a local school.

18. Vineyard / brewery / foodie tour 

Rewarding your people with a guided tour of wine, craft beer or food producers provides plenty of fuel for conversation. Most of all, everyone feels appreciated for their contribution to the success of the team. 

Want to make your people feel appreciated every day of the year? Find out more about Boost, an employee benefits programme that works for everyone.