You found our list of the best virtual National Fun at Work Day ideas.
National Fun at Work Day is a holiday that encourages employees to relax and enjoy themselves. For example, managers and employees play games, do team building activities, enjoy entertainment and show appreciation for each other. The goal of this day is to boost employee engagement and job satisfaction. National Fun at Work Day occurs in the US on January 28. International Fun at Work Day falls on April 1st. We recommend observing both. 🙂 This occasional is also known as “National Have Fun at Work Day.”
This article includes:
- National Have Fun at Work Day Ideas
- Games for National Fun at Work Day
- Virtual activities for National Fun at Work Day
- National Fun at Work Day quotes
Here’s the list!
Virtual Activities and Games for National Fun at Work Day
From virtual team building events to scavenger hunts to photo-booths, here are ways to keep employees engaged and entertained on National Fun at Work Day.
1. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunts are great ways to get employees moving. To run a scavenger hunt, split participants into teams and hand out lists of clues. The first team to track down all list items or complete all tasks wins. Or, you can give teams a set amount of time to complete the challenge, and name the group with the most points the winner.
We made a scavenger hunt template you can use. You can also brainstorm your own clues.
Virtual scavenger hunts are great ways to engage remote employees. The best approach for online games is lightning scavenger hunts, where participants race to retrieve objects one at a time.
2. Fun at Work Day Bingo
Bingo is one of the easiest games to play at work, and can help coworkers get to know each other better. To play team Bingo, hand out cards, then challenge participants to find coworkers who match the descriptions in the squares. The first player to mark five squares in a row, column, or diagonal wins, or you can play blackout Bingo and require participants to mark every square.
We made a template you can use for your game.
By the way, you can play Bingo online too. Check out Online Team Building Bingo to learn more.
3. Online Office Games (Facilitated)
Online Office Games is a virtual competition similar to office Olympics. For 90 minutes, coworkers compete in online mini-games like trivia, scavenger hunts, and “Can You Hear Me Now?” Icebreakers and team slogans encourage colleagues to interact and bond via Zoom. Throughout the event, a high-energy host plays cheerleader, judge, and event-master extraordinaire, spurring teams towards victory and ensuring all participants have a darn good time.
4. Virtual Team Trivia (Fully Hosted)
Virtual Team Trivia is an online challenge that tests a team’s smarts. Themes include party, rock & roll, international, and more. Or, with the custom trivia option, the TeamBuilding staff will create a pub quiz on the topic of your choosing.
During this 60 minute virtual event, a smarty-pants facilitator plays game show host and poses brain-scratching questions. Teams guess answers together and bond in the process.
Learn more about Virtual Team Trivia.
5. Superhero Academy
Superhero Academy is a virtual team building activity of heroic proportions. The event invites colleagues to team up in an epic battle to save the world. The competition lasts for 90 minutes. During the event, a charismatic host facilitates Zoom team building activities and work-appropriate virtual games. Teams will create alter-egos and battle salutes, solve fast-paced brainteasers, and face off in virtual minute-to-win-it style games. Plus, participants must determine which teams among them are secretly filled with villains. Superhero Academy is a game that inspires unbreakable bonds while testing players’ brains and brawn.
Learn more about Superhero Academy.
6. Murder Mysteries
Murder mysteries involve participants following a script while hunting for clues to find a killer. If your crew is highly-theatrical, then murder mysteries can be a lot of fun. You can either download a self-contained game and follow the prompts, or book a facilitated mystery and let a host guide the game. If your team is remote, then you can solve murder mysteries virtually.
Pro-tip: Whether you play in person or online, costumes, props, and on-theme decorations add to the atmosphere.
Read our list of the best virtual murdering mystery games.
7. Standup Comedy Workshop
Laughter and fun go hand in hand. To amuse and challenge your team simultaneously, host a standup comedy workshop during Fun at Work Day.
First, find a comedian or comedy troupe to lead a lesson. Then, invite employees to hone their comedy skills by writing and practicing routines or playing improv games. To cap off the exercise, hold a mini-showcase where participants perform short routines. If your crew feels comfortable, then invite other employees to watch.
Depending on staff interest, you can either hold the activity as a full-day event, or condense it to 1 or 2 hours.
8. Talent Show
Talent Shows are easy to coordinate, and are one of the best activities for National Fun at Work Day. These showcases give coworkers the chance to flaunt non-work abilities, helping colleagues get to know each other on a more personal level.
To host a talent show:
- Gather acts
- Arrange a lineup
- Recruit an emcee
- Invite audience members
For best results, either turn the show into a competition and name a winner, or just enjoy your coworkers’ talents.
For more suggestions, check out our list of virtual talent show ideas.
Speaking of performing, karaoke is a fun social activity that unleashes your employees’ inner starpower. While karaoke machines and microphones are helpful, instrumental tracks with lyrics work great too.
To kick off karaoke, set your stage, test your technology, and invite individuals and groups to sign up for songs.
You can also do karaoke on Zoom.
Pro-tip: Shy employees might feel more comfortable if managers or event organizers start the session with a ridiculous routine to a silly song. Or, invite the whole room to belt out a group number to a popular song like “Don’t Stop Believin.”
10. Movie Day
Movies are one of the simplest entertainment options for Fun at Work Day. Screening a film is a low-maintenance, relaxing way to amuse employees.
Fun ideas for company movie day:
- Screen a funny clip film festival by inviting employees to submit favorite online videos
- Roll out the red carpet and turn the screening into a mock movie premiere
- Spread out blankets and pillows and host a pajama-party-inspired movie night
- Create a drive-in atmosphere by putting up a screen in the parking lot and holding a tailgate during the film
- Keep it simple and let employees decide on a movie by voting
No movie showing is complete without snacks, so stock up on popcorn, pretzels, and candy!
Here is a list of team building movies to watch.
Cook-offs are the perfect blend of eating and competing. During these tasty contests, employees square off in a battle of culinary skill.
To host a company cookoff:
- Pick a theme, like chili, mac n cheese, or cupcakes
- Gather contestants
- Impose a time limit
- Send chefs off to cook
- Ask a panel of judges or other contestants to rate finished dishes on appearance, taste, technique, and creativity
For an extra challenge, keep the theme a surprise until the contest starts or provide a basket of mystery ingredients. If employees supply their own materials, then reimbursing groceries up to a certain amount is a nice gesture.
If your team is entirely online, then host a virtual cookoff and choose a winner on the basis of appearance and creativity only.
For inspiration, browse our list of online cooking classes.
12. Photo Booth
To commemorate the day and give employees a fun souvenir, set up a photo booth during the event. While you can always rent a photo booth, these attractions are easy and inexpensive to do-it-yourself. For maximum wow factor, provide photobooth props and interesting backgrounds.
Setting up a photo booth is even easier to do online. Simply gather on screen during a video call and take screenshots. We suggest adjusting the video display settings in the software to display as many participants on screen as possible. Don’t forget to pose!
Afterwards, you can use a program like Canva to add borders or other graphics. Be sure to give employees copies of the finished photos!
13. Escape Rooms
In recent years, escape rooms have become a staple of corporate outings. These puzzle experiences challenge participants to hunt for clues and solve riddles to unlock doors or “escape the room” in a certain amount of time, typically 1 to 2 hours.
Escape rooms are the perfect games for National Fun at Work Day. You can either take a trip to visit a physical location, or build your own DIY escape room in a spare space or conference room. If your team is fully remote or hybrid remote, then visit an online escape room together.
14. Board Games
Whether your crew is mellow or hyper-competitive, board games are a good time. To incorporate board games into your work day, provide fan favorites like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, Clue, Jenga, Uno, Battleship, and Trivial Pursuit. Feel free to poll the staff to narrow down the most popular choices, or invite employees to bring games.
If you are feeling extra ambitious, then you can turn entire rooms into life-size versions of board games like CandyLand or Chess with employees as the playing pieces.
Virtual teams can play multiplayer online versions of board games instead.
Browse our list of the best team building board games.
15. Party Games
Party games are games suitable for big groups that encourage social interaction. Typically, these games require minimal skills or knowledge, meaning they have mass appeal.
Here are a few great party games perfect for Fun at Work Day:
- Never Have I Ever
- Musical Chairs
- Head’s Up
- Simon Says
Most of these games translate well to conference calls.
Another great option is to play question games.
National Fun at Work Day Ideas
From one-of-a-kind experiences to budget-friendly Fun at Work Day ideas, here is inspiration for a memorable event.
16. Cater breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack (or all three!)
Experts agree, free food boosts the workplace fun factor significantly. Meals nourish employees and boost energy levels, and snack breaks provide opportunity and incentive for coworkers to gather and socialize.
Here are a few food-related ideas:
- Order pizza, subs, or whatever cuisine your colleagues crave
- Rent a fleet of food trucks
- Set up make-it-yourself bars for foods like tacos, burgers, or ice cream sundaes
- Enlist local restaurants or caterers to set up food stands
- Make a reservation at a nearby restaurant
- Provide snacks that double as crafts, like paint-your-own cookies or cupcake decorating stations
If catering is not in the budget, then coordinating a potluck is a great alternative. Employees still get to chow down, and share the cost of the meal by each bringing a dish. This format adds a more personal touch to the party, since coworkers learn about each other’s favorite recipes.
Remote teams deserve a snack too. Simply send gift cards to employees for meal delivery services like DoorDash or GrubHub, or reimburse meals up to a certain amount. Then, hop on a video call and feast together.
17. Hold contests and award prizes
Winning is fun, and contests make a great addition to any work event.
Here are a few contest ideas:
- Door prizes
- Tournaments, such as video games or board games
- Costume contests
- Talent contests
- Random giveaways
- Social media challenges
- Desk decorating or Zoom background contests
- Fundraising races
- Sports matches
- Carnival-style game booths
Giveaways and contests are a fun bonus that incentive participation. Not to mention, prizes remind attendees of the event long after the day ends.
18. Allow animals in the office
Animals add instant fun to any affair. You can surprise your staff with visits from furry, scaly, or feathered friends.
Here are a few fun ways to bring animals into the office:
- Plan a bring your pets to work day
- Arrange “animal therapy” with visits from shelter dogs and cats
- Invite an exotic animal trainer with creatures in tow
- Rent a petting zoo
- Book an animal act
Whatever venue you pursue, do research to ensure ethical treatment towards the animals. If allowing employees to bring their own pets, then emphasize that pets must be well-behaved and be sure owners bring leashes and carriers in case of trouble. Also, give a heads up to staff so that employees with allergies can prepare.
Work from home teams do not have to miss out on the creature features. To get remote teams their animal fix, ask colleagues to show off pets during Zoom calls.
19. Encourage a silly dress code
Kids are not the only ones who enjoy a good game of dress-up. Allowing costumes and encouraging outrageous outfits adds visual flair to your work day. This holiday is a perfect occasion to loosen up on the dress code and permit employees to wear comfortable or ridiculous apparel.
Here are a few fun clothing ideas:
- Pick a theme like superheroes, sports, or decades
- Hold a costume contest
- Hand out white shirts and colored markers so colleagues can write and draw on each other
- Provide accessories like hats and boas or supply full racks of costumes to choose from
Even getting to wear casual clothes can be a treat if your office normally follows a formal dress code.
Work from home teams have much more daily freedom with wardrobe. Still,picking a dress-up theme can add a bit of fun to normal video calls. Plus, remote workers can choose fun Zoom backgrounds for extra visual flair!
For inspiration, check out our article on virtual costume contest ideas.
20. Strategize activities that encourage socialization
Part of the fun of work days is spending time with colleagues. For the most impact, plan activities that encourage social interaction, such as scavenger hunts, team building games, and large group icebreakers. When arranging the day, prioritize activities that promote togetherness. Even providing food in communal areas can encourage colleagues to gather.
If working in a virtual environment, then get teammates together by posting fun topics or games on team Slack channels, scheduling virtual team building events, or hosting online socials.
Here is a list of virtual team building ideas to try.
21. Curate a goodie bag or care package
Presents make any occasion more fun, so be sure to make up a goodie bag for your guests.
Suggestions of items to include:
- Small toys like wind ups, bouncy balls, and yo-yo’s
- Silly string
- Dress up accessories, like novelty sunglasses or headbands
- Cookies and candy
- Desk accessories like bobble heads, figurines, and fun stationary
Most of these items are available at your local dollar store, making it easy to stay on budget.
If your team works from home, then compile a care package to send to each employee. Feel free to tailor your gifts to teammate tastes if you want to make the presents more personal.
Here is a list of gift ideas for employees.
22. Commission artists to perform
For a unique experience, commission artists to perform at your event.
Here are a few unique performance ideas:
- Visual artists: caricaturists, graffiti artists, speed muralists
- Performance artists: Improv troupes, acrobats, fire jugglers, celebrity impersonators, impressionists
- Musicians: Dueling pianos, singing telegrams, bands that use unconventional instruments, instrumental covers of pop songs
Unexpected acts are memorable, but standards are good too. Classics like live bands or dj’s, face painters, balloon animal artists, and photo booths are sure to please your crew.
If your team is not together in person, then you can always invite an artist to your Zoom call to entertain from afar!
23. Invite vendors to give out samples
Swag is a real crowd pleaser, and receiving free samples makes folks feel like they are part of an exclusive experience.
Many companies already have swag or trial samples for marketing purposes, and may be grateful for an opportunity to spread brand awareness. Third party vendors might even be willing to sponsor your event.
Remember that asking outright for freebies might rub folks the wrong way. A better approach is to offer a trade of services, negotiate a discounted rate, or pitch the event as a marketing opportunity.
Of course, you should include your own company’s swag or trial products too.
24. Welcome employee’s families for the festivities
While the main goal of National Fun at Work Day is to promote happiness among colleagues, inviting families to share in the fun is a nice gesture.
Planning age-appropriate activities is a good idea if allowing children. Keep in mind that most kids will be in school on weekdays in January, so your guests will skew young. Also, many spouses work during the week, and may only be able to attend after work or on lunch break.
Since not everyone has traditional families, opening invites to friends, roommates, or extended relatives can make employees with unconventional families feel included.
25. Coordinate coverage so that all employees can join the fun
Planning a day full of entertainment, games, and perks might be a wasted effort if your employees cannot find time to indulge. You can plan ahead to ensure employees with busy schedules can enjoy at least some of the offerings.
If possible, then reroute non-urgent work to other days to clear space in employee schedules. Or, enact a rotating break schedule in busy departments so teammates can take turns enjoying the days’ activities. If employees cannot partake in any of the events, then offer a voucher for an out-of-work activity like movie tickets or a complimentary meal as a compensation prize. If nothing else, offer to fetch food or bring back a slice of cake for colleagues unable to stop working.
National Fun at Work Day quotes
The day may lack an official slogan, but there are plenty of phrases that fit the occasion.
Here are some original National Fun at Work Day quotes to use on banners, emails, invitations, and conversations:
- Hard at work or hardly working? Doesn’t matter: it’s National Fun at Work Day!
- Every day is fun at work, but on January 28, it’s official!
- Take a break– you’ve earned it. Happy National Fun at Work Day!
- No grumps allowed: It’s National Fun at Work Day!
- All work and no play- not today!
- Work hard, play hard, celebrate National Fun at Work Day!
- Love your job? You do today! Happy National Fun at Work Day!
- Work doesn’t have to be boring– especially with a crew as zany as you! Happy Fun at Work Day!
- The least called-out day of the year- Happy National Fun at Work Day!
- Bored? No more! It’s National Fun at Work Day.
For even more positive affirmation, check out our list of employee appreciation quotes.
National Fun at Work Day seeks to dispel the myth that work cannot be enjoyable. In actuality, rest and joy have important roles in the workplace. Play inspires creativity, learning, and team bonding. Relaxation decreases the likelihood of burnout, and contributes to job satisfaction.
Finally, an important tip: pulling off an exciting and engaging event for employees is rewarding, but requires extensive planning and coordination.