59 Unique spirit week ideas for work

Are you struggling to find Spirit Week ideas for work?

In this article, we share 59 of our favourite themes and activities to help you plan your next company Spirit Week.

But first, here’s a short explanation of what “Spirit Week” is to make sure we’re all on the same page.

What is Spirit Week?

Spirit Week is an event organised to encourage team-building and strengthen company culture.

They typically last about five days and include activities like…

The purpose of the week is to facilitate human-to-human interactions and promote team spirit. It should be a fun event that employees look forward to.

Spirit Week themes and fancy dress ideas

Spirit Weeks are inspired by the festive weeks during high school when everybody would dress up in silly costumes.

As Spirit Week gained popularity with companies, themed fancy dress became commonplace. BRYTER, for example, chose a Pirate theme for their team-building retreat in Lisbon!

Here are some of our favourite Spirit Week themes to help narrow down your options.

1. Cartoon characters

This fancy dress theme is drenched head to toe in nostalgia. For most of us, nothing reminds us of our childhood more than seeing human renditions of our favourite animated characters.

Cartoon characters are a great way to go if you’re looking for a hilarious theme for your Spirit Week. 

Because there’s nothing funnier than seeing your colleagues turn up to work dressed like Homer Simpson, Peppa Pig or Micky Mouse.

2. Tourists

You wouldn’t think there’s all that much recognisable about a tourist. 

But when you take a moment to think about it, you realise that tourists are some of the most iconic characters on the planet.

With their cameras dangling around their necks, a gift-shop-bought sunhat on their heads and a tourist map in their hands, they’re pretty distinguishable from the crowd.

Really want to get into character? 

Ask your employees to act like tourists for the day. Ask for directions. Take photos in front of office “landmarks”. Eat copious amounts of ice cream. 

That sort of thing.

3. Olympians

Dressing up like an Olympian is all about sweatbands, short shorts and hairy chests (note how many people come to the office dressed as the guys from the ‘118’ adverts).

If your employees feel extra creative, they might come to the office with Olympic-themed props like a discus, a fake sword, or something totally impractical like a five-metre-long high jump pole.

To fully embrace the theme, why not organise an office-themed Olympics

See who can throw the paper ball into the wastepaper basket from the furthest distance or who can travel the furthest distance on their wheely office chair (watch Season 2, Episode 3 of The Office US for more inspiration).

4. Crazy hair or silly hats

This one requires a little less commitment from your team and doesn’t come with the same impracticalities as head-to-toe fancy dress.

But that doesn’t mean your employees can’t get creative with this theme! 

They can use all kinds of props from ribbons to festive tinsel to create a unique look.

This fancy dress theme is ideal if you’re short on time, or if you work in an environment where certain clothing is required for safety reasons.

5. The time machine

This Spirit Week theme gives you lots of flexibility, allowing you to step forwards or backwards in time! 

You can include your employees in the decision-making process by providing them with options and asking them to vote for their favourites.

You can choose any time period in the past or future. This could be an era or decade (the 70s, the dark ages, etc.) or an event (post-apocalypse, high school prom, etc.). 

To make things extra interesting, provide each department with a different theme! You can then play a game where employees need to guess which time period or event the other teams are dressed as.

6. Pyjamas

No excuses for being late during this week—your employees are ready for work from the moment they roll out of bed!

That said, it might be worth laying some ground rules to avoid embarrassment. Nobody wants to see Jeff from accounts turn up in his boxer shorts.

To keep things modest, encourage your employees to keep certain areas covered such as the shoulders and upper thighs. 

Props like teddy bears and fluffy slippers are recommended, however!

7. High school archetypes

This Spirit Week theme will transport your employees back to their high school days! Here, they’ll be dressing as one of the famous high-school stereotypes.

Some ideas include nerds, jocks, goths and cheerleaders. Managers and executive staff could dress as teachers or principals. Of course, you can get creative and invent your own clique.

To bring the theme to life, curate a school yearbook by asking classic questions like “who is most likely to become a millionaire?” etc.

8. Out of this world

The “out of this world” theme allows your employees to embrace their nerdy side by dressing as their favourite sci-fi or fantasy characters.

It demands quite a lot of effort from your staff, but the result is worth it. Throughout the day, you’ll slowly become accustomed to the site of elves, aliens and wizards roaming the office.

Want to take it a step further? Play fantasy or sci-fi music throughout the office and serve out-of-this-world snacks like fairy cakes, chocolate frogs, dragon’s eggs and more!

9. Famous people

This one is a classic, but you know what they say: the old ones are the best! 

The great thing about this Spirit Week theme is its diversity. It’s unlikely you’ll see the same characters twice, but it’s always funny when you do!

Struggling to come up with ideas? 

Start by choosing an industry such as music, film or television. Then, think of iconic figures within your chosen category. 

If you chose music, for example, you might dress up as John Lennon, Brittany Spears or David Bowie, to name a few.

10. Football/soccer day

This is a theme that’ll ignite passions. Because nothing quite divides and connects people like the beautiful game! 

Prepare to hear lots of debates about whose team is the best as your employees come to the office dressed like their favourite team or football player.

You can encourage your staff to bring their favourite game-day snacks to work, and don’t forget to set up several foosball tables throughout the office. You could even make teams and host an impromptu foosball competition.

11. Iconic duos

This Spirit Week theme promotes team building and collaboration. To prepare for “iconic duos”, separate employees into pairs and ask them to come to work the next day dressed as their favourite duo.

Need a little inspiration? Here are a few famous duos that make great fancy dress costumes:

If you really want to think outside the box, you could dress as iconic things instead of people. Think “salt and pepper”, “fish and chips” and “sun and moon”.

12. Patriot day

For “patriot day”, encourage your employees to come to the office dressed in their national colours

They can also decorate their desks with things that represent their countries like flags, local produce, musical instruments, and other traditional items.

This fancy dress theme is an opportunity for your employees to express their heritage. It’s unlikely that all of your employees will originate from the same country, so this is a chance to learn about the various cultures that exist in your office.

13. Supervillains

This fancy dress theme channels your employees’ evil side. Employees will come to work dressed as their favourite villains and then spend the day carrying out their dastardly plans.

For example, an employee dressed as the shark from “Jaws” will do their best to sneak up on his/her colleagues. They could even carry a small speaker with them and play the eerie “Jaws” music to accompany their approach.

Cast a vote at the end of the day and award a prize to “the evilest supervillain”.

14. All in bad taste

The “all in bad taste” theme is all about fashion faux pas. On this day, your employees will come to work sporting their favourite fashion blunders. 

Here are a few of our favourite fashion no-nos to get you thinking:

Those are just a few, but we’re sure you can think of plenty yourself. This Spirit Week theme is guaranteed to generate plenty of laughs!

15. Cult classics

A “cult” movie is a standalone film or movie franchise that has developed a cult following. 

They usually contain characters that are easy to recognise, making them the ideal inspiration for a themed Spirit Week.

Famous cult movies include:

You can also incorporate some film trivia into the day to test your employees’ movie knowledge.

Spirit Week games and activities for inside the office

Bad weather doesn’t need to get in the way of an awesome Spirit Week.

There are still plenty of games and activities you can play in the office that will strengthen employee relationships and boost company culture.

Here’s a list of our favourite indoor Spirit Week games to help you plan.

16. Surprise your employees with spontaneous dance-offs

Spontaneous activities avoid the stiffness commonly associated with office-based games. Spontaneous dance-offs catch employees off guard and result in hilarious displays of creativity.

To organise spontaneous dance-offs, start by designating a “dance team”. 

These people will be armed with a portable boombox and are responsible for initiating out-of-the-blue dance competitions between unsuspecting colleagues.

Image this: 

Two colleagues are hanging out, minding their own business by the water cooler… 

Suddenly your “dance team” leaps out of nowhere, introduces the two dancers and hits the music! 

Once both dancers have thrown some shapes, the “dance team” announces a winner and awards both dancers with a small prize. 

17. Show off your miming skills with a lip-sync competition

A lip-syncing competition is a great way to get your employees working together on a lighthearted project

We encourage you to create teams for this activity, as lip-syncing solo might be a little too much for your more introverted employees.

To organise a lip-syncing competition, simply divide employees into teams and ask them to choreograph a lip-syncing routine for a song of their choice.

Iconic groups like ABBA, Kiss, Metalica The Black Eyed Peas and Westlife often make for entertaining performances.

You can allocate a judging panel that will responsible for declaring the winner, or you can decide the winner by asking employees to cheer for their favourite performance. 

The group that received the loudest cheer is declared the winner.

18. Cheer each other on with “secret cheerleader”

“Secret cheerleader” is a fun activity that promotes kindness and boosts morale. 

The concept is simple: employees are assigned a colleague for whom they will need to “cheer on” throughout the day by passing on secret messages and leaving notes.

This activity spreads positivity and encourages employees to support one another. At the end of the day, employees can guess who they think their secret cheerleader was.

19. Make the most of the lunch break with lunchtime board games

After spending the morning at their desks, employees typically head out in search of their favourite lunch spot. This leads to employees spending lunchtime on their own, instead of bonding with their coworkers.

This activity makes the most of the lunch break by bringing employees together for a fun board game. 

To increase the likelihood of employees taking part, we recommend games that are short and easy to learn.

For example:

To encourage more competitiveness, you could hang a leaderboard for each game in the employee breakroom.

20. Ambush meetings with a flash mob

Flash mobs are choreographed dances that have been rehearsed in secret and are performed in public places.

Office flash mobs are performed throughout the office, in places like meeting rooms or the cafeteria.

Employees will need to collude with each other to come up with a song, a time, a location and a routine. This process encourages employees to build friendships and work together as a team.

It’s also great fun, and it is guaranteed to be a memorable moment of your Spirit Week!

21. Reveal hidden talents with a company talent show

A talent show allows employees to demonstrate hidden skills and talents to their coworkers. This helps your employees get to know one another on a more personal level.

While they are great fun, talent shows aren’t to everybody’s taste. 

Some of your employees will dread the idea of performing to a crowd, which is why it’s best to give employees the option to participate as they please.

Icebreaker games are a great tool to get your employees warmed up before they perform. Quick games like Alternative Application, Read My Lips and Word Association will help to get your employees in the mood for performing.

22. Host a “spirit” award ceremony

A “spirit” award ceremony is a great way to draw attention to your company’s culture by rewarding your best employees. 

A “spirit” award is awarded to employees who have championed the company’s core values not only throughout Spirit Week but throughout the whole year.

The best way to host a “spirit” award ceremony is to get everyone involved. Create a list of your company’s core values, then have employees vote for the person they think best exemplifies each value.

Allowing your employees to vote for their peers—instead of giving management the deciding vote—eliminates favouritism and shows that you value their input.

23. Get together for cheap after-work drinks

Many bars and restaurants offer happy hours on drinks and snacks, making it more affordable for friends and colleagues to come together and socialise.

The best thing about an after-work happy hour event is that it’s easy to organise. All you need is a venue with a nice atmosphere and away you go—your employees will make their own entertainment!

If you’re organising an after-work happy hour as part of your Spirit Week, we recommend that you allocate a budget to cover the costs of some (or all) of the drinks purchased during the event.

24. Bring departments together with quick networking games

For medium to large companies with multiple departments, it can be difficult to facilitate interaction between all members of staff.

Faults in your office’s architectural design or the company’s organisational structure can cause departments to work independently from one another. This phenomenon is known as working in silos and it leads to major problems when left unchecked.

One of the best ways to avoid organisational silos is to bring departments together more often with events like Spirit Week.

But be careful: these employees don’t know each other yet, so it might be a little too soon for karaoke and talent shows. 

In these early stages, it’s best to organise quick team-building games like Who Am I? And 3-Question Mingle. These games allow employees to become acquainted with each other and build rapport.

25. Go “green” for the day

If sustainability or environmentalism are cornerstones of your company culture, then going “green” for the day is a great idea for your Spirit Week.

On this day, your employees will change their habits to take better care of the environment. Ideas for “going green” include:

Those are just a few, but there are countless ways to improve the sustainability of your office. If you feel like going the extra mile, you could even make financial contributions to offset your carbon emissions.

26. Bring your furry friends to the office

Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work is becoming something of a trend. 

It’s shown to boost employee morale and improve workplace bonding. Plus, it gives employees a great excuse to get outside for some exercise during the working day.

It makes a great novelty during Spirit Week, but you should think carefully before allowing dogs into the office long-term. 

Issues like allergies, fears of dogs and distractions are some of the reasons why only 7% of offices in the U.S. are pet-friendly.

27. Allow employees to bring their kids to work

In general, allowing babies and toddlers into the workplace seems like a terrible idea. How can you possibly get any work done while keeping your little one(s) entertained?

You can’t, not really. But because Spirit Week is more about team bonding than getting work done, bringing children to work can be an effective initiative.

During the day, you can organise fun games and activities that can be enjoyed by everybody. The energy that little ones bring to the office is infectious and serves as a great catalyst for employee bonding.

28. Promote employee well-being with a wellness day

A company wellness day is all about prioritising the mental and physical health of your employees. 

By drawing attention to employee well-being, you can improve engagement and reduce the chance of burnout.

Here are a few simple ideas for your company wellness day:

If you want to prioritise employee well-being for the duration of Spirit Week you can organise a “healthy together” challenge. 

This is an ongoing event that challenges employees to perform a specific activity—like “walk at least 8000 steps every day”— for the duration of the week. Prizes are then awarded to anybody who completed the challenge every day.

29. Get artistic by painting a group mural

Looking for a creative team-building activity that brings employees together? Painting a group mural adds a splash of colour to the office while facilitating employee interaction.

It’s also an opportunity to draw attention to your company’s core values. Your mural could serve as a visual representation of what’s important to your business—things like “diversity and inclusion” and “continuous learning”, for example.

30. Create new connections by changing the office layout

Rearranging office furniture is another way for your employees to put their stamp on the office. It’s also a fun activity that puts the power in the hands of your employees and facilitates team bonding.

Rearranging the furniture breaks up the routine, boosts creativity and allows employees to interact with colleagues they’re not used to speaking to.

31. Brainstorm a new company slogan or logo

Your company is brimming with budding creatives itching to have their ideas heard. According to the data, 82% of your employees have an idea that could improve your business

That means there’s an untapped source of ideas just waiting to be discovered under your roof.

Spirit Week is a perfect moment to uncover some of these ideas.

You can ask your employees to design a new company slogan or logo. This could be a real ideation session like a design sprint, or it could be a pretend activity, designed to give employees some creative free reign.

32. Organise a desk decorating competition

A desk decoration competition is an opportunity for your employees to get in touch with their creative sides. It’s an easy event to organise which usually results in some incredible displays!

There are a couple of approaches you can take.

The first approach is completely free-form. That means employees can decorate their desks in any way they like. 

Alternatively, you can establish a theme that employees need to follow. If your Spirit Week lands close to a public holiday like Easter or Christmas, then choosing a theme is pretty easy. 

If your Spirit Week isn’t close to a public holiday, you can base your theme on a movie, book, time period, etc.

33. On your marks, get set, bake! 

Ready to uncover some hidden talents within your team? A company bake-off gives your employees the chance to showcase their skills (or lack thereof) in the kitchen!

You can let your creativity run wild when planning your company bake-off event. You could create a theme for each day of the week, for example, or create a judging panel with top-level managers. 

Why not bring in a “guest judge” for the final? This could be a top customer or—if you really want to mount on the pressure—the CEO or one of your key stakeholders. 

34. Ask your employees to switch roles

Role reversal is the act of switching roles with a colleague, subordinate or senior member of staff. 

It’s a controversial performance-enhancement technique used to drive growth and empathy, as well as reduce counterintuitive approaches.

When employees swap roles with their colleagues, they’re able to briefly experience what life is like for the other. Only by stepping into the shoes of our peers can we truly appreciate the challenges they face on a daily bases.

This is a novelty activity in many ways, but it can have many positive outcomes.

35. Organise a karaoke competition

A karaoke contest is a chance for employees to sing, laugh, dance, and most importantly have a good time.

The key to a successful karaoke contest lies in planning.

You’ll need to source a high-quality karaoke system with a large library of songs, a suitable venue, disco lighting, decorations, and plenty of “liquid courage” to steady the nerves.

A karaoke contest is typically best scheduled towards the end of the week once employees have got to know each other better.

36. Hunker down for a movie marathon

What could be better than back-to-back movies and popcorn? A movie marathon is a perfect way to spend a chilled-out afternoon with your colleagues.

To organise a movie marathon event, find a cosy space and fill it with lots of soft furnishings, set up a projector or large screen, close the blinds, select your favourite movie franchise, and supply plenty of soft drinks and snacks.

Spirit Week games and activities for outside the office

Escaping the office allows your employee to leave the stresses of the workplace behind and focus on having fun.

So if you want to make sure your team are fully engaged during Spirit Week, take a moment or two to get outside and play some games.

Here are our favourite outdoor games to help you get the most out of your Spirit Week.

37. Have a water balloon fight

A water balloon fight is a wet and wild way to initiate your Spirit Week! Your team are guaranteed to get excited about this outdoor activity.

To have a water balloon fight, you’ll need to find a suitable outside area like a park or sports field. Then you only need to create two teams, mark the boundaries of play and let the games begin! 

The rules are simple: If you’re hit by a balloon, you’re out. The first team to eliminate all opposition players wins!

38. Treat your employees to a team lunch or dinner

Sit-down meals are the source of all great friendships. If you’re looking to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace, organising a team lunch or dinner is a great place to start.

Team lunches are typically easier to organise because your workforce is already assembled at the office. This makes planning straightforward—you only need to decide on a venue and make a reservation.

Team dinners are a little trickier. Many employees will have prior plans or commitments, or they simply have things they would rather do with their free time. If you’re organising a team dinner, it’s wise to make arrangements far in advance.

39. Organise a family fun day

Family fun days are social events where employees are encouraged to bring along their loved ones for a day of food and entertainment.

They blur the line between home and office life, helping employees improve their work-life balance while building connections with colleagues. They’re also a great way to reward employees for their hard work.

You can arrange all kinds of exciting activities like scavenger hunts, field days and sports, or you could keep things casual with a picnic in the park or beach barbeque.

40. Make a difference with corporate volunteering

Employees—particularly younger generations—are becoming increasingly concerned about the social and societal impact of their work. 

Things like salaries and benefits packages are becoming secondary to sustainability practices and community involvement.

This has led to a rise in corporate volunteering programmes. These programmes empower employees to get involved with volunteer activities that benefit the community, resulting in improved job satisfaction and engagement.

Corporate volunteering, then, makes for an excellent Spirit Week activity. Collaborate with your employees to decide how you can make a positive impact on your community, then make the necessary arrangements.

By the end of the event, employees will have created stronger interpersonal bonds and feel prouder to work at your company.

41. Get outside for a relaxing lunchtime picnic

Similar to team lunches, lunchtime picnics are casual social events that bring your employees together during working hours.

Spending time in nature has also been shown to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

If your team is coming off the back of a hectic workload, a lunchtime picnic might offer the respite they desperately need.

42. Get a change of scene with team workation

If you really want to make the most of your Spirit Week, consider relocating your office to somewhere warm and sunny with a team workation.

Team workations allow your employees to be productive away from the office. They typically take place in scenic outdoor locations where employees can partake in exciting activities like surfing, hiking and rock climbing.

These all-expenses-paid trips help break up the routine and provide shared experiences for your employees to bond over.

They’re particularly valuable for remote and hybrid teams who can’t meet regularly in person.

43. Spend the afternoon on the beach

At Surf Office, we believe time spent on the beach is time well spent.

There’s something about the sound of breaking waves, the sand between your toes and the sun on your face that leads to great moments.

It’s also the perfect place for employees to build stronger relationships. During a day on the beach, your team can go swimming or surfing, or take part in other beach games like Spikeball and volleyball.

And if they don’t feel like doing that, they can relax, soak up the sun and get to know each other over a refreshing beer or two.

44. Be a tourist in your local area

How much time have you spent exploring your local town or city? 

Most of us spend our free time—whether that’s the weekend or a holiday—exploring new places. We usually can’t wait to jump on a flight to a distant land.

But that means most people don’t fully appreciate their local area.

This Spirit Week activity is all about exploring the amazing things to do in your town or city. This could be something simple like taking a walk in nature or something more touristy like visiting your local theme park.

This is a fun, low-cost team-building activity that will make your employees proud of where they come from.

45. Perform random acts of kindness

Random acts of kindness are unplanned acts performed without ulterior motives. They’re done with the sole intention of helping an individual or group.

Random acts of kindness include actions like helping an elderly person cross the road or helping somebody carry their groceries bags to their car.

This is an effective team-building activity that boosts company culture and job satisfaction and improves employee relationships.

Similarly to corporate volunteering, random acts of kindness get your company interacting with the community, boosting your social impact and enhancing brand perception.

46. Organise a field day

Field days have stood the test of time when it comes to corporate team building.

They’re straightforward to organise and don’t cost an arm and a leg. All you need is a large outdoor space and a bunch of props.

Here are some ideas for your field day event:

By the end of the day, your employees will have made new workplace friendships and developed various soft skills.

47. Have a group photoshoot

This is a fun team-building activity that boosts company pride and camaraderie. You can use your group photos as designs for your company SWAG or frame them and hang them in the office.

At Surf Office offsites, we love to capture group photos because they serve as visual reminders of all the great memories employees made during the trip.

If you have the necessary gear, you can take your own group photos, but we recommend that you hire a professional for the best results.

Spirit Week games and activities for virtual teams

Spirit Week is an especially important event for teams working remotely.

This is because WFH employees don’t enjoy the same daily interactions as their office-based counterparts.

Therefore, it’s critical you make the most of Spirit Week by playing virtual games that drive employee engagement and develop lasting interpersonal relationships.

48. Test your employees’ general knowledge with a pub quiz

Who doesn’t like testing and showing off their general knowledge to their colleagues? An online pub quiz is a guaranteed way to engage your employees during your virtual Spirit Week.

There are a couple of ways to host an online pub quiz. You could design the questions yourself, maybe even including some office trivia to test your employees’ company knowledge.

Or, you could enlist the services of a third-party online pub quiz organiser. This will add professionalism to your event and save you time. Plus, the questions will be specifically designed to target key skills like creativity and critical thinking.

49. Get moving with a lightning scavenger hunt

Lightning scavenger hunts work brilliantly for online events because they get your employees away from their screens and moving around.

This is especially important for employees suffering from screen fatigue.

The premise of a lightning scavenger hunt is simple: Give employees a list of standard household items and ask them to retrieve all the items as quickly as possible. 

The first person to return to their desk with all the items wins!

50. Facilitate continuous interactions with virtual coffee chats

Virtual coffee chats are designed to replicate the spontaneous employee interactions that traditionally take place in brick-and-mortar offices.

Most remote-first companies will already have adopted this team-building technique because it’s easy to organise and helps employees build long-term relationships.

Of course, your employees will typically want to spend their coffee chats with the colleagues they feel closest to, but this isn’t in the spirit of the activity. 

The idea is to facilitate interactions between all employees, bringing those together who wouldn’t usually interact.

An easy way to do this is by using a random coffee chat generator like RandomCoffee.

51. Work up a sweat with online group workouts

Working from home has led to an increase in sedentary behaviours. Remote workers no longer need to commute to the office, nor are they motivated to get outside and walk to their favourite lunch spot.

According to this Standford study, working from home correlates with more sitting and less exercise.

So there’s never been a more important time to promote physical health and well-being.

A great way to do this is to organise online group workouts. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be  a certified PT to do this. There are thousands of online workout trainers out there for you to choose from. 

You could follow a pre-recorded video on YouTube or enlist the services of a professional trainer who can conduct a live workout session for your team.

52. Learn a new skill with a cocktail-making workshop

A cocktail-making workshop is an entertaining group activity that promotes team bonding. 

Just like scavenger hunts and group workouts, a cocktail workshop is a physical activity that lures employees away from their computer screens.

The easiest way to organise a virtual cocktail workshop is by enlisting the services of a specialist vendor. 

Mixology Events, for example, will supply each of your employees with a package containing everything they need to take part in the workshop.

53. Have your employees compete in a virtual Olympics

A virtual Olympics is a great way to encourage team-building and collaboration during your online Spirit Week.

To organise a virtual Olympics, you need to come up with a list of games that will challenge your employees.

Here are a few to get your creative juices flowing:

Don’t forget to keep track of the scores for each game so that you can announce a winner at the end.

Spirit Week games and activities for Christmas

The lead-up to Christmas is a famously busy time of year, so planning a Spirit Week at this time could be risky.

You don’t want employees worrying about their workload as they try to engage in Christmassy games and activities!

Nevertheless, this is a season of celebration and togetherness, making it—in many ways—the perfect time of year to organise a company Spirit Week.

54. Vote for the worst Christmas sweater

It wouldn’t be Christmas without ugly Christmas sweaters.

For this activity, ask your employees to come to work wearing their tackiest and ugliest festive garments.

At the end of the day, you can ask your team to vote for the sweater they thought was best (bonus points for homemade entries).

55. Spread Christmas spirit with a holiday card-making workshop

This is a creative festive activity that brings employees together and spreads Christmas cheer throughout the office.

You can award prizes for the best cards and create a display piece in the employee breakroom.

56. Plan an end-of-year office party

An end-of-year office party is an infamous event renowned for excessive drinking, awkward dancing and cringeworthy speeches.

But for all its faults, the Christmas office party is an event that nobody would want to miss. It’s the perfect excuse to let go of our inhibitions, blow off steam and bond with our colleagues.

It’s also a chance to thank your team and celebrate your achievements.

57. Binge on festive-themed movies

When it’s cold outside, there’s no better way to spend the afternoon than enjoying your favourite Christmas movies

Some of our favourites include:

58. Warm up your vocals with a Christmas carolling competition

Singing is a great way to bring people together and ignite team spirit.

For this Spirit Week activity, split your workforce into teams and get them to go carolling around the office.

You can take a vote for the group who sang the best Christmas carol and award them with a prize.

59. Organise a gingerbread house competition

Building a gingerbread house is a challenging task that puts employee teamwork skills and creativity to the test.

The aim of the game is for teams to build the most impressive gingerbread house by using the materials provided.

You’ll need a large indoor space with enough tables and chairs for each team, as well as the necessary materials for building a gingerbread house.

Spirit Week FAQs

Where does spirit week come from? 

The first recorded example of the spirit week model stems back to 1952 at Palo Alto High School in California. 

They organised what they called a “Friendship Week” to welcome students back to school. “Friendship Week” was renamed “Spirit Week” in the 1960s, but the concept lost momentum during the Vietnam War. 

It was later resurrected, however, and has continually risen in popularity since the 1990s. 

Today, approximately 75% of schools celebrate spirit week in the United States, and the concept is now being readily adopted by businesses as a way of igniting team spirit and company pride.

What are the best spirit week activities?

The purpose of Spirit Week is to bring people together in celebration. It’s designed to be fun and engaging, so you should avoid any activities that are too serious or educational.

That said, many games can be enjoyable and educational at the same time. Most team-building games, for example, are great fun but they also improve work-related skills like teamwork, leadership and communication.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that professional development is not the primary goal of Spirit Week. Instead, your focus should be on reinforcing your company culture, celebrating milestones and igniting team spirit.

What do you wear for Spirit Week?

Deciding what to wear during Spirit Week is a surprisingly important consideration. In high schools, it’s normal to dress up in silly costumes, and this tradition has been adopted by businesses and organisations.

Wearing fancy dress reminds your employees that Spirit Week is an event not to be taken too seriously. This isn’t a design sprint or hackathon, this is a celebratory event that’s all about spreading good vibes and making memories. 

Of course, fancy dress is optional and isn’t a requirement for a successful Spirit Week.

What are the best spirit week themes?

A Spirit Week theme typically dictates the dress code, but it can also influence the games you play, the food you eat and the music you listen to.

The best Spirit Week themes are simple, creative and unique. They should be straightforward concepts that are easy to implement. Consider what is common knowledge and prominent in popular culture. Avoid picking a theme that’s too niche or abstract.

We listed our favourite Spirit Week themes at the beginning of this article—check them out!


Hopefully, your mind is now full of inspiration for your next company Spirit Week!

But this has been a long one, so here’s a quick recap of everything we’ve covered in this article.

If you have any more questions about Spirit Week, or if you’re interested in organising an offsite Spirit Week, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of the Surf Office team!

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