Welcoming New Changes in the Office

Welcoming New Changes in the Office

I recently read a post on an Office Managers support group on Facebook, and I was really excited to respond. The questions was:

We have some big changes coming in our office … to “celebrate” them starting, we are going to host a happy hour in our office. Any ideas of how to make happy hour fun? Activities? Games?” – Court

Boy-oh-boy does the Culture Cultivator blog have ideas for you!

Host a Wine Walk

When I host a wine walk, I’ll choose regions from where I like my wine, and then coordinate appetizers from each region. For example, I love Sonoma Valley and Italian Wines. Pick 3 or 4 wines from each region and be sure to get enough for everyone to have a taste. I normally pick a bright white like Sauvignon Blanc, a Rose, and a Pinot Noir, but you can choose whatever you want because YOU’RE THE BOSS! I’ll then order appetizers to match (most of the time I have to order from separate caterers, but it’s worth it! For California wines I’ll order some California style finger sandwiches with lots of avocado options, for Italy your choices are limitless, (even pizza) but the best Italian catering we ever had were these “Arancini” risotto balls filled with cheese. YUM, still can’t get over them.

Host a Cider Festival

There are so many types of cider hitting the market and I am so down for that. I actually make a trip every year to the Portland Cider Festival, I buy all my favorites and bring them back to the office to host a tasting. We’re not the ‘winning’ type so we just chat about what flavors we like and don’t like. People get some cute Instagram photos, it’s a win-win. All of these are, actually. My favorite ciders are from Reverend Nat’s: revival dry and the passion. BevMo has a good selection of Ciders to choose from. So does Whole Foods! Cider is gluten free, so it’s great for all of our made-up allergies! (kidding..) Not a cider fest aficionado? Try these easy to find ones: Strongbow Honey or Cherry Blossom, Wyder’s Pear, Sonoma Cider the Anvil Bourbon, Ace Pineapple Cider, Seattle Cider Seasonal, 2 Towns Made Marion… I’m thirsty.

A Weird Beer Tasting!

Obviously, you could have an IPA tasting, or maybe a suite of Gordon Biersch Seasonal during Fall. But why not grab a few different strange-sounding flavors and host a tasting! People will naturally start discussing their favorites. There is Peanut Butter Beer and White Chocolate Beer, Avocado Honey Ale and Banana Split Stout. BevMo has a pretty good selection, and they deliver for $50, which in my case is a steal.

Pictionary or a Game Night 

Pictionary has been a hit at every office I’ve managed. Especially the Idioms category of this Pictionary Word Generator. We all sit around, have a couple beers or LaCroix and it always ends up being a blast. There’s so much fun in games where people are shouting out answers. It’s a good way to introduce shy employees to each other, as there is structured rules and activities and not much awkward chatting. For a game night instead, consider choosing games that would suit your employees. At my start-up we love playing Scattergories, Card games like Speed or Hearts, and Trivia! I could imagine tight-knit teams loving Heads Up.

Trivia Night 

Check out my post on How to Host a Brand Trivia Night if you work somewhere that deals with big brands, or check out http://trivia.fyi for categorized trivia questions and answers. Choose topics that relate to your employees! Offer the winning team something free like rights to a conference room for the whole day, or they get to pick the music for the rest of the night. It’s the little, quirky things that make the biggest impact. You could even offer them one free coffee delivery from the kitchen, on you.


Not everyone loves Karaoke but the general majority of us like to watch. We’ve had many-a Karaoke Nights in our office since we had an OFFICE BAND!!! (I know right!?) who would play music for us while we sang along. You could easily hook up a laptop to your TV and display Karaoke Videos on youtube, complete with words! Just look up “Song Name Karaoke” on Youtube.

If these changes may cause some of your employees stress, you could hire a professional as a gift to your employees. Some stress relieving activities I’ve hosted are:

Massage Day

Yoga Session

Sound Therapy

Guided Meditation

Yoga Nidra 

Another idea is to make more changes with your changes, for example: Make everyone a cool new name tag for their desk / cubicle, or host a Succulent Social so everyone has a new plant for their desk. If you don’t have a succulent arranger in your area willing to host a class, you could order tiny succulents for everyone in your office to put on their desk. Check out my blog post linked above for directions on a DIY Succulent Social.

A little bit goes a long way when there are big changes in store. So there you have it! Some easy ways to make welcome new changes.




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