Coming up with going away party ideas for work colleagues can be a difficult job.
Saying goodbye to people you’ve worked with is never easy.
Doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked with that person, you will have created a bond with them, even if it’s just saying hello in the mornings or chatting over lunch. Their departure affects your team dynamic as well.
But saying goodbye doesn’t have to be a sad occasion for everyone. Farewell parties can be a great opportunity to celebrate your teammate’s efforts, both work-wise and personally.
Having them leave on a high is the best thing we can do for them. And thanks to these going away party ideas for work, your job to help them do that becomes easier.
This Has Been Your Life
For teammates that have worked a long time, consider hosting a farewell party around the theme of ‘this has been your life with our our team’.
Looking back over someone’s work life shows them how valuable they’ve been to the team. It shows they were valued.
To plan this idea, ask everyone in your team to email you a short statement about the one thing they remember most about their teammate. You can invite other people outside your team to also contribute. These statements don’t have to be long, two to three sentences can be enough.
Collect all the statements to be read out at the party. Your teammate must now guess who wrote what. Present these statements in a book as a goodbye present.
Ask people to ask bring in photos from any work parties, team trips and social occasions. You can present these in a book along with the printed statements. This farewell party idea’s a bit more substantial than a goodbye card with a bunch of signatures inside. It’s a fun way to relive work memories, and the book’s a great work reference.
Awards Ceremony For One
Love cheesy going away party ideas for work? So why not create an awards ceremony, where your teammate is thanked for their best contribution to your team/company?
Write down a list of 5 amazing things your teammate did for your team. Then ask everyone in the team to vote in a secret ballot. Engrave the most popularly voted item on an award, like a silver bowl, then present your award at the party, by first counting down all five contributions in order of popularity.
This is one of those dress-up going away party ideas for work people, so make sure your teammates are dressed as if they’re going to a real awards show. This means suits, ties and formal dress. Decorate and create catering to reflect the awards theme.
A Very Special Surprise Party
A farewell party is by itself a kind of surprise party. But if you know your teammate is leaving ahead of time, you can try planning a surprise party for them.
This party doesn’t have to be held in the workplace, and can also involve the guest of honor’s friends and family. You can surprise your teammate by pretending you’re all going to a meeting or team lunch (even an exit interview) and <bang> it’s really a surprise party!
A surprise party like this is also perfect for a teammate whose retiring from the company, or is being moved overseas to another office. A maternity leave is another reason to plan a surprise party.
If you’re interested in knowing more about these parties, check out our post on organising surprise party ideas.
Mystery Photo Shoot
Create a team portrait as the perfect going away gift. To keep it mysterious from your friend, hire a professional photographer.
Have the photographer shoot a team photo first that doesn’t include your friend. Have everyone dressed smartly and sitting. Then have the photographer shoot your teammate separately then digitally combine both photos into one.
If your teammate is suspicious as to why they’re being photographed (and on their own), make up a story, by telling them it’s an official company thing.
Since your teammate will still be working for the company at the time of the shoot, you can tell them they will be obliged to take part. Present your teammate with a large-sized team portrait at their leaving do.
How Well Did You Know Your Friend?
Intimate going away party ideas for work are good too, if your team insists on a private team party that excludes the entire department from attending.
To have this, why not create a special quiz party with your guest of honor as the quiz topic? Find out how well your team knows your departing friend.
Here are some questions you could use:
- What time does James prefer to take his lunch?
- What is James’ favorite TV series?
- Which train line does James use for work?
- Name two ways James uses to handle stress at work.
- What photo’s on James’ desktop?
- Where did Matt take his last vacation?
- When is James’ birthday?
- Who are James’ two favorite people in the world?
- Where does James like to shop for Christmas?
- Name three of James’ hobbies.
Take a photo of the winner with your teammate. Make sure to also create a lunch or dinner in your teammate’s honour.
Key tips when planning going away party ideas for work
To make sure your teammate gets the best send-off, you’ll need to organize some work things in advance of their last day. You don’t want to end up ringing them up with questions long after they’ve left.
First, make sure there’s a proper handover of their work to you or another team member. You might need to out an hour or two in the week for this or longer depending on the job they do. Grill them for as much detail of their work as possible, so you have all you need to continue their job or until their replacement (if there is one) arrives.
Some key details to consider include whether there’s any work outstanding, any phone calls requiring replies and any unpaid invoices (if their job involves invoices or money). Make sure to get your teammate’s personal phone number, in case you need to contact them. If they’ve got a client rolodex, grab that as well.
Your going away party ideas for work should also be organized in secret. Email is the best tool for doing this; make sure you don’t blind copy (CC or BCC) in by mistake. Your departing teammate might not even expect a goodbye party, so let’s keep it that way.
Try and keep the planning as low key as you can. Someone leaving your team can be an emotional time for everyone. Instead of making a big deal out of their impending departure, save all the excitement (and sadness) for the teammate’s last day.
Coming up with any going away party ideas for work is always going to be a bittersweet affair. We’ll miss our colleagues yet at the same time wish them well in their new endeavours. These original ideas are all you need to get started.