Advertising & Marketing

8 National Have Fun at Work Day Ideas

Updated 1/20/23.

I could make a case for National Have Fun at Work Day being every day, but for now, let’s celebrate the fact that there’s a dedicated day on the last Friday of January! This year, it’s January 27, 2023.

Got teams embracing the work-from-home life? Check out fun virtual team building ideas!

Fun at Work Day is such an important reminder that giving employees a break from work to relax and connect is key to their, and the business’s success. In fact, the American Psychological Association states that occupational stress costs U.S. employers an estimated $300 billion a year due to absenteeism, illness, and productivity. If that’s not a case for National Have Fun at Work Day, we don’t know what is!

Best Sellers at National Pen

Whether you’re a small business of five or a multi-national company of thousands, this National Have Fun at Work Day infographic by has a bunch of fun ideas for creating an environment in which employees thrive.

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Next, see our infographic on the Best Virtual Team Building Ideas!

Fun Work Activities

1. Game Day

Are you Lord of the Board? Time to test out (or show off) your gaming skills. Have your team bring a game of their choice to game day, and let everyone vote on which games they’d like to play. Just want one easy game that you can even do by video call? Try the cookie challenge!

Even the most serious of execs can’t help but laugh through this one. Get a bunch of smaller cookies (think OREOs), and challenge employees to tilt their head back, put a cookie on tops their eye, and nudge it along to their mouth without the use of their hands. Winner gets bragging rights and a jug of milk.

2. Screen a Movie

Send out a quick survey to employees with movie options to pick from and then screen it in a conference room. Don’t forget the popcorn and candy!

3. Schedule Chair Massages

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2017 survey Stress in America, 61% of Americans say work is a significant source of stress. Often times, that stress rears its ugly head in physical ways like tight shoulders and backs. Offer relief on National Have Fun at Work Day with on-site chair massages—set up a conference room with chairs, dim the lights, put on some soothing music, and bring in a few massage therapists.

4. Have a Co-Worker Cook-Off

Fun at Work Day wouldn’t be complete without a little food, right? Bring out their inner Iron Chefs with a cook-off and let the other employees judge. Give the winner a gift certificate for cooking classes or a new cooking utensil.

5. Dress Up Day

Tell employees to put their khakis and button-ups aside for the day and dress up in a certain theme. Pajamas? Hawaiian shirts? Whatever it is, make it something people already have in their closets.

6. Give Back

Out of all the National Have Fun at Work Day ideas, this is one that may have the most lasting impact—give employees the opportunity to work with local organizations or charities that are close to their heart.

7. Host a Trivia Hour

From pop-culture facts to history, hosting a trivia hour gives everyone the chance to show off their smarts. Choose a host, get employees to pick teams, and let the games begin.

8. And for Year-Round Jocularity, Create a Fun Committee

I know, I know, “fun” and “committee” don’t typically go together, but hear me out: getting a group of employees who are passionate about creating an enjoyable and engaged corporate culture is a win-win. Not only does a fun committee bring together employees who may not typically work together, but it also shows the greater group that you’re serious about their happiness and well-being. From bigger events like holiday parties to smaller team-building activities, it will help Fun at Work Day become something that truly happens every day.

Bonus idea: check out our employee gift ideas or new infographic on the best promotional items!

Remember, if you want to avoid low-attendance and grumpy faces at your celebrations, make sure to take a poll with your employees and see how they would best enjoy celebrating. Include options for the extroverts and introverts alike. For example, coupling a movie screening with a game day gives plenty of options for employees to engage actively or passively according to their preference. After all, mandatory fun is no fun at all.

So, which National Have Fun at Work ideas are you going to use? Tag us in your photos (and don’t forget to use #FunAtWorkDay, too!).

Sources: American Psychological Association’s 2017 survey Stress in America

This infographic is brought to you by National Pen Company (

National Pen Company is a world-class provider of personalized pens and promotional products that help businesses market themselves and increase customer loyalty. National Pen currently operates global facilities across North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia and is part of the Cimpress family. See National Pen’s catalog of promotional products or read more about National Pen.

Catherine O.

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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