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7 Happy Hour Themes to Reduce Employee Burnout

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Employees are facing significant mental health problems and burnout, especially post Covid-19. The American Psychological Association conducted the Work and Well-Being Survey in 2021. According to the study, 79% of the employees faced work-related stress.

Happy hour is a great way to reward employees and ensure they have a good time during the workday. It’s also an opportunity for you, as a manager or business owner, to get to know your employees better and learn about what makes them tick. But if you’ve trouble coming up with ideas for your happy-hour themes, don’t worry; this guide will help.

Variety Is the Spice of Life

Variety is the spice of life, so you’ll want to mix up your happy hour options as much as possible. That way, every employee gets a chance to try something new and have fun with their coworkers in different ways.

For example, you could do an afternoon happy hour at the beach one week and then host a nighttime bowling party the next. This can help prevent burnout by keeping things fresh and interesting for everyone.

There are many happy hour ideas to experiment with. Go with different themes, menus, drinks, etc. It will also help if you try to find out what your employees prefer the most. While you cannot make everyone happy, choose something that most people will love.

The happy hour party you are throwing is to make your employees have fun and get relief from burnout. Hence, they should be at the core of every decision you make. When you make decisions with employees in mind, everything from the happy hour party will automatically make it fun for the employees.

Classy Happy Hour

How do you fancy a quiet happy hour with your colleagues? Or perhaps a relaxing meal at your favorite restaurant? If you’re looking for something more casual but still want to celebrate the end of a long week and build team spirit, then classy happy hours are for you.

You can even reward employees for their hard work by organizing a themed event, say an elegant cocktail party or wine tasting, where everyone brings an appetizer or dessert. There’s no better way to say “thanks” than letting them know how much they mean to the company.


Friendsgiving is a great way to give your employees a break from the office and can be an opportunity to make new friends. If you’re looking to bring everyone together, gather everyone around a large table and have employees bring their favorite Thanksgiving-themed dish.

You can also have fun by playing games like “Who Can Make the Better Turkey?” or “What’s In Your Sandwich?” by grabbing some food items from the grocery store and seeing what creative concoctions your employees make for each other.

Employees can get inspired by and try some Thanksgiving recipes from star chefs. This will also allow them to showcase their cooking talent or explore a new hobby. Regardless of what dishes they bring or prepare, what’s certain is that they will enjoy the time and relax for a fresh beginning.

The Retro Vibe

A retro vibe is more than just an aesthetic. This theme taps into employees’ innate desire to be around people who share their values and interests. It’s also a great way to incorporate your company culture into your happy hour, which can help foster a sense of community among coworkers. Here are some ways you can bring the 80s and 90s back for your next happy hour:

  • Play classical music from the era (e.g., Madonna, Michael Jackson)
  • Make sure all of your decorations reflect this theme (clothing optional)
  • Serve food that was popular in the 1980s and 1990s (think pizza or mac ‘n cheese)

You can easily find many retro-theme party ideas on the internet. All you need to ensure is to give everything you can think of a vintage touch. You can also shop for decoration accessories from online stores to save time.


Superheroes are a popular theme for happy hour. They’re fun, easy to create, and can help bring out the best in your employees. First, you need to identify who will be your superhero team. If an employee has been going above and beyond lately, tell them they’re your favorite superhero. Then ask if they’d mind dressing up as their favorite hero for next week’s happy hour party.

You can also use this theme to encourage teamwork or get people working together towards a common goal. For example, if an office project needs everyone’s input or someone is having trouble completing a task alone, ask them if they’d like some extra encouragement from their teammates. And then go around asking each person what superpower they would give their coworker so that they can save the day.

You can ask your employees to invite their families as well. Children will undoubtedly like the superhero-themed happy hour party. You can also plan superhero games that children and your employees can enjoy together.

Spending time with children will help reduce your employees’ stress. Moreover, studies have also found that spending time with children can increase prosocial values in adults. These values include generosity, compassion, and others. These values can help your employees socialize among themselves and help boost your company’s bottom line.

Get Silly

Getting silly is an excellent way for employees to loosen up and feel good about themselves. Here are some ways you can encourage your team to get silly:

  • Let loose with some fun activities, like improv games or icebreakers. These get people laughing and interacting in a non-work setting, which is something most of us don’t do enough during the day.
  • Encourage employees to bring their pets into the office, whether a dog or a cat. Studies have shown that pets can help reduce mental stress and loneliness.

Office Olympics

Office Olympics is an excellent theme for coworkers to compete, get to know each other, and have fun while they’re at it. It can be competitive or simply social, whatever your office culture prefers.

If you want to make it competitive, many events could work:

  • Office Olympics could be a team-based event where teams of coworkers compete against other teams in various challenges like relay races and scavenger hunts. These events can also allow individuals within the team to take on different roles, so everyone has an opportunity to shine.
  • Individual competitions are also fun choices if you have a smaller office or just prefer not to do team-based activities. These kinds of competitions include ping pong tournaments or foosball tournaments.

How Do You Make Happy Hour Fun

To start, don’t make it a chore. You might want your employees to be happy and healthy on the job. But if you force them into an activity that they don’t want to do, then it won’t help anyone. Instead of scheduling only “healthy” activities such as yoga or meditation classes, also schedule some fun and silly events like karaoke or dodgeball tournaments.

By making things fun and interesting, you allow people to see one another differently than how they would typically see each other at work. If you schedule team-building activities for your employees, you want them all to feel like they can participate without fear of embarrassment or judgment from their peers.


We hope that you’ve found some inspiration in these happy hour themes. Happy hour is a great way to engage your employees, boost morale and allow them to unwind after work. So whether you’re looking for something classy or silly, we think one of the above ideas will do the trick.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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