Tips for Organizing a
Farewell Party at Work

party gorilla boss

Or...How to Have Fun with Your Workmates (!)

All you need for an office farewell party is a bit of goodwill and the approval of the person leaving.
These goodbye party events will have varying degrees of formality, and the company may have a structure for this depending on the length of service. For example, office presentation and then a bar-tab for drinks after work, if the leaving person spent three years there.

morning tea

The person leaving would also have a preference for the type of get-together e.g. low key such as morning tea, or more elaborate like an organised dinner.

There should always be some kind of presentation at the workplace - everyone is already there, it is a more appropriate setting, and people are better-behaved!

Office farewell party planning:

Often the person organising the going away party is the closest workmate, and it may be your turn to organise something one day.

Remember, it is only a send-off of a work colleague (not a wedding), so don't go overboard, especially not out of your own pocket.
If you are good friends at work you will see that person again.
So keep it simple.
All you need to do is:

work farewell reminder

  • send an email with the event details, and
  • a reminder email closer to the date/time, then
  • organise the office to sign the farewell card.

Include all workplace members for a truly positive send-off.
This is not the time for office politics, and making assumptions about whether people should or could attend can make office relationships difficult afterward.

lone figure On the same note, don't get in people faces to attend, sign etc. - everyone has their own reasons for non-attendance or non-effort.
It is up to the individual to choose how they voluntarily represent themselves.

Are you having a dinner with a leaving speech? Click for farewell dinner presentation tips.

Workplace farewell party ideas, pranks and games:

If you wish, you can make the party more elaborate - click for office party themes.
Other ideas to liven up the office send-off include:

  • decorating the office of the person leaving - not by moving in your own stuff by the way, at least wait for them to walk out the door!
  • providing a sign at the front door letting people know that there is about to be an escapee on the loose.
  • signs pointing to the person's office directing people where to say goodbye (a good office ice-breaker).
These touches can make a workday really fun.
Remember it is a work event - wherever it is - so keep it clean and good-natured!

More ideas:

    farewell ideas figures

  • singing / operatic telegram (get someone else to do the farewell speech!)
  • an award presentation (best-dressed senior widget engineer at the company in 2008!)
  • a draw for who gets to keep the leaver's pot plant
  • official handing over (abdication ceremony)of the
    • difficult clients
    • on-call mobile phone
    • in tray full of paper
  • a ritual, such as throwing shoes in a farewell tree

Need more help from

Thinking of an office gift idea?

Thinking of what to write in the farewell card?

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