When you announce the date for your next office party, the last thing you want to hear is groans from the back of the room. Take heart, because gone are the days of employees standing around with crackers and dip, making idle small talk and looking at their watches. No matter your budget or staff numbers, you can organise a fun event that will provide water-cooler conversations for days!

1. Office sports party

Take advantage of the great outdoors and hold a sports party for the office. You can tie the theme in with events, such as the Olympics or a footy match, or simply organise some fun, competitive games for team building and bonding at your local park, beach, garden or sporting venue.

Choose from touch football matches, cricket, badminton, volleyball or old favourites like tug-of-war and egg and spoon races. To feed the hordes of hungry competitors and add a touch of sports culture authenticity, hire a hot dog cart

2. Office murder mystery

You can host a murder mystery party with six staff at the office or 100 people at a hired venue, so it's a game that encompasses all budgets. The easiest way to do it is to buy a murder mystery pack from a games store, with a script, the rules, roles and costume ideas. Alternatively, you can hire professional hosts, actors and event catering in Sydney to really make a splash.

You can allocate roles to the most enthusiastic office members, and anyone who doesn’t want to be directly involved can still mingle with the ‘cast’ and enjoy the game. This is a great way to break the ice and give everyone an opportunity to branch out of their day-to-day personas.

3. Comic employee awards party

Everyone gets excited about awards, and it's important to recognise staff for their outstanding achievements. However, on top of the work-related awards, it’s fun to put your comedian hat on for some laughs as well.

Awards can range from 'Messiest Desk Design' to 'Biggest Coffee Addict’. Give out prizes to match the awards and have employees walk the red carpet to accept. Give everyone a sneak peek at some of the award categories before the party, and employees will be dying to know the winners.

4. Office party games

The problem with many office parties is that there's nothing to do. Staff may not know each other very well either, or they haven't had the opportunity to socialise together. Games get the party started, and allow everyone to relax.

Video consoles such as a Nintendo Wii are a fantastic way to foster fun competition, and you'll find games for all demographics to enjoy. Play co-worker trivia by gathering together random facts about staff and giving prizes for correct answers. Try 'Guess the Song' by playing a snippet of a song and seeing who can guess the title and the artist in the shortest amount of time.

The key to spicing up any office party is ensuring everyone is involved in activities that help to enhance team building and office morale. That way, your office party will be an event everyone's waiting for – every year.