While work is the priority at any office, sometimes employees just need to let off a little steam. Whether you’re looking for a fun team-building activity, or you want to reward your employees for a job well done, hosting an office Olympics tournament is a great idea. Coworkers will be able to work together and cheer each other on while demonstrating their unique skills. Plus, it gets everyone in a good mood and allows for a much-needed break from all that hard work.

Deciding to host an office Olympics is one thing, but coming up with ideas for the various challenges is another. Fortunately, we’ve put together this great guide to help you coordinate a fun and fabulous event for your employees.

Office Olympic Activities

Ready to start the games? First, you’ll want to come up with a plan so that your event stays on schedule and entertains employees throughout. Here’s our guide to making sure your office Olympics run smoothly and results in a fun time for everyone in the workplace.

Setting Up

Before the games actually begin, you’ll want to take a little time to get things set up. This will result in an orderly game that moves along, so employees don’t get bored in between events. Plus, it makes the whole thing more fun when you take time to put in some unique little details. Here’s how to set things up.

  • Create a schedule of events. Choose the events you want to include in your office Olympics (see the next section for activity ideas). Then, create a general timeline of how the events should flow. Remember to leave enough time for introducing and explaining each event before the competition starts. Hang up a sign with the schedule; employees will appreciate having an idea of what to expect.
  • Split everyone up into teams. To avoid certain employees feeling left out, either run only individual competitions (with no team events), or split everyone up into teams before the games begin. You can group teams by department or mix and match so people get to know one another better. Designate a team leader for each team. Then, assign team names, let teams decide on names on their own, or designate each team a country to represent.
  • Keep score. You’ll want to create a sign or use a marker board to list the team names and keep track of who gets gold, silver, and bronze for each event. Assign points to each place (three points for gold, two for silver, one for bronze) and update the scoreboard throughout the event.
  • Collect prizes. Come up with prizes for winners. Have gifts for the gold, silver, and bronze medal winning teams. It’s nice to also offer a little something to teams that didn’t win, like a small gift card or treat.
  • Get into the Olympic spirit. The event will be even more memorable for employees if you take the time to add in some unique details. For example, you could make toy medals to hand out after each event and create small platforms for the winners to stand on as they receive them. You could also use a candle for an Olympic torch ceremony before the games begin and play some inspiring opening ceremony music. Get creative and have a little fun with it!

Choosing Your Events

Now that you’ve set everything up, it’s time to come up with some office Olympics event ideas. There are plenty of activities you can use for this, so feel free to come up with your own. However, some of the most enjoyable ideas involve an office-related twist on actual Olympic events. Here are some of the top ideas for office Olympics activities.

  • Desk chair soccer. If you have a more open office space, set up a field and two goal areas in an open area of the office. Have two teams compete against one another in a soccer game while being confined to their office chairs. Use a lightweight ball to avoid injuries and broken office equipment, and have a referee on hand to keep the play clean.
  • Pencil javelin. Place a trash bin apart from a marked line. Have contestants take turns standing behind the line and throwing a sharpened pencil toward the bin. Award points for each time they get it inside.
  • Rubber band archery. Bring out a big pile of rubber bands. Use a piece of paper or marker board to create a target. Have the contestants stand about 8-10 feet back from the target. Once you say “go,” give them 30 seconds to hit the target as many times as they can by shooting rubber bands off their fingers. This video shows how dramatic this event can be while using pretty standard office supplies:

  • Mental gymnastics. This is like a game of charades in your office Olympics. Create a set of cards that list various Olympic events. Have each team designate one person who will act out the cards. Give each team one minute to guess as many of the events as they can. No words or clues are allowed other than acting out the event.
  • Relay tic tac toe. Get everyone’s heartbeat up while playing a fast-paced game of strategy. Make two teams, each with 3 colored towels or T-shirts to use as game pieces. Arrange a 3×3 grid on the floor, and have one person from each team go out to place a piece before running back to hand off to the next person. This encourages team strategizing while keeping things fun and fast-paced. Watch this video for an example:

It’s important to keep in mind what type of activities you think your employees will enjoy. Those who are more active and competitive might like things like desk chair soccer. Those who prefer not to run around or risk a potential bruise should stick to events like rubber band archery. You can also arrange various activities so that just one or two members can participate in each event; that way, those who aren’t interested in that particular challenge can focus on cheering on the team rather than participating.

Safety is an issue in every office, of course, so if you don’t have the space to safely host some of the above activities, skip them or substitute some with your own ideas. There’s no limit to the many creative office Olympics-themed activities you can come up with.

The Awards Ceremony

Once the games have concluded, it’s a great idea to have an awards ceremony to give the victors their recognition. As mentioned above, it’s a smart idea to have something to offer every participant, not only the gold, silver, and bronze medalists. You can have all the teams parade into the awards location and play the Olympic anthem to create a fun and festive atmosphere.

Combine your awards ceremony with some light snacks and drinks to make it a special social event where employees can relax after the events have concluded. After all, those many challenges, races, and competitions can certainly work up an appetite. And don’t forget to take some photos to commemorate the occasion. Hopefully, this is an event that the employees at your office will enjoy so much that they won’t want to wait another four years to host the next one.

If you’re thinking about having an Olympics event at your office, be sure to use this guide. Your employees are likely to appreciate that you put so much time and effort into planning this fun event for their benefit. Be sure to clue everyone in regarding your plans so they can start getting excited about the fun office Olympics activities to come.

Nashville has always thought big. People have moved here with dreams of conquering the city, or even the world. Adam Neumann, cofounder and CEO of WeWork — which has two locations in Music City — has described the company as a place that fosters that kind of growth.

So it makes sense that the two meshed so well at WeWork’s Nashville Creator Awards, held on September 13. Host Ashton Kutcher ticked off the long list of larger cities where the Creator Awards, a global competition that rewards entrepreneurs, have already taken place. “London! São Paulo! Nashville, you are on that list!”

Adam Neumann and Ashton Kutcher at WeWork’s Nashville Creator Awards.

Neumann twice interrupted the event to increase the amounts of the prizes, underscoring that “think big” theme for the night. He boosted dollar amounts for runners-up in the nonprofit category and gave performance arts winner Melanie Faye a recording studio, in addition to her $18,000 cash prize. All told, WeWork awarded $888,000 in prize money in Music City.

If you were expecting a prim-and-proper pitch competition, well, this wasn’t your father’s shark tank. The crowd of more than 2,500 people at Marathon Music Works was standing room only, and there were lines outside of more folks who wanted to get in. (Food trucks kept serving outside all night.) Faye rocked out on her signature blue Fender guitar as attendees made their way to their seats. “A lot of times on stage I am inhibited, but the audience was giving me a lot of energy that I could feed off,” she said. “So it made me play at my potential. It made me a lot more confident.”

Sarah Martin McConnell wowed the judges — and the crowd — with her elevator pitch for Music for Seniors, a nonprofit that takes live music to the elderly.

Kutcher described Nashville has having seemingly contradictory, yet laudatory, qualities: humility and confidence. Also one of the judges, Kutcher said the one quality he looked for most in a creator is “grit.”

Music City’s quirkiness came through loud and clear in all the best moments of the evening:

Best way to fight the stereotype: Nashville likes to emphasize that it’s not just about country music. Sure, the mega duo of Florida Georgia Line were celebrity judges, but what better way to show Music City’s range than to have G-Eazy (wearing a “Cashville” T-shirt) in the house? The rapper played to a happy after-party crowd that danced through beer and confetti.

Janett Liriano of Loomia pitches her company to the judges.

Best eats: Food trucks lined up outside —  including That Awesome Taco Truck, King Tut’s, and Bradley’s Creamery — fed attendees in a makeshift park with picnic tables and a view of the city skyline in the distance.

Best thirst quencher: On a day that topped 92 degrees and humidity levels as noticeable in the air as the confetti streamers that later rained down, “refreshing” was the beverage watchword of the night. Palomas, served both as limed-accented drinks from the open bars in the vendor market and job fair and as shots once the winners were announced, helped the parched and got folks in a party mood, while keeping it light. For non-drinkers, WithCo’s drink call the Jackass, made with fresh lime and ginger, was a particularly popular pre-show energy kick.

Melanie Faye rocked out on her signature blue Fender guitar at the Nashville Creator Awards.

Easiest way to influence your future: Inside, Neumann, Kutcher, and the finalists demonstrated what happens when one has ambition and curiosity. Business card-maker Moo helped people put that initiative in their own hands –– literally. Market-goers wrote a postcard to their future selves that Moo will mail 12 months from now.

Best wearable art: WeWorker and East Nashville florist FLWR Shop used liquid latex to paint fresh-flower corsages on the wrists of willing attendees.

Local vendors showed off their wares at the Nashville Creator Awards.

Best salute to veterans: The world-changing went on not just on the stage but in the pop-up market and job fair, which hosted many businesses and nonprofits specifically focused on helping refugees and veterans, including Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit for veteran entrepreneurs.

Most quintessential Nashville item for sale: Music City’s Original Fuzz was selling its line of guitar straps made from vintage and one-of-a-kind fabrics. Camera and bags straps were available for those who can’t pick a note.

Dozens of jobs were on offer at the Nashville Creator Awards job fair.

Biggest scene-stealer: Before the pitches began Kutcher and Neumann asked for two volunteers from the packed audience to pitch their idea. Sarah Martin McConnell’s hand shot up, and in 30 seconds she wowed the duo — and the crowd — with her elevator pitch for Music for Seniors, a nonprofit that takes live music to the elderly. She was awarded $50,000 to triple the organization’s size by the end of next year. “This is a turning place for us,” she said.

Product that best knows its niche audience: Nashville is home to the largest Kurdish population in the U.S. The majority of Kurds are Muslim, and Muslim women who participate in wudu, a washing ritual where water must reach every part of the body, cannot wear waterproof makeup or nail polish. Enter Júwon Enamel, a vegan nail polish with a water-permeable polish, to solve that problem. (Júwon means “beautiful” in Kurdish.)

Biggest winner: Stephanie Benedetto, founder and CEO of Queen of Raw, the night’s biggest winner with a $360,000 prize for her online marketplace for excess raw textiles, demonstrated a lot of grit. “The kinds of questions they asked were so valuable, informative, and supportive,” she said, but they also forced her to think about the direction she’ll take the company going forward.

Best sign you were on the right track: Anthony Brahimsha, who walked away with a second-place $180,000 prize for Prommus, his high-protein, clean-label hummus, says that “as soon as you win this award, all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into the company comes together. I’m talking, literally, blood, sweat, and tears… Finally, it feels like an affirmation that you were doing the right thing.”

When luxury clothing retailer Burberry burned millions of dollars worth of items that it couldn’t sell, it caused an uproar. Destroying excess fabric is rampant in the industry, but Stephanie Benedetto may have come up with a solution.

Her business, Queen of Raw, offers an online marketplace for buying and selling fabrics that might otherwise go to waste.

Queen of Raw cofounder Stephanie Benedetto wants to use the prize money from the Nashville Creator Awards to take her company international.

The New Yorker says there’s $120 billion worth of excess fabric sitting in warehouses around the world. That costs the factories that made it, the companies that ordered it, and the warehouses that store it. And Benedetto says it also costs the planet.

The textile industry is the second-biggest polluter of clean water in the world, right after oil. That cotton T-shirt you’re wearing as you read this? Benedetto says it took a mind-boggling 700 gallons of water to produce (unless you happen to be wearing an organic shirt, in which case it’s more like 10 gallons). Multiply that by the 2 billion shirts sold annually across the globe, and you can see the impact this has on the environment.

With Queen of Raw, Bennedetto says that businesses can sell their excess raw fabric (hence the name) instead of destroying it. And if the company that buys it ends up not needing it? Well, it can sell it to another firm.

Buyers become sellers and sellers become buyers,” she says.

Bennedetto says she’s continuing a family tradition. A century ago, her immigrant grandfather worked in the garment industry on New York’s Lower East Side. Today, she runs her technology-driven company from New York’s WeWork Empire State.

A former lawyer who specialized in fashion, technology, and other fields, Benedetto started mapping out Queen of Raw on a napkin four years ago. She officially launched this year with cofounder Phil Derasmo, whose Wall Street and startup contacts were a good balance for her fashion industry chops.

Benedetto estimates that by 2025 Queen of Raw could help save more than 4 billion gallons of water and prevent 2 million tons of textiles from going to the landfill. While Queen of Raw strives to have serious social impact, it was important to Benedetto for it to be a for-profit business to show the industry that preventing waste will help their bottom line.

Benedetto knows how hard it is to run a successful startup. But things suddenly got a lot easier on Sept. 13 when she took home the top prize — $360,000 — at the Nashville Creator Awards.

“We were a bootstrapped company and it took us all the way to launch,” says Benedetto. “We want to be able to grow and scale beyond the U.S. and around the world.”

Her ultimate goal is to get people — business owners and consumers alike — to stop and think.

“Wherever you are, whatever you are going, the materials in the space you are in —the office, a car, a plane — did not come from nowhere,” says Benedetto. “If everyone thought a little differently about one T-shirt, about sourcing sustainably one thing, that would have a massive impact.”

Architect Luiz Alberto Altmann Fazio was volunteering with a well-known nonprofit when he visited a favela in Rio de Janeiro. There he saw for the first time the problems with sewage encountered by many poor communities in Brazil.

“Companies won’t build sewage networks in poor communities because they don’t see it as economically viable,” he says.

About 50 percent of Brazilian households are not connected to a sewage network, a statistic that disproportionally affects the poor. So Fazio created Biosaneamento, a project to build low-cost biogas toilets in communities that lack basic sanitation.

A biogas toilet is similar to an eco-friendly composting toilet in that it converts waste to fertilizer. But a biogas system takes things a step farther by also collecting methane gas that can be used by the local community. This gas can be a lifeline for poor families, who have seen the price of canisters of gas rise in recent months in Brazil.

Despite Brazil passing a law guaranteeing all citizens access to a sewage system 10 years ago, Fazio says that in a best-case scenario, the country is still at least 25 years away from fulfilling its promise. The total cost would be more than $100 billion.

But Biosaneamento offers a cheap and quicker solution to the problem. The construction of bio-toilets uses readily available materials and can create jobs in the community.

Biosaneamento, with offices at Rio de Janeiro’s WeWork Carica, is a winner in the nonprofit category at the WeWork Creator Awards. With the $18,000 prize the company will be able to build up to 50 systems — enough to serve 150 homes and 600 people.

Fazio says that says that their system would cost around a tenth of a sewer traditional system. One of the big benefits would be improving the health of local communities.

“In poor communities with open sewer networks you have high rates of diarrhea and other diseases,” says Fazio. “For young children this can be deadly.”

When São Paulo business leader Alcione Albanesi decided to start a nonprofit organization back in 1993, little did she know that 25 years later it would be one of the best-known programs in Brazil.

“At the time, we couldn’t have imagined where it would take us,” says Albanesi, who started off her career as head of a successful lamp company.

Today, Amigos do Bem — which translates as “Good Friends” — has 8,600 volunteers working to help 60,000 Brazilians in Sertão, one of the country’s poorest areas. The semi-arid region sits in the northeastern part of the country.

Through volunteering, fundraising, and other efforts, Amigos de Bem serves 118 villages in the remote parts of the states of Alagoas, Pernambuco, and Ceará. Last year, Amigos do Bem received an award from Brazil’s Epoca magazine, which honours the 100 best non-governmental organizations in the country.

Sertão is a visually beautiful and enchanting place that has inspired some of Brazil’s best literature and cinema, but it’s also a region that throughout Brazil’s history has suffered from natural disasters, poverty, and neglect.

While there have been some serious improvements in recent years, including much-needed grants provided by the government, problems remain. Jobs are hard to come by, and many residents rely to varying degrees on subsistence agriculture to help them get by.

To make matters worse, two years ago the area suffered its worst drought in history. In 2014, Brazil was removed from the United Nations World Hunger map, but in Sertão, there are many areas where hunger persists.  

“It’s a difficult fight,” says Albanesi, a resident of São Paulo. “It’s really complex. Without a humane intervention, it’s a pattern that repeats itself.”

In partnership with leading supermarket chains in Brazil, Amigos do Bem donates 11,000 food baskets each month to poor families in the Sertão region. But while the nonprofit started off with donations of food and clothing, it has expanded to offer housing and medical and dental care.

Today, the organization is focused on self-sustaining projects such as university scholarships that will benefit nearly 200 students. Most of them will be the first in their families to go on to higher education.

“Today, kids and teenagers in the region can dream,” says Albanesi.