Hosting an office Christmas party can have clear business benefits. Not only does it encourage your teams to interact with each other, it can also act as an effective stress-buster.
Christmas is stressful for many of us, and it’s easy to bring this tension into the workplace. As a result, many of us look forward to the office Christmas party where we can let our hair down.
This is an opportunity for employers to say thank you for their staff’s hard work and is also a fantastic chance for employees to socialise with each other, build connections and forge new friendships in the workplace.
The office Christmas party has become an annual tradition, so much so that any manager neglecting to organise something is almost immediately outed as a “Scrooge”.
Lorraine Bow, a fun facilitator at Musivate, gave me her take on the repercussions of avoiding the office Christmas party.
“An office manager who doesn’t organise a party for their staff is seen as a miserly Scrooge. What’s more, they’ll miss out on a brilliant chance to bring people together, and a happy workforce is a productive workforce,” she declared.
Remember that you don’t need to host an expensive bacchanal – moderation is key where both money and alcohol are concerned – but with a few simple measures you can host an office Christmas party to remember without the lack of productivity the day after.
Take note of the following to deal with the aftermath of the office Christmas party:
Try to make sure people don’t overdo it
You don’t want to be accused of being the Fun Police, but it’s important that some guidelines are put into place before the festive get-together begins.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to keep an eye on employees – even if the party takes place outside of the office, the location is merely an extension of the workplace.
Giving your staff a certain number of drink coupons will reward them with free beverages, but you can monitor it a little better.
It’s also a good idea to make sure plenty of soft drinks are available (whether that’s for non-drinkers or for that end-of-the-night sobering effect).
- Designated driver
This one is great for those who don’t drink, and can ensure that colleagues get home safe. This isn’t to say that you can’t have any fun if you’re driving, however.
In the name of fairness, if you’re driving one night then you should have a night off for the next party.
- Social media
I spoke to John Larsen, director of evidence and impact at alcohol education charity Drinkaware, who highlighted some of the issues surrounding alcohol at Christmas parties.
“The festive season is a time to socialise with colleagues, but many of us may end up drinking more than we intended to, which can put us in embarrassing and even dangerous situations,” Larsen said.
“Alcohol lowers inhibitions, making us more confident and less anxious, which can make you accidentally say or do something that you regret.
“Alcohol also upsets our sense of balance and co-ordination, slows down our reactions and impairs our vision and hearing, making us more prone to falls and more serious accidents.”
Measures put in place by the employer can prevent such things from happening. It’s vital that employees take care – things can get very messy if something goes wrong.
How to motivate your staff the the next day
Providing recovery packages is great for ensuring that your staff come in well the next day.
Tim Stevens, MD of event organiser Best Parties Ever, explained: “We have our own ways of trying to make sure that the effects of Christmas events aren’t felt too strongly the following day. At midnight, we supply a hearty Survivors’ Breakfast to help soak up some of the bubbles.
“We also enjoy putting together an ‘emergency rations’ goodie bag which we give out to guests – these usually contain well-tested hangover cures such as Red Bull, a water bottle, a sachet of Beechams Resolve, a fruit tonic/elixir, blister plasters, a chocolate bar, Berocca, and a sachet of coffee.”
Nick Pollitt is the MD of DBI Furniture Solutions