Even with the best of intentions, office Christmas parties can sometimes become a bit stale. We’re not suggesting you get your employees to make the celebrations memorable by photocopying their bums, making drunken passes at their managers or trying to have a fight with the CEO, but there are lots of ways to make sure your office soiree doesn’t fall flat over the festive season. Here are our top five tips to make your celebrations that extra bit special without encouraging your employees do anything they’ll live to regret in the office in the New Year.
Ugly Christmas Jumpers
Here at the Chapel Bar, we are huge fans of a Christmas jumper, but we’re especially big fans of a hideous Christmas jumper. You know, the sort that lights up, has bells and whistles on it, is knitted by your Nan and is decorated with scratchy tinsel. Why not encourage your employees to find and wear their most horrendous festive jumper and award a prize for the ugliest? Though folk like to dress up to the nines for their annual office bash, pretty much everyone loves an excuse to rock a Christmas jumper, especially if there’s some kind of reward in it for them too. Don’t make it a compulsory uniform for the whole night, but if you’re lucky, our staff might get involved too.
Your team have worked their behinds off over the last twelve months and Christmas is the perfect time to commend them for all they’ve done. But rather than congratulating them for their work achievements, why not recognise the best people in your business for what they bring to the office culture with a cheeky awards ceremony? Categories could include “most likely to win an Oscar”, “most NSFW joker” and “most likely to put the empty milk carton back in the fridge”. This sort of treat will remind your staff that you see them as real people, not just numbers and is bound to create the “warm and fuzzies” along with a whole host of laughs, especially if the categories are chosen carefully.
Office party entertainment can sometimes feel a bit forced, leading people to find their own ways to stay occupied (*see bum photocopying), so it’s essential to choose carefully when you’re picking someone to come and warm up the troops. The incredibly talented balloon artist Twistina is our go-to for ice breaking and if you hire her, we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you think you’ve seen a balloon modeller before, you ain’t seen nothing yet and she’s bound to get the party started in an entirely unique way and will make pretty much anything you ask of her. Within reason, naughty.
OK. This one is a bit left of centre for grown ups, but you’ll be surprised how many of your employees will be excited about the prospect of a) making and b) eating a gingerbread village as part of their festive office celebrations. Buy a tonne of Gingerbread house kits (like this one from eBay), set them up on a table in the office in the lead up to the party and let your employees run wild with icing and construction. This sort of thing is a really nice way to get people from different teams mixing together too. Maybe set aside some time to allow your staff to take 30 mins off work and indulge in their Christmas creativity.
Wait til New Year?
Trying to get everyone in one place for the work office party can be a nightmare and in sectors such as retail, it’s usually the busiest time of year. Employees are up to their necks in work related tasks, are often stressed out and aren’t able to fully relax. So if December is the busiest month of your calendar year, think about postponing celebrations to the New Year so all your staff can really let their hair down without being constantly preoccupied by the work they left on their desk.
What’s the best thing you’ve seen at an office Christmas party? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.