Why it’s still important to celebrate your office Christmas party this year

“While it may be too early to know how coronavirus restrictions may change over the next couple of months, it’s still important to celebrate an end of year party for your team. Businesses have already modified how they operate day to day, so there’s no reason why the office Christmas party can’t be adapted to suit COVID-19.”, says Shazia Juma-Ross, CEO at corporate activities company, Skills and Thrills.

The annual office Christmas party is one of the most anticipated events on the calendar for businesses around the country. But this year, many organisations are rethinking the need for an official event, with social distancing still in place, and budgets being tightened due to COVID-19.

Why Christmas parties will look different this year
In many states, gatherings are dependent on the size of the venue, with group bookings currently capped. People are also not allowed to stand, mingle or dance while out at pubs and bars, meaning it may have to be a sit-down Christmas party this year, and activities like karaoke are off the table.

It’s likely many businesses will opt for a virtual party to be safe or even a hybrid party, with some people in the office or at a venue, while others join virtually. If you’re worried about employees’ kids being at home, Skills and Thrills is working with businesses to curate tailored children’s activities programs to keep them busy while the adults enjoy. There are workshops to suit kids from one to 12 years old, including dance, science, arts, online escape rooms, virtual magicians and more.

Whether you choose to do it virtually or in person, it’s important to throw a great Christmas party this year – here’s why.

Bringing everyone together for one day or night provides an opportunity to step back from the day to day work and look at the big picture.

Shows employee recognition
Organising an end of year celebration is a great way to thank your staff for their hard work over the year and acknowledge everyone’s contributions. Rewarding them with a Christmas party lets them know that they are appreciated for their time and effort, which is especially important this year as it has been one of the toughest years in recent times.

Highlights company values
Hosting social events such as Christmas parties is an important part of organisational culture, so skipping it can cause employees to question the company’s values. Remind your employees what your business is about and your commitment to encouraging good team spirit. A festive atmosphere and providing a positive, fun environment effectively engages staff, which should be a priority as studies show that engaged employees produce better business outcomes.

Encourages team bonding
A major benefit of offsite activities such as Christmas parties is that they promote team building and bonding across the whole organisation. It gives employees across all teams the chance to get to know each other better. With so many of us working remotely this year, there may be new staff members who have not worked with everyone in the office yet – or even had a chance to say hello! Allowing everyone to mingle in an informal setting strengthens relationships and could result in better team dynamics and communication.

Rewarding them with a Christmas party lets them know that they are appreciated for their time and effort, which is especially important this year as it has been one of the toughest years in recent times.

Boosts motivation
Bringing everyone together for one day or night provides an opportunity to step back from the day to day work and look at the big picture. It’s an ideal time to share company results, reflect on all that has been accomplished, and what everyone has had to overcome this year. Celebrating the wins also helps employees envision continued success over the next year and motivates them to maintain and improve their work performance.

Gives everybody a break
This has been a difficult year and everyone needs a reason to celebrate. Getting staff away from their desks will give them time to relax and an excuse to party. Providing employees with a little break will also help them step into the new year with a clear mind.

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