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How To Plan An Epic Office Christmas Party

It’s almost that time again, where we all meet and gather in the office for one last hoorah before the New Year. It can be quite fun, it’s a chance to get to know your colleagues better and it’s also secretly a great way to implement some team building exercises. So how do you plan the party? Is there anything you should avoid?

Below is how to plan an office party that is both fun and enjoyable for the staff but also sensible enough to not get yourselves in trouble!

Take Suggestions

Of course when it comes to a party you want to make sure that you’re doing things that everyone wants to do, so make your own little suggestion box on December 1st and encourage employees to anonymously suggest activities which you can all take part in. You never know, two or more people might have the same idea! You may end up with some more… unsuitable suggestions, but as the employer you’re in charge of which activities ultimately get selected.

Pick A Day That’s Right For Everyone

There’s no point in having a Christmas party if half of the staff cannot come, so make sure to pick a date well in advance (perhaps on suggestion box day). Ideally you need to pick a day in the middle of the month, the end of the month will be filled with people on holiday and activities will be harder to book later in the month. Pick the day that suits the vast majority if you cannot find a day that’s good for everyone. It’s better to have most people attend than to not have a party at all! For those who cannot come, offer a small gift to show that they are very much appreciated still as a member of staff.

Choose Multiple Activities

Why do one activity when you could do many? Doing multiple things at your party helps to keep you all busy and stops everyone from getting bored. Having between 4 and 5 activities will include hopefully all members of staff at one point or another. The activities you choose should compliment each other and be reasonably easy to plan. Don’t choose to go paint balling, then rollerblading etc, try to stay within the same venue or at least only move to another venue once within the evening. Make sure that the more exciting activities are done first, just in case people need to leave earlier.

Offer To Pay For Everything

As the employer this is your chance to shine, you want to show your staff that you appreciate the work they do and you want to make sure they get rewarded for their hard work. Paying for everything, from food to activities, doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, booking in large groups can actually save you money! Make sure to ask any restaurant or activities centre about discounts on group bookings, they may even give you a better deal if you speak with them face to face.

Avoid The Following

Many office parties fall and for the most part this is due to regularly occurring instances. So remember to avoid:

  • Having copious amounts of alcohol – make sure that members of staff either bring their own alcohol (1 bottle of something strong or 3-4 bottles of something weaker) or that you regulate how much you buy and how much is being consumed. It might sound like a lot less fun, but trust me you’ll thank me later.
  • Having your party in your office or at an employee’s house – your office, like many, is probably insured… your insurance may become void if something is damaged or broken during an office party. An employee’s house is also a bad idea for similar reasons. Try to book a space of your own, either rent out another office or hire a room in a bar/restaurant.
  • Having a very long party – as much as you want to include everyone, it’s sensible to make sure that the office party lasts from around lunchtime to dinnertime. Doing it during some of your work time makes employees much more available (as they would have normally been working). Finish up before it gets very dark outside, so you can ensure people get home safe.
  • Doing dangerous activities – that may sound dramatic, but things like paint balling and roller skating can cause damage to your employees (something you certainly don’t want). Try to stick to less physical activities or at least ones that have an element of danger to them.

And that’s it! We hope you have a splendid Christmas and a superb New Year!

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Feature image credit: Gennadiy Poznyakov via 123RF

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