Office party


28th June, 2022

Planning an end of year celebration for a hybrid work environment

Why and how you should start planning your end of year office party to cater for the current work paradigm.

It’s only mid-year so why are we starting to talk about end of year celebrations? You’d be surprised how many companies have already started to plan their office party. It’s a celebration of the year’s hard work and a chance to let your hair down with the team. It’s incredibly important for the health of your business.

But if you’re one of the companies that have adopted a hybrid model, with both remote and in-office workers, you’re not alone. This sort of flexibility is now offered by 63 percent of high-growth companies. But it means workplace morale is even more important to focus on.

Why celebrating work and workers is critical to business success

Companies that emphasise quality social connections will always be more attractive to talented staff. The friendly environment creates a better work culture, genuine motivation to support team members and improved staff retention.

If you want to build and improve your company, a bit of fun for employees should never be overlooked. A recent study has shown that something as simple as a fun, entertaining refreshment break at work can increase productivity by up to 20 percent for the rest of the day.

If you’ve switched to a hybrid work model, remote workers may not be as connected to the team as in-office workers. They’re always going to benefit from a team building activity like an end of year party. You may have reservations about how it would work for everyone, especially if you have staff in different cities. Should you host the party IRL or have it solely online? Or maybe a mix of the two? And with Zoom fatigue already a burden, will anyone want to participate in a virtual end of year event?

With a little creativity and effort, you’ll be able to find a fun middle ground. Your staff and business will reap huge benefits from a good old-fashioned party, even if it’s not the same as it once was. Here’s how.

5 steps to planning an office party in a hybrid working environment

1. Get everyone involved

Talk to your employees and identify what makes them feel included in the team. This is especially important for remote workers and will give you great insight into the kind of party that gets the team excited. Most remote workers love being involved in decision-making. Encourage your team to come up with ideas and give their feedback for a virtual celebration.

2. Choose a suitable format

You have four options, depending on where your employees are based and what kind of feedback you received in step one.

  • A traditional office party in a physical space
  • A virtual party that would give everyone the same experience
  • A mix of the two – for example, a traditional party where virtual team members attend via Zoom
  • One party per location for smaller-scale celebrations

3. Send party bags ahead of time

Provide a concrete shared experience. Send each employee a gift beforehand to connect them to the festivities. This is essential if they’re attending remotely. For example, send a hamper with a gourmet food or beverage selection to be enjoyed with the rest of the team during the party. It could also be fun to have surprise food deliveries to match the in-person experience.

4. Plan the entertainment

Speeches, games, quizzes or performances – what kind of entertainment are you going to spoil the team with? They’re great in real life but are also enjoyable virtually (and possibly cheaper too). Make sure to do a few test runs before the big day so they go without a glitch.

5. Book the space

Decide on the location. If you want to gather physically, some great options would be a hotel, restaurant or function room. You can book and organise with the function managers for a fun and seamless night. If COVID safety is still a concern for your staff, consider an outdoor venue instead.

Finish 2022 with a bang

As long as it’s safe for everyone, a celebration will be a great boost to workplace morale.

Letting loose together after a stressful year will bring employees closer and bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers. It’s also the perfect way to show your appreciation for all their hard work.

Once the office party buzz subsides, you’re sure to notice a huge improvement in communication, motivation and efficiency. After all, a team that plays together, stays together.

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