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Recruitment and HR Blog

To Christmas party or not Christmas party – that’s a dilemma facing many companies right now

1st December 2021

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Santa is working out whether you’ve been naughty or nice and Michael Bublé is warming his vocal cords up.

It can only mean one thing: Christmas is on its way! There are just 26 days until the big day, so final planning and preparation for workplace Christmas parties are ramping up across the country.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemingly gave the green light to those who have plans for the festive season when he declared: “I'm pretty confident to absolutely confident this Christmas will be considerably better than last Christmas.”

But the Prime Minister has tightened Covid restrictions, making face coverings in shops and on public transport in England compulsory, while in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland they remain mandatory on public transport and in many indoor areas.

Plenty of companies will have their festive period working hours, staffing requirements and supply needs organised, but what about the Christmas party? For many this could be the first time all employees have been able to socialise together for nearly two years.

The chance to catch up face-to-face in an informal setting is a valuable one for building that team spirit and helping to edge closer to ‘normality’.

It’s also the perfect opportunity for businesses to thank teams and show that their hard work during the difficult time is appreciated.

But before you go ahead and enjoy socialising with colleagues, there are some things worth considering:

  1. Will you be asking all your employees to get tested before the Christmas party?
  2. There is a chance that, given that winter is on its way, that restrictions might change again between now and your proposed party date.
  3. Will every member of staff feel comfortable to attend? If they don’t then consider if it will ruin the notion of everyone relaxing and having fun.
  4. Cost. Venues usually want some form of payment upfront to secure the booking. If restrictions could change, is it worth the outlay?
  5. What about the venue? What safety measures have they got in place, and do they align with what your company is currently doing.
  6. What if several members of the business get Covid-19 from the Christmas party it could have serious repercussions, and especially with furlough no longer in place?

Some companies might not feel a Christmas party is worth jeopardising months of working from home, social distancing, and mask wearing for just one night of the year.

So, are there any alternatives to going out as a business to a venue and partying the night away during the festive season?

  •            Could the Christmas party be held at another time? Once winter is out of the way and the weather improves, perhaps plan something like a summer BBQ?
  • Consider virtual options as a fallback. Most people are sick of the sight of Zoom or Microsoft Teams, but the chance to hold some sort of Christmas get together might be better than nothing.

It’s set to be an interesting run up to Christmas with the pandemic still having a big impact on what people can and can’t do.

If you’ve already got plans in place, or if you are trying something completely different to the usual parties, then let us know using our social media channels: Facebook: @JVPGroupUK / Twitter: @JVPgroup / LinkedIn: @jvpgroup

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