What To Remember At This Year's Work Christmas Party

Written by
Jody Mulvey

In this week's focus we ask creative professionals to dive into a different theme about the working world, with the aim of starting conversations and getting you thinking about your approach to the creative working world.

With Christmas fast approaching, that means only one thing - festive party season in the workplace is here. Work Christmas parties are can be known as an opportunity to consume lots of alcohol and embarrassing yourself in front of your colleagues, but has COVID spoiled the fun, or were they ever enjoyable to begin with?

Now that we are coming up to the second festive period with COVID still lingering, we asked our community of employers and employees how they’re feeling about work Christmas parties and what we should all remember when attending them this year. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts.

Here’s what we learnt from our audience:

People are excited for human interaction (finally!)

“I think Christmas parties are essential for team bonding and having a little bit of connection in the workplace that's probably been lost over the previous years.”

So in-person interactions are a reason to celebrate this year

“I think they’re still really important as we spend so much more time working apart and from home, it’s a time to come together and get to know your team better. I also think they’re a good way to thank your team for the past year and celebrate making it through!”

Especially after the failures of virtual work Christmas parties last year

“My work Christmas party was completely cancelled this year. They’re not doing anything virtual because they tried that last year and it just involved us employees (about 250 of us) watching the leadership team get drunk in the office and give out awards (excruciating all round).”

“I’m happy they’re happening but I’m feeling a bit cautious that after a few drinks people will forget to keep their distance, just start hugging people.”

But COVID is still a cause for concern and keeping each other safe will always be important

“Remember to do lateral flow tests, try to limit social contact in the days leading up to it (as tough as that may be) and if in doubt, sit it out.”

So we should check in with others and what they are comfortable with

“If you’re going to one, remember to ask someone before touching them. COVID has taught us a lot about consent!”

And we should also remember to check in with ourselves

“I think people should remember that Christmas parties are optional. I sometimes think there’s a lot of pressure put on everyone to go but it is a choice.

[Remember] To have a jolly good time with everyone, but never take it too far with booze. Know your limits (don’t make yourself ill with it).”

Overall though, URL will never beat IRL

“I think it's worth remembering that safety is important but creating environments where people can interact with others as human beings, with their own personalities and ambitions outside of the workplace is crucial to creating lasting relationships.

We're all more than just machines and we should be thankful for the awesome people we get to share our lives with.”

On Our Radar

We found some insightful resources on Christmas parties in the workplace. 

Who’s going to the Christmas party? Four people discuss Covid concerns - Four people give The Guardian their differing thoughts on festive party season and whether it is worth the risk.

Making real work friends when your work is virtual - In this Dropbox article, Matthew Braga gives useful tips on how to create meaningful connections when working virtually.

Office holiday parties survived the pandemic. Yay? - Rani Molla discusses how Christmas parties have changed over the course of the pandemic.

We haven’t been able to include everyone’s submissions this time, but thank you to everyone who shared their insight with us. Let us know what theme you’d like us to explore next, get in touch with us at hello@ifyoucouldjobs.com

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