It’s here again … already! But while arrangements for the annual office Christmas Party may be in full swing, have you really considered everyone? After all, how many of your staff are remote workers, scattered around the globe? We’ve a few pointers to making your festive celebration this year truly inclusive.
In the past, the Yule-tide party was seen as a highlight of the year, a big thank you for the hard work done. If an employee couldn’t attend, for whatever reason, that was unfortunate. But the Office Christmas Party is now seen as much more than a simple thank you.
It builds unity and sense of belonging, both of which are important elements of motivation. It also helps to reinforce the core values of the Corporate Culture, shows appreciation to everyone and plays no small part in reviving morale at a time when fatigue might otherwise take root.
Most of all, however, the good feeling it promotes carries through to the New Year, boosting engagement which can be invaluable in getting 2020 off to the right start.
Making Your Christmas Party Inclusive
The office Christmas Party is clearly a key event, but with so many companies now recruiting more and more remote staff, the challenge to ensure everyone gets to enjoy the festivities has become greater.
But how can a company’s full spread of staff come together for the biggest event of the year despite such obvious geographical obstacles.
Well, here are 5 ideas you might adopt to successfully include remote workers in the festivities.
- International Secret Santa
- Festive Competitions
- Family Treats
- Host An iPod Disco
- International Christmas Dance-Off
Everyone loves the idea of Secret Santa (or Kris Kringle, if you like). But if the hand-to-hand exchange of gifts is not possible, why not organise a digital one. HR can organise the draw to kick things off, but gift purchases can be made online and the e-commerce store’s delivery service used to get the gift to the selected individual on time for the party, or just before Christmas.
Let’s face it: some staff love to get into the Christmas spirit by donning those ridiculous Christmas-themed jumpers, hats and elf costumes. It’s entertaining in the office, creating laughter and positive morale, but how can this be adopted to facilitate remote-working folk? Well, create a competition that encourages photo or video entries. That way, your people in Paris, Prague and Perth can get involved and know they are part of the fun. The competition could be for the best costume, jumper, socks or trees, and voting can be amongst staff via digital media – using emojis perhaps?
The international gig economy means, for some businesses, there is no central office – so having an ‘office’ Christmas Party is not on the cards at all. But it’s still possible to provide an end-of-year reward. Instead of budgeting for a large gathering, designate a sum to give to employees to celebrate with their own families in whatever way they want. You can book directly or give gift cards or a ‘party’ bonus so staff can organize what best suits to their family – restaurant meal, cinema outing, theme park; the choice is theirs.
Modern technology makes it possible to dance with colleagues to Christmas tunes without actually being on the same continent. iPod parties are long-established, so why not have one that remote workers can participate in. And yes, we’re aware it’ll probably be more an iPhone party, but you get the gist! Simply share a set music playlist and let the guys pop in their earphones and dance.
Following on from the iPod idea, why not make things interesting by organizing an international Christmas Dance-Off. Parties can be streamed via Skype or Viber, with both sides seeing each other. So it’s possible to have remote workers ‘dance off’ in front of their cameras. The party crowd can vote for a winner, perhaps by loudest cheer, but the important thing is that staff in every corner of the world feel very much involved in the night’s festivities.
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