How To Host a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday Office Party | Lifestyles
Many people look forward to the annual celebrations with their colleagues during the holiday season. The holiday office party is customary in many businesses, but these traditions were largely abandoned in 2020.
COVID-19 has had a direct impact on office parties, with the majority of employers pulling out due to community-wide gathering restrictions. This holiday season, thanks to the successful rollout of vaccination for people 12 years and older, social gatherings are once again more and more frequent. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be cautious. Safety should be the number one priority as businesses return to the tradition of hosting office parties this holiday season.
The weather varies across the country during the holiday season. But while concerns of congregating in tight spaces still prevail, especially with newer variants of COVID-19 raising infection rates, it may be safer to socialize outside. Radiators and fireplaces can warm spaces if the weather is cold.
Choose individually wrapped or prepackaged foods
Prevent the spread of germs and safely treat the myriad of food allergies employees may have by serving individually wrapped meals. Likewise, suggest well-meaning employees to refrain from annual cookie or Christmas fudge trading this year.
Set parameters for the amount of alcohol served, perhaps setting a drinking limit for each employee. Alcohol can release inhibitions, which can cause people to engage in risky behaviors that can make them vulnerable to the virus and other threats to their health.
Provide transportation options
If the office party includes alcoholic beverages, make a plan to get attendees home safely afterwards. This can include hiring a rideshare or taxi company, or funding city car trips. Additionally, ensure that employees who do not feel comfortable leaving a place alone at night can return home safely. Pair up employees who can carpool together. Allow employees to bill for transportation services.
Consider the location carefully
Think about how the location may impact the overall security risk. If there are a lot of bars or clubs nearby, employees may indulge before or after the company party and their employer could be held responsible for their actions. Employers should also be aware of the neighborhood in which the event is taking place. Does it have a high crime rate? Is it far from public transport? Is it sorry after certain periods? Let safety be a driving force when choosing a location for the party.
Holiday office parties are coming back to the social schedules of the holiday season, and there are many ways to make them safe and enjoyable.