On Wednesday 8th December, Boris Johnson announced a new set of restrictions in England in response to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. 

A survey conducted in the same week after this announcement by Free Office Finder found that 56% of companies are going ahead, or have already celebrated, their face-to-face work Christmas parties.  

Although the Omicron variant has put a kibosh on work Christmas parties for many organisations, there are other ways to celebrate the festive season.  

Of the 44% survey respondents who have decided to cancel due to the threat of the virus, 18% are celebrating virtually using video conferencing software. Other business owners we’ve spoken to have decided to postpone their party altogether.  

Instead, some are sending Christmas boxes to staff, while others plan to organise a get together, in person, at some point in the new year once it’s deemed safer to do so. 

At a time of intense uncertainty so close to the end of the year, it can be easy to sideline festive celebrations, but it’s never been more important to keep your employees’ spirits high.  

Whether you’ve already had your Christmas party or not, here are a few relatively easy things you can do for your team before the year comes to a close. 

(Note the lack of quizzes - we’re still quizzed out from last year!)

 

1. Send a festive hamper 

Consider mailing your employees, partners and customers a festive hamper this year to help them get into the festive spirit. Sending something physical through the post can help people feel included and appreciated. There are lots to choose from on sites like Etsy.  

Depending on your theme or individual recipients’ preferences, you can send food & drink boxes, wellness-related hampers or your own bespoke parcels to show you care. 

 

2. Arrange a virtual secret santa

No office party is complete without the obligatory secret santa event. If your team’s working from home in the run up to the festive break you can still facilitate this virtually. 

Use an online gift generator to draw names and get participants to send gifts to their giftee’s home address. For the purposes of privacy, you could get everyone to send their gifts to your company HQ and send them to each individual’s home yourself. 

Remember to set a budget and support independent businesses by providing people with a list of local and ethical brands to purchase their gifts from.

 

3. Host a virtual Christmas lunch 

Why treat your team to a virtual lunch this Christmas? You’ll need your employees’ home addresses, their dietary requirements and the name of their favourite local takeaways. 

You could organise a virtual get together to tuck in at the same time, however getting everyone’s food to turn up at a similar time could prove tricky. Instead, provide employees with a voucher so they can order their favourite food at a time of their choosing.

 

4. Capture the moment

Cramming your team into a physical photobooth isn’t exactly Covid-secure. But thanks to Zoom and Teams, you can easily coordinate remote group snaps. If you’re hosting a virtual office party, get your team to pose for a pic and take a screenshot. 

Props are a must, of course. Send your team some recyclable festive party props through the post or get them to improvise using their own festive decorations. 

 

5. Just say thank you 

A simple thank you can go a long way. If you’re too busy or simply don’t have the budget to organise a Christmas party this year, giving a heart-felt thank you to everyone for their hard work during such a challenging year won’t go unappreciated. 

Now, more than ever, companies - as well as consumers - require lots of flexibility. Just as the travel industry is offering flexible bookings to holiday makers and commuters, the workspace industry is offering flexible office contracts to businesses. 

If you’re looking for an office on flexible contractual terms, get in touch with the team at Free Office Finder today. We can match you with full-time offices in the city, hybrid workspaces of any size and coworking memberships closer to home.