After 2020’s endless Covid-related cancellations, there’s an almost tangible desire in the air to make the most of this year’s festive celebrations (the online retailer Very.co.uk recently reported a 937% increase in online searches for party dresses since 2020).
However, since the Omicron variant of the virus reared its ugly head in November, there are fears that once again, Christmas will be put on hold.
At present, the UK government has said that office parties should “go ahead as normal”. Yet many organisations – not to mention employees – will be feeling apprehensive about the prospect of eating, drinking, and dancing in crowded rooms.
If you’re still planning to celebrate, here are some ideas to help your party stay as safe, and as Covid-compliant, as possible.
Prioritise team celebrations over one big bash
Allowing individual teams to celebrate separately will keep guest lists low, which scientists recommend for a safer event.
Organise a ‘sit down’ dinner
Replacing buffets and dancing with a formal meal in a well-ventilated restaurant will reduce the risk of cross-contamination, while still allowing everyone to get dressed up for the occasion.
Hold an open-air event
Taking your celebrations outside doesn’t have to involve everybody shivering in a pub garden. Alternative – and fun – options include organising a drive-in event, such as a movie night, or storytelling around a campfire, complete with hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows.
Delay celebrations until the new year
It’s only natural that some employees will worry about catching Covid at the office party, then passing it on to their loved ones over Christmas.
While you could politely request that employees show proof of a negative lateral flow test before attending, postponing your celebrations until January may help to alleviate any nerves, and give everybody something to look forward to in the new year.
If you have any HR-related questions (about office Christmas celebrations or otherwise!), please contact our expert team.
In the meantime, we at Viridian HR wish you a very happy Christmas, and a healthy start to 2022.