It’s December – congratulations, you made it! While the year isn’t quite over yet, we think it’s high time for a celebration and a dose of festive spirit. In this blog post, we share our top tips for a great Christmas in the office that all staff can feel part of.
If you’re sitting on the fence this year and can’t decide whether to get the Christmas tree down from the attic and dust off the baubles, we say do it! Decorating the office is a great way to bring teams together and get people in the holiday spirit. Set a date and time when you’ll start the office trimming and try to involve as many people as you can. Or you could make it into a fun competition and assign different office areas to particular teams (or mix departments up to encourage wider collaboration).
If you’re worried that your decorations might clash with your office design, don’t be. Select décor that matches your company brand colours if you want to keep things corporate. Or throw caution to the wind and try something completely different. Christmas only happens once a year after all.
Christmas in the office looked a little different last year. For a start, for most of us, it wasn’t in the office at all! After a year ‘off’, it can be easy to forget those little traditions that made it special in previous years. But do take a few minutes to cast your mind back and reintroduce those celebrations that your teams love. This could be the office Secret Santa, the beloved Christmas jumper day or something completely unique to your business!
And speaking of unique, don’t be afraid to break the rules too. Yes, traditions can be great but so can trying new things. Speak to your teams about how they’d like to celebrate and don’t be held back by the way you’ve always done things.
It’s likely that not all your staff will celebrate Christmas or be able to attend out of work functions. So do consider how you can make the festivities welcoming for all. Why not swap the traditional office party for a more inclusive breakfast or lunch gathering? Not only will more people come but you’ll also avoid the Christmas party faux pas that often come with an evening gathering (and too much mulled wine). A ‘bring an item’ buffet is a great way to keep costs down too.
If you do decide to go out for a Christmas gathering, consider if the venue meets the needs of all your employees. Certain venues may be unsuitable for staff with disabilities, for example. A bit of foresight in the planning stage can really help all your staff to feel included.
If there are lots of remote workers in your business or your office teams haven’t yet returned to the office following COVID-19, then an in-person gathering might not be possible. Never fear though – a virtual gathering could be just the ticket. To avoid it feeling like just another Zoom meeting, you’ll need to get creative. Think about the games that will work well over video call. Or consider hosting an activity that everyone can participate in. You could even go a step further and send out activity packs in advance, so your employees have everything they need to get stuck in.
If getting together online isn’t an option, creating a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel where staff can share Christmas GIFs, emojis and pictures is a nice alternative. This also works well if you have shift workers or employees in different time zones as the messages can be picked up and sent at any time.
While staff recognition is important all year round, Christmas can be a great opportunity to reinforce how important your teams are to your business. A simple Christmas card or small gift can really help to strengthen morale and office culture. Bonus points if the card is handwritten!
If you’re concerned about your office’s carbon footprint, you could forgo the cards and make a charity donation instead. You may already have a charity that your business supports, but if not, don’t forget to involve your staff in the decision about where the donation goes. It will mean so much more if they feel personally connected to the cause. Ultimately, Christmas is about ‘togetherness’. Even if you’re not able to get your teams together physically this year, small gestures can really help to show your staff that they are appreciated. So, be a Santa not a Scrooge and embrace the Christmas spirit. It’s the most wonderful time of the year after all.
Opus4 is an award-winning office design, office fit out and office refurbishment specialist based in Manchester. We help companies throughout the UK, who are looking to refurbish their existing office space or relocate to new premises.
We create people-focused office designs which can be benchmarked to give you a tangible return on your investment. Working with us, we show you that, when designed and implemented correctly, your workplace isn’t an unnecessary overhead. It’s a powerful tool that drives the success and culture of your whole business.