There is a rule of thumb in the corporate world – if you work hard, you deserve to party hard.
Every once in a while, a company rises to the occasion to organize a party for its employees that works both as a form of team-building and a way to blow off some steam.
Winter holidays are approaching, so if you are tasked with throwing the office get-together to cap off the year, here are some nifty Christmas office party ideas.
Decide on the framework
First, you have to think of the broad strokes of the party. This usually means you have to pick a particular theme and keep the safe choices everyone can enjoy.
Right off the bat, a period-piece party is an excellent pick – almost everyone can enjoy the idiosyncrasies of a certain era and its music.
This is also a good opportunity to arouse nostalgia in seasoned employees. Start off by picking a decade – the 80s are the most popular option at the moment, but the 90s are starting to gain momentum.
You can even go as far to ask all the attendees to dress up according to the era you have chosen.
Ask for opinions
If you want to create a killer party, it is good to create an online poll after you have picked several themes for the occasion and let the employees vote anonymously.
For example, maybe most of your peers are sick of the 80s and they would like a breath of fresh air – the 90s or even the 2000s.
Since we are talking about a Christmas party, you can put an interesting spin on it with an ugly Christmas sweater shtick. Each of the employees can dig up one of those horrible holiday sweaters made by their aunt or their grandma and wear it as the obligatory item of clothing for the party.
Set a schedule
The general framework for the party can also help you create a schedule of events that should transpire throughout the night. For example, you can start the evening off slowly – with an office awards banquet that can be a spoof of the Golden Globes.
The point of this is not competitiveness – avoid naming the employee of the year – but a pinch of tomfoolery masked as a chance to appreciate everyone who is attending.
You can give out the awards for the most sociable employee, the king of creativeness, the best dressed, the party animal, etc. Try to cover all of the attendees.
After that, you can have a wind-up party which you can conclude with a karaoke segment to end the evening. For the best effect, find a venue that rents karaoke machines and put it front and center of your company’s canteen or rented space.
Give everyone a chance to enjoy the spotlight, but in order to break the ice, stand on the stage and break out singing yourself – and if you are a good singer, try to botch it a bit, so everyone will see it is all about having fun.
The suggested schedule above is a good example of how to cover the entire evening.
Drinks all around
Festive cocktail making office Christmas parties are fun and interactive, offering the perfect opportunity for team building, networking or rewarding colleagues. Try the mixology trends of renowned catering companies that consider beverages as important as the chow.
Creative and insanely tasty cocktails will keep your colleagues busy and seriously tear down their inhibitions. Just try to keep the strongest cocktail off the menu to avoid any disasters or party gaffes. In fact, it would be good if the hired help is instructed to sneak a virgin cocktail into the wobbly hand of the employee every now and then.
A Christmas masquerade
A Christmas masquerade is a popular option for those who are tired of old formal clothes and want to do an outlandish, colorful array of frocks and gowns. Include this in the poll if you work in a big firm that is not concentrated on overly creative work, and there is a possibility most employees will choose this option.
Furthermore, you can ask for extra budget and purchase a case of generic, white masks and let the employees create their own for the party. With a solid mask-making tutorial, the amount of originality and imagination put into these masks can be staggering, and it even might make you reconsider your opinion of a colleague.
You can even set up a mask-making station at the party, with all the necessary colors, strings, feathers, glitter and other colorful decorations.
Should you take your coworkers out?
Two regular choices for an office party, in terms of venue, are either the HQ or a rented place, like a restaurant or bar. However, there is also the option to take your coworkers out to activity-specific venues such as a bowling alley, “escape the room” establishment, a movie night or even a ball game.
If the group is small enough, this is a solid idea. Unfortunately, in case your Christmas office party needs to accommodate more than twenty employees, this can be a logistical nightmare and it is best to avoid it.
The better course of action is to bring the activities to the employees and not the other way around.
Throwing an office party, no matter the occasion can put a lot of pressure on the organizer of the event. Torn between a reasonable budget and the requirement to provide something for everyone, it can be hard to discern how to start planning, let alone finish organizing the event.
Thankfully, you can hit the web and search for the ideas like the ones above, which can make the entire endeavor at least a bit easier to handle.