Office Party – How to Throw a Successful Social Gathering

Hosting an office party is an excellent method of breaking down barriers and getting to know your employees in a casual, pressure-free setting.

While you may think that an office party is only reserved for an office Christmas party, they can actually be used to celebrate many occasions. They are also a fantastic tool in establishing a corporate appreciation for staff and ensuring that a company can clearly illustrate the importance of coming together with coworkers.

Although a professional office’s primary objective is to be productive and supply quality work, it can be equally important to provide workers with a way to relinquish stress in a constructive, acceptable way. Not only will it promote a healthier, balanced lifestyle, but it also serves as an instrument to facilitate a positive work environment.

Today, we are discussing the benefits of an office party and how to throw one successfully.

In this article, we will cover:

What is an Office Party?

office party definition

The term itself is rather straightforward. An office party is an informal social gathering created for employees within a particular department or overall organization or company.

While they are typically portrayed by the classic Office Christmas party image of being awkward and obligatory, they can serve a far greater purpose. Organizing a successful office party can be an excellent method of boosting employee morale and allowing workers to interact in a social setting without the formalities or monotony of everyday operations.

These events serve as a fantastic way to celebrate a variety of special occasions, including birthdays, holidays, and individual and organizational successes. They also perform as a venue to highlight specific efforts and achievements and allow businesses to express appreciation for employees in a public forum.

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What are the Benefits?

The current professional world is competitive and, often at times, stressful. With constant digital advancements and increases in demand for pretty much all products and services, the purpose of an event such as an office party extends far beyond merely being a chance to blow off some steam.

With these impending pressures, employee burnout is quickly becoming one of the largest issues facing corporate organizations today. Burnout has the potential to cause a ripple effect that quickly seeps out of the confinement of work and extends further to cause greater physical and mental health issues.

In this way, not only does an office party assist in providing a much-needed break, but it also supplies employees with an opportunity to engage in social interaction with coworkers while facilitating a greater sense of belonging. This is achieved by celebrating a joint achievement or specific individuals, thereby solidifying relationships and promoting an overall theme of coming together.

On an individual level, other office party ideas to celebrate, for example, a birthday is an excellent way to express appreciation for a particular employee through small gifts and a celebration to promote the fact that they, as an individual, are appreciated for their efforts.

Acknowledging employees individually is also an advantageous method of decreasing employee turnover by publically recognizing workers on an individual level, making them feel valued and appreciated.

Of course, an office holiday party is a useful tool to have coworkers and management come together to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and get into the festive spirit, which is why it is one of the most popular office party ideas. They serve as an appropriate method of winding down before the holidays and breaking off to enjoy time off with family and friends.

However, it is important to note that an office holiday party does not necessarily have to be a Christmas party specifically. It is important to acknowledge the beliefs and holidays of all employees. Using a more inclusive term such as “holiday party” is another easy method of creating an inclusive corporate environment.

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How to Throw a Successful Office Party

office party ideas

With an abundance of different party ideas and inspirations to celebrate and have fun, ensuring that employees have a good time is a primary motivator. However, it is also crucial to make sure that those in attendance feel safe and remain respectful.

When it comes to throwing a successful office party, there are multiple factors to consider.

Set Clear Boundaries

It can be difficult to balance employees’ letting loose a little too much and feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Thus, it is best for management to set clear expectations and boundaries for employees when hosting an office party.

This fact is especially important for occasions such as a birthday, closing, or office holiday party where alcohol may be present. A common method used to make sure things don’t get too out of hand is providing drink tickets that only allow for a restricted number of alcoholic beverages.

Establishing a standard set of ground rules can help avoid employees causing, or being placed in, uncomfortable situations.

The days leading up to office parties are also an ideal opportunity to provide a refresher for employees on the HR code of conduct and review which behaviours are acceptable in a corporate environment, even if the setting is meant to be more social than professional in nature.

In this way, when brainstorming possible office party ideas, it is best to do so with office safety at the forefront.

Seek Input from Employees

One of the best ways to ensure that an office party is fun, engaging, and enjoyable is to ask employees directly what they would like to see or do.

In this way, the planning and execution processes are more interactive, and employees will feel more invested in ensuring that it is a success. It also presents a stronger likelihood that the group will all enjoy themselves, leading to a larger attendance rate as well.

Receiving input on details such as theme and food and drink allows for incorporating ideas that may not otherwise have been thought of. It also allows organizers a wider variety to pick and choose which ideas best fit the company’s objectives, budget, and overall culture and values.

While intentions may be good and execution pristine, if it isn’t what employees had in mind or want, there is a greater chance of them not having a good time and creating a negative rather than positive memory and experience.

Pick an Appropriate Time

In terms of determining successful party ideas, time is a crucial factor.

Of course, if the office party is surrounding a particular event or occasion, getting it close to the actual date is best, such as with a holiday party or employee birthday. But do not host the party on the day itself, particularly if it is a holiday such as Christmas, as employees will not be able to attend because they will want to spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.

The day of the week is also an important factor to consider. For example, if you plan to host an office party on a Tuesday night, employees will likely feel burnt out the next day.

Regarding the time of day, if you plan on hosting during working hours, it is advisable to do so in the last hour of the workday to ensure that employees can get what they need to accomplish completed so they can enjoy the party to the fullest without worrying about not having the appropriate time to finish their tasks.

If you instead opt to host the office party outside of working hours, the best course of action would be to make attendance optional. Some employees may feel resentful of dedicating their personal time to a work function.

Key Takeaways on Throwing an Office Party

We spend a considerable amount of time in our lives at our place of work. Taking the opportunity to deepen relationships and come together is crucial in developing a work environment that is supportive, inclusive, and hospitable.

However, fostering an interactive and connected work environment doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to professional or corporate interactions.

Hosting social events like an office party is an excellent method of getting to know employees in a social environment while alleviating the pressures associated with an organization’s day-to-day processes. Not only that, they present the perfect opportunity to highlight key achievements and celebrate accomplishments in a public forum, all while expressing appreciation for the hard work and stellar performance of workers.

Office parties are also a fantastic avenue to acknowledge specific workers, whether for a birthday or specific accomplishment, thereby contributing to a positive work environment where employees feel appreciated, acknowledged and valued.

Written By Emily Rumball

A Content Writer at Advesa, Emily is a self-proclaimed tea addict (her favourite being a nice, strong English Breakfast), animal lover, and eager traveller. When she isn't jet-setting off to the next far off destination, she enjoys spending quality time at home in Vancouver.