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Christmas party 2021?

Hi all,

I'm wondering what everyone else is doing in terms of a Christmas party this year? 

I'm in a traditional manufacturing environment,the majority of staff are not PC-based for their role so online events don't really work for us as a company-wide thing. We're an SME and usually have one big party for everyone.

Last year we didn't have a Christmas party, but there were some online ones arranged in teams who could do this as an alternative. The Company offered gifts/vouchers etc instead. Everyone was accepting of where we are at. 

This year there's a real divide in the workforce (as with everywhere I think!) of people who just want to get on with things, and others who are more covid conscious/ cautious. We're in Scotland where we still have masks / an element of social distancing in workplaces etc, and the business take so far has been to follow all guidelines/guidance and we've all taken measures seriously. A recent staff survey has found that employees who aren't PC-based are really feeling left out or feeling negative towards the measures we've put in place because of COVID, the understanding seems to have gone.

It would feel strange to have a party without masks and all mixing, but then on Monday go back to masks and distancing in the workplace. However, it is technically now 'allowed' - so just wondering what everyone else is up to this year?

Apologies in advance for mentioning the C-word so early on in the year!

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  • We have tentatively booked a gathering this year, but like you say it does feel strange. It certainly feels risky for the business, particularly as we are looking at a hotel-based Christmas event, which would mean also mixing with various other companies. I think we will see how covid cases are looking as the winter goes on, and decide closer to the time whether or not to go ahead with an in-person party.
  • Don't worry about mentioning the C word Kirsty, Asda were selling mince pies from the beginning of this month. :-(
  • What ever you do I don’t think you can have different rules for monday to Friday to what ever you decide to do for your party. It’s illogical and will confuse. So if you still have masks /social distancing in the work place you would need to ( I believe) for your gathering.

    Legally it’s probably an extension of the workplace as well. But it’s mainly a logical / common sense / consistency argument.

  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    14 Sep, 2021 12:45

    I think it's certainly very difficult to plan ahead at this time. You might encourage small teams to make their own informal arrangements, but less sure of a full on Christmas party. You can point staff in the diredction of the guidance... with the caveat that things are still very fluid.
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Aside from what Steve is suggesting, could you use whatever money you would use to organise a company party and give each colleague/team an allowance for something to do - e.g. a night out or sending people gifts if they would prefer not to go to an event? There's such a mix of appetites for meeting up in person now, let alone when we're in the midst of Christmas when you're going to be seeing Great Aunt Doris over the holidays and don't want to give her COVID.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    15 Sep, 2021 11:42

    We've published a new FAQ on the autumn and winter (COVID) plan today.

    Already sensing that we might well move to Plan B sooner rather than later.

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Thanks Steve but we're in Scotland so different rules/plans.
  • In reply to Helen:

    Last year we gave everyone vouchers to the equivalent of the cost per headcount, which went down well at the time but the appetite feels very different this year.
  • Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Realistically I don't think we can do a party this year, but we're getting quite negative views from shop floor staff that there's now a big divide between them and office-based staff because of the covid rules, and it's proving hard to find ways to come back from that without putting people at risk! I fear this will be a lasting impact.
  • Hi Kirsty, I've read this with interest. I am wondering if the question is what can you do to bring the workplace together - metaphorically, culturally and perhaps in real life although the latter might be too soon or too late for some.

    It feesl like a Christmas party is sometimes more of a symbollic affair and a work ritual which is part of the culture and can help build it yet if it's fractured or fragile I wonder if digging deeper to help work on what could create better relationships and a sense of appreciation, value and belonging might be a good way to go.
  • Hello, 

    I was hoping to get an understanding of what other companies are doing for their Christmas parties this year (2021). We are a Tech company in the Transportation Industry and have had no problems working remotely. About half of our staff (35 people) live near the office, whereas the other half live UK remote. 

    We want to do something where all can come together and no one is excluded. 

    Thank you in Advance, 

    Chiara

  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    28 Sep, 2021 12:14

    In reply to Chiara:

    Hi Chiara... and welcome to the Community!

    I've 'merged' your thread with this exisiting one. Hope that's OK!
  • It may be controversial, but I think approach CAN differ between event and day-to-day office environment, basis your risk assessment and the mitigation in place to protect against those risks. They are different environments, with different kinds of interactions.

    For example, opting for a well ventilated, spacious party setting that has covid mitigation controls in place (cleaning/hygiene/CO2 monitoring, etc.) combined with mandatory lateral flow testing (regardless of vaccination status) prior to attendance, temperature checks at the door,etc, - and, crucially, giving employees full choice/voice in attending based on their understanding of the risks/mitigations in place, could be an approach to mitigating for risk where social distancing/masks AREN’T possible that may well differ to your approach to an environment where social distancing / masks / screens ARE possible.
  • We have planned smaller events including outside events (weather permitting) the argument from staff was they choose to do it themselves so why wouldn’t the SS support it
  • I'm looking at Christmas Hampers again this year for our employees. Pre COVID though we gave everyone £25 per head towards individual teams Christmas meals but our SMT want to move away from that approach and back to whole company events so we're looking at doing this next year and erring on the side of caution for 2021 and doing hampers and vouchers again.