As we move into fall, with winter not far behind, our thoughts will soon turn to preparing for the holidays… and that includes the annual office party. Are your office festivities something you look forward to, or are they just another dreaded obligation? That may depend on where your workplace is located.
When it comes to office holiday celebrations, not all parties are created equal. In a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, workers from 27 major U.S. cities were asked to describe their company holiday parties and rate them on several factors. While 36 percent of overall respondents describe their office celebrations as fun, the results show that attitudes on holiday festivities vary considerably by city: Workers in New York seem to really enjoy their office parties. Employees in Dallas do not feel as festive!
Popping The Bubbly?
Black-tie galas and festive ice sculptures may be a thing of the past — only 16 percent of workers polled said they’d categorize their company holiday parties as extravagant. According to the survey, the Big Apple hosts the most lavish soirees, which may explain why New York’s parties are also considered the most fun!
Holiday Hangout Or Smooth Career Move?
Professionals aren’t necessarily counting down the days until their company shindig. More than one-quarter of those surveyed (28 percent) described their holiday parties as obligatory. Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam, advises workers not to skip out too fast.
“A holiday party is a time to build camaraderie with coworkers and visibility with executives you may otherwise not typically have exposure to,” said Britton. “Getting to know people on a more personal level can also make work more fun.”
Here are some tips for employees to navigate holiday parties and employers who want to plan successful celebrations, courtesy of OfficeTeam:
- Mix and mingle. Socialize with coworkers outside your usual circle. These celebrations are an opportunity to meet people you don’t work with every day.
- Ask for input. Survey your staff to see how people want to celebrate. Feedback on venue, food and timing will get planning off to a good start.
- Curb shoptalk. This is your chance to get to know colleagues in a social setting, so don’t make it all about business. Conversation starters can include people’s holiday plans or New Year’s resolutions.
- Build a buzz. Get the word out early. Talk up the event with management in all departments, and don’t shy away from reaching out to employees individually.
- Don’t be a scrooge. Though holiday time can be stressful for some, keep your discussions positive and upbeat. Avoid controversial topics such as politics and gossip.
- Get creative. A big budget isn’t the only way to throw a successful holiday party. Brainstorm unique ways to build camaraderie without breaking the bank.
- Limit libations. ‘Tis the season to party, but not too hard. Drink in moderation and remember holiday parties are still work functions.
- Show appreciation. Employees want to feel recognized for their hard work. Incorporate an element into the festivities that shows your gratitude.