5 tips for surviving the office Christmas party

5 tips for surviving the office Christmas party

If you’re like lots of other businesses and managers, you have probably had a difficult 18 months just focusing on surviving (although you may have been lucky enough to have thrived during this period, hoorah 😊). If you have decided to end the year on a positive note with a staff Christmas party, here are a few things you’ll need to consider to help prevent your party from becoming an HR nightmare.

1. Manage the alcohol consumption

  • Limit the amount of free drink (obviously).
  • Provide plenty food to soak up the booze.
  • Offer soft drinks as well.
  • Organise entertainment – even if it’s home-grown – so there’s more to focus on than just drinking.

2. Provide transport home

  • If an employee drives under the influence, you could be held liable. Arrange transport home, and what they do after that is not your responsibility.
  • The arrival of the taxis/bus/coach marks a clear end to the party.

3. Check out the venue

  • Even if it’s off-site, you’re still responsible for your employees’ safety so watch out for potential hazards.
  • Take health and safety seriously and ask to see a risk assessment. If there isn’t one, consider doing your own.

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4. Invite ‘better halves’ to the office Christmas party

  • Sometimes the presence a spouse or partner helps to curb excess – try it!

5. Set the ground rules beforehand

  • Summarise what you expect in a letter or email before the office party (for example, think about social media – what would you not like to see on Facebook the next day?).
  • Have appropriate policies in place to follow up if necessary (such as bullying and harassment, grievance, disciplinary).

Yes, the office Christmas party is a time to relax, celebrate and have fun. But don’t feel like a killjoy – boundaries are better than bedlam!

And remember – if it does all go horribly wrong, a stern word during or after the event is usually enough to set things straight. If not, our HR professionals are here to help. There’s probably nothing we haven’t seen, so please get in touch with us if you need a helping hand.

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Lisa Trent is our HR guru

There really isn’t very much to do with people that she doesn’t know about! Whether it’s furloughing, HR Environmental sustainability, or people management, she’s on hand to listen and help.


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