The True Cost of the Office Christmas Party
As the festive celebrations get under way across the UK, we take a look at the real cost of the Christmas Party and ask if Scrooge is the perfect role model for bosses this Christmas.
For some businesses the thought of splashing out on a Christmas party this year is absurd. Balancing the books in a market struggling out of recession doesnΓÇÖt afford such luxuries. Perhaps keeping staff in work should be the only bonus needed to maintain motivation in an economy where unemployment is now over 8%.
On the other hand, the office party is a way of saying thank-you to loyal hard working employees. Bringing together the workforce for one night and forgetting the many pressures and stress the previous year has brought. After all, with the New Year traditionally a time for new beginnings, sending staff off for the Christmas break with a positive working attitude could avoid the January job search.
Christmas never comes cheap and most informed staff will be fully aware that lavish expenditure on a Christmas party is for the time being, a thing of the past. According to event organiser Office Christmas, the average party cost per head is ┬ú90 in Central London, therefore a compromise between employer and staff, with the aid of a little lateral thinking, could offer the solution.
An alternative Christmas party, avoiding the predictable meal and booze fuelled night out, could be the key to satisfying staff expectations whilst also side stepping the awkward situations that could arise from alcohol influenced decisions. Outlining party plans early on will help to reduce any disappointment, and including employees in the decision making process will help them to feel more involved. Cutting the alcohol doesnΓÇÖt have to mean cutting the enjoyment, and for those who fancy a tipple ΓÇô a drink after the event, leaving the company free of any responsibility, could be the answer.
officebroker.com’s Top 5 Party Tips:
Decide on a budget and stick to it: If youΓÇÖre arranging a meal out or an activity speak with local businesses about discount or check a voucher website if youΓÇÖre visiting a branded establishment. Also donΓÇÖt forget that VAT can be reclaimed.
Put it to the people: Get input from staff by asking them to suggest ideas and help organise the occasion. Make sure that everyone is catered for and remember that thinking ‘outside the box’ could not only create a great idea for an event, but could also act as a positive PR tool for the company.
Location, Location, Location: An event away from the office may create a more relaxed atmosphere than holding the party at a business location. Everyone needs to feel comfortable so selecting a neutral venue that accommodates all ages is preferable. Considering the guests’ travel requirements is also important, if alcohol is involved a location close to public transport facilities and taxi services will simplify travel arrangements.
Choosing a Date: It’s a Christmas party after all so it’s no use leaving it until after the New Year when the festive spirit has been replaced by the January blues. Some employees may prefer to have the occasion on a Friday where as others may feel that itΓÇÖs intruding on their weekend time so put it to a vote.
Know the Limits: If the event is on a work night, make sure staff members are aware of what is expected of them the following day. According to research from insurer Aviva, more than 2 million workers called in sick last year with a Christmas party hangover, costing an estimated ┬ú216m to the British economy.
Let us know what youΓÇÖve got planned for your Christmas party and if youΓÇÖve had to cut back this yearΓÇª