Tis the season to be jolly, and lucky for us, Christmas isn’t too far away! While 2021 hasn’t been a smooth ride, we seem to have been able to experience more opportunities this year round. This has been apparent from many organisations across the UK hosting their annual Christmas parties again. It’s often a time to relax after a busy year and no doubt, food and drink and maybe even some karaoke will be much needed. But, if you’ve adopted a hybrid working model over a long period of time, it can open up a lot more questions around how to successfully and most importantly, inclusively bring holiday celebration back into the workplace. With the recent news of the Omicron variant casting doubt around social gatherings again, there are a few more considerations to be aware of.
Coming together for celebration?
While many of us may jump at the chance of getting together, it’s essential to remember that everyone is at different stages of navigating the current climate. It’s safe to say that some of us still don’t feel comfortable meeting in large groups. If you’re planning a get together over December, ensuring that whatever activity you’ve got planned, gives everyone the same opportunities and doesn’t exclude anyone.
We may be getting a bit tired of online interaction but at least it accommodates everyone and gives people an opportunity for some fun. If you’re going out for a meal or a night out, not everyone is going to be ready for that. It can cause a lot of anxiety and opens up a lot more pressure if someone doesn’t want to go but feels they ought to. Can you include an online event such as a quiz as well, to accommodate those who can’t make it? In this way, you are providing an inclusive alternative and gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate.
Consider the following when setting up a Christmas celebration:
- Are you following the latest guidance from the Government?
- If people are concerned about attending a night out, consider an online alternative as well.
- Make it clear that attendance for any event is not compulsory and if meeting in a large group is concerning for anyone, then it is perfectly ok to not attend.
- Open a non-judgemental conversation for those who want to voice their concerns.
- Ensure you are aware of the general consensus from your workforce.
- Would people be more comfortable with smaller group activities, maybe by departments?
- If the time is not right, can it be postponed to accommodate more people?
Make sure you take the time to risk assess the situation and be prepared to change plans if necessary. Despite what may happen over the Xmas break, there are ways in which you can still celebrate with your team. Technology is a wonderful thing and can open up more opportunities to ensure Xmas is a safe one!