This Christmas, none of us can experience what we have come to expect from the traditional office Christmas party. COVID19 has led to many changes within the workplace and none more so than the diminishing social aspect of our professional lives.
However, this doesn’t mean that some form of celebration can’t go ahead. Cezanne HR’s work social guide for Christmas outlines some of the most popular ways organisations can partake in socially distant activities with all staff safely at home but with some fresh new ideas to really get the holiday spirit flowing.
Work socials aren’t just about having fun, they also provide a range of other crucial benefits that promote positive company culture and keep employees engaged and happy within their roles. We explore the benefits of hosting a virtual workplace party this holiday season below.
Maintain Employee Relationships
For many, it’s not what they do, it’s who they do it with that’s important. Getting along with your colleagues is one thing but having a valued relationship with them is what can make a job great.
With many employees not having seen their colleagues in person for almost a year, these relationships can begin to dwindle. While we can still email, video chat and call each other, while working from home these conversations are typically work-related and aren’t quite the same as that casual conversation by the coffee machine.
A virtual Christmas social provides a great way for everyone to have a good chat about whatever they want, without worrying about work deadlines or client meetings.
The virtual Christmas social guide provides a host of activities that get colleagues working together as a team to solve problems, such as online escape rooms or a murder mystery party.
Teamwork is key for a production company and without colleagues knowing how to work well together, almost every element of a business can quickly fall apart. Announcing to employees that they are going to be partaking in team building activities is often met with groans.
However, packaging these team-building exercises as a virtual Christmas social not only helps to build these skills but also provides a fun way of doing so.
During professional video or phone calls, not everyone has the chance to speak and voice their opinions, even if they are provided with a means to do so, not all employees possess the confidence to speak up, especially if they are new to the business or sector.
Work socials provide an atmosphere with no bias or prejudice which allows those underdogs to speak without the pressure of their professional role and allows them to participate and produce ideas within the activity.
This will then reflect within the work environment if confidence around peers is boosted within work socials, it is also increased during the working day and can even lead to these employees voicing ideas that can make a real difference within the company.
Every employee wants to feel valued, whether they are the newest intern or a long-serving director. Providing some fun to employees shows this and portrays the value that they matter, not just the work they do.
Any perk, no matter how small or large, can make employees feel appreciated. Of course, this isn’t without its benefits for any business, the more appreciated, valued and respected employees are, the less likely they are to seek another role with a competitor.
Increased Mental Health
COVID19 has led to increasing numbers of people feeling isolated and alone. While they may not be able to be visited in person, a virtual get together can be the next best thing.
Keeping in regular contact with employees via video calls is becoming increasingly popular, and while it can provide some form of social interaction, it’s not the same as joining in with something different like a virtual Christmas party.
For employees who live alone or are having to shield themselves from the virus, this is a vital part of maintaining mental health during this time. What may seem like a trivial amount of socialising during a virtual social can make a world of difference to the mental health of someone.
Healthy competition between colleagues is a great thing but unhealthy competition can be detrimental to a working environment.
By promoting healthy competition within these virtual work socials, this attitude can be transferred within the workplace, allowing employees to better themselves without having to put anyone else down, while simultaneously working towards their responsibilities.
Gathering employees around their computers this holiday season to take part in a Christmas party can help us all feel as ‘normal’ as possible. While everyone’s Christmas has been impacted in one way or another, this doesn’t mean that office parties shouldn’t take place, just a little differently this year!