Five last-minute COVID-safe Christmas party ideas

Kate Palmer - Associate Director of HR Advisory & Consultancy

December 11 2020

It’s the time of year when you’d normally be gearing up for your work’s Christmas party.

But not much about 2020 has been ‘normal’.

And with most of the country still under strict coronavirus restrictions, and many employees working from home, your end of the year shindig may be a little different.

So what are your options to run a COVID-safe Christmas party? Read on to find out…

Christmas quiz night

Who doesn’t love a virtual quiz?

Okay, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

But if your team enjoys socialising with each other outside of work, then a virtual Christmas quiz is a great way to bring everyone together for a COVID-safe end of the year gathering.

And if you’re feeling generous (or want to spark healthy competition) you can even offer prizes, too.

COVID-secure Secret Santa

Now, Secret Santa is usually harmless fun. But we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t advise you to lay a few ground rules.

First, health & safety. Consider taking extra steps to avoid the risk of transmission. For example, wrap all presents individually and quarantine them for at least three days before distribution.

Next, HR.

Make sure your staff are careful not to send anything inappropriate or offensive to each other. As a rule of thumb, if an employee is worried that a gift might be taken the wrong way, don’t let them send it.

Suggest a gift card instead.  

Christmas early finish

Not exactly a party, but one way to thank your staff for their hard work might be to grant an early finish one day in December to do any last-minute Christmas shopping.

Again, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t flag up the health & safety risks. Having all your people leave at the same time could lead to congestion at your exits, making it difficult to socially distance.

So maybe consider staggering finish times by five or ten minutes to reduce the rush.

Virtual Christmas lunch (with real food)

Now, this one will take some logistics.

You’ll need your people’s home addresses. A list of local takeaways. Your employees’ dietary requirements. And military-level organisation to make sure everyone’s meal turns up at the same time.

But imagine the joy that your home workers will get when they receive their favourite takeaway delivered straight to their door for a virtual Christmas lunch.

Forget the party, just say thank you

Ultimately, Christmas is going to be different this year.

And if there’s no way to bring your people together for a celebration then that’s okay. You don’t have to throw a party, run a Secret Santa, or host a quiz night to show your appreciation.

Sometimes a heartfelt thank you for their hard work is all it takes. 

Looking for HR and health & safety advice/

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