Holiday office party


  • As the COVID-19 Pandemic draws on, more companies are hosting in-person holiday parties than last year.
  • However, a study found that 22% of companies are still unsure what their plans will be this year.
  • The team at Erigo has pulled together some considerations to help your organization make the best decision for your business and employees.

 As the COVID-19 Pandemic draws on and the holiday season approaches once again, more companies are hosting in-person holiday parties than last year. Still, many organizations are debating how to celebrate the holidays with their teams. A study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., found that 26.6% of companies are planning to hold an in-person holiday party and that another 22% are still unsure what their plans will be this year.

While organizations finalize how to celebrate the holidays with their teams, SHRM reports that many HR professionals feel it is important to do so in some way in 2020 because of the challenges faced in 2021. This is no surprise, considering The Great Resignation has impacted businesses in every industry, and claims of employee burnout are at an all-time high. Finding ways to increase morale is imperative.

The team at Erigo has pulled together some considerations to help your organization make the best decision for your business and employees.

Get an understanding of employees comfort levels to determine the best course of action

A Tripleseat study found that 66% of their respondents said their employers will be holding a holiday celebration and 84% of those events are in person, a huge increase from their 2020 survey. In 2020, only 45 percent of respondents said their workplace would be holding a holiday party either in person or virtually.

While many organizations chose to cancel parties in hopes of larger blowouts in 2021, we’re now entering the second year of this pandemic. This makes it challenging for many organizations to determine the best ways to celebrate with their employees. Especially knowing everyone has a varied level of comfort with vaccines, masks and large in-person gatherings.

The easiest way to do that is to survey employees. Circulating a simple Google Form or Survey Monkey can help you determine your employees’ level of comfort to participate in an in-person event. It can also help you identify other ways to celebrate with those less comfortable being around potentially unvaccinated coworkers.

Are you planning in person? Consider these options

The CDC recommends that those who are gathering with a group of people from multiple households should consider additional precautions like avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel and taking a COVID test in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.

The CDC also recommends getting vaccinated or wearing well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.

Forgo the potluck and consider catering. Having a nice meal is a great way to show employees they are appreciated; it also takes a layer of stress off employees who are facing record levels of burnout. It also can help to create a more controlled environment for food distribution at the party.

Consider a hybrid option to accommodate in-person and remote workers. Even if you’re hosting an in-person event for most of your office, bring in remote workers or workers who are avoiding crowds.

During your program, schedule a specific time for virtual guests to stop by. Employers can involve virtual guests with a gift card raffle, a Secret Santa for smaller groups, a game or during a toast. For more ways to involve a hybrid or fully-remote crowd, read Erigo’s blog from 2020.

Whether you decide to do a fully in-person event, fully remote or hybrid of the two, finding a way to celebrate your team’s successes in 2021 is imperative. If you have questions about how to increase morale during the holidays in a safe, compliant way with state and federal mandates, contact the experts at Erigo.