The Best (and Worst) Holiday Office Parties

Holiday office parties offer an opportunity for co-workers to mingle in a relaxed environment. They can be fun and lively, or awkward and boring. Some cities seem to do better than others at entertaining the troops.

Staffing firm OfficeTeam recently interviewed workers from 27 major U.S. cities on the subject of office parties.

They found that good time was had by some. Overall, 36 percent of professionals describe holiday parties as entertaining; a nearly equal percentage (35 percent) give these events a thumbs down.

Slightly more than one-quarter (28 percent) describe year-end bashes as obligatory; 47 percent view them as optional.

Few are raising crystal flutes or the roof. Sixteen percent categorize their soirees as lavish or rowdy.

East coasters are the best hosts. New York and Miami have the most fun parties. Los Angeles has the most boisterous parties, followed by Austin and New York.

Then there was Des Moines, which doesn’t seem to have particularly fun office parties.

OfficeTeam offers these tips for keeping holiday office parties fun:

Tips for Employees

  • Mix and mingle. Socialize with coworkers outside your usual circle. These celebrations are an opportunity to meet people you don’t work with every day.
  • Curb shoptalk. This is your chance to get to know colleagues in a social setting, so don’t make it all about business. Conversation starters can include people’s holiday plans or New Year’s resolutions.
  • Don’t be a scrooge. Though holiday time can be stressful for some, keep your discussions positive and upbeat. Avoid controversial topics such as politics and gossip.
  • Limit libations. ‘Tis the season to party, but not too hard. Drink in moderation and remember holiday parties are still work functions.

Tips for Employers

  • Ask for input. Survey your staff to see how people want to celebrate. Feedback on venue, food and timing will get planning off to a good start.
  • Build a buzz. Get the word out early. Talk up the event with management in all departments, and don’t shy away from reaching out to employees individually.
  • Get creative. A big budget isn’t the only way to throw a successful holiday party. Brainstorm unique ways to build camaraderie without breaking the bank.
  • Show appreciation. Employees want to feel recognized for their hard work. Incorporate an element into the festivities that shows your gratitude.

Have fun out there.



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