Party planners say that you should NOT have your holiday office party at the office. Sometimes that is true, but is it always true? Offices are not all created equal, so should all office parties follow the same rules? The modern office design makes it possible to put the OFFICE back in Office Party.
In an office space where employees work at the same desk, and stare at the same walls day in and day out, it makes sense to move the company party to a different location. If your office is small, has small enclosed offices, or designed with wall-to-wall cubicles, it is probably wise to book your Christmas party at a local restaurant, hotel ballroom, or community hall designed for entertaining.
However, with the latest trend towards designing offices that are open, spacious, and filled with innovative, modern, comfortable and attractive office furniture, you now have the ideal space to throw a great party!
The modern office design incorporates mixed seating areas and open spaces. Open offices are wired for technology and often designed with light modular furniture that can be easily configured depending on the need of the group using the space. Sounds like a perfect place to come together, mix, mingle, and have a conversation, doesn’t it? An ideal environment to connect, unwind, celebrate, and have a little fun after a long year of hard work.
Another trend in what is now becoming more typical is people are working remotely and with flexible hours. They come in for meetings, or if they need the space to work on a project, but other than that technology has allowed people the ability to work outside the restrictions of a brick and mortar location. Now you can bring the party back to the office without worrying that employees need a change of view. Office workers are mobile and transient, not always seeing the same people every day of the week. And they aren’t tired of the office, because they aren’t always there! Having a party at the office gives them a chance to mix and mingle in a familiar, but not overused, environment. It is a chance to connect the emails, conference calls, and quick meetings where work is the primary discussion.
The holiday season is an opportunity to connect with people beyond the immediate employee circle! What about extending the party invitation to those people who have contributed to the success of your business, or who are impacted by the work you do. It is a chance to show your appreciation and get to know them better. These people can be your customers, suppliers, investors, board members of charities that you support, the building owner, property manager, security staff, cleaning staff, and the list goes on. Companies spend a great deal of time and money designing an office to reflect the company’s image. By bringing the party to the office, people get a chance to see the place behind the people they are working with. “A picture says a thousand words” is as true in office design as it is in a piece of art or photography.
Another perk of bringing the party in-house is that technology at your office is almost always better than at any restaurant or hotel, and you have full control and access to it. Most offices have a sound systems so you can play music throughout the whole party, but if not, mobile speakers systems are better than ever before. Place speakers in various seating areas to offer some background music. Create a favourite holiday playlist, plug it in, and press play. TV screens are found in almost every room of a modern office. They have corporate presentations and branding messages running throughout the day, but can now be part of your party’s entertainment! What about playing a Christmas classic movie in a quiet room, a video of a fire in the reception area, or even Christmas music videos in the main area?
Food and Beverages are a must-have at any party. Most open office designs now include a kitchen and eating area. Whether it is a budget friendly potluck party or fully catered, this kitchen area makes it easier to prepare, serve, and later clean up.
You can’t get more convenient than having a party at the office. And for those people who would prefer to stay late and do work rather than go to the office party. Well, they won’t have much of a choice but to join in on the festivities. Mix, mingle and celebrate all your hard work and successes.