Don't cancel the work Christmas party

Can you believe we're only a few weeks away from Christmas?! One thing for sure is the work Christmas party will look different this year — but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have fun! In this blog, we share tips on how to celebrate the end of the year COVID-safe style.

Taking your event outside

Having your event outdoors is actually safer than indoors since infections are usually spread indoors. This is because people end up breathing in the same air — even with physical distancing and air-conditioning. An outdoor event in a park can take advantage of gorgeous surroundings.

Tips on making your outdoor event COVID-safe:

  • Physical distancing is still important. This means any singing, dancing and mingling should be kept at a safe 1.5 m distance. 
  • Encourage your employees to wear a mask. 
  • Have hand sanitising stations around.
  • Any hand hygiene risks should be anticipated and avoided. 

In many jurisdictions, businesses still need to keep a record of everyone attending, including their name, phone number, and the date and time they arrived. The information is vital for contact tracing in case it later emerges that someone at the event tested positive, and may have inadvertently passed on the virus.

To safeguard personal information, sign-in forms should be kept private and secure from unauthorised access. Many venues are using QR codes where you can sign-in with a smartphone or tablet device. 

Keep your events small and intimate

The appropriate venue for your Christmas party should be picked with consideration of the local area, specifically, check for hot spots for active cases. Determine whether you need a COVID-19 safety plan. The number of people attending must be within the allowable limits. 

And of course, the same rules still apply where if someone is unwell, they should stay home and not attend the event.

Why not take it online? Or both?

To keep the numbers at bay and minimise risk, why not take your event online or have a combination of both? Having a hybrid event via Zoom is a great way to be inclusive, especially to vulnerable employees or those with carer responsibilities. 

While having a virtual party is not the same, people will be in a relaxed environment in the comfort of their own home. Family members and pets should join in too!

Ask your employees to suggest some fun games or organise trivia to make things interactive and fun. There are a few games to play on Zoom in this article if you want some inspiration. 

COVID-Safe Christmas party checklist

Use the below as a mini-checklist to protect you, your employees and others from getting infected with COVID-19:

  1. Always check local health authorities before organising and attending the event.
  2. Advise employees to stay at home if feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone with the virus.
  3. Stagger arrivals and departures to minimise crowding. Have designated seats and markings the floor to ensure physical distancing between people.
  4. Have COVID-safe signage in the venue and remind your employees to comply with the following four preventive measures:
  • Maintain at least 1.5-metre distance from others and wear a mask if possible.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow. Immediately throw away the tissue in a closed-lid bin. 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Use hand sanitiser and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Whether you have your Christmas party online or in-person, it's important to celebrate as it's been a very stressful and challenging year. Your employees will definitely look forward to celebrating the end of 2020! 

We wish you a safe and joyful end-of-year celebration. 

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