It may still be too early for in-person holiday parties this year. There are still many organizations that are working remotely or are using a hybrid model. So, does it really make sense to bring everyone together in a large group for a Christmas party? It is kind of counterintuitive to have a meetup and then go back to social distancing and working from home.
And it appears the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise, largely because of the new Omicron variant. A large group gathering would surely risk seeing this case count go up even more. New recommendations and measures may be put in place to help stop the spread.
Colin Furness, a Toronto-based infection control epidemiologist, told CTVNews.ca he believes in-person work parties are still a risk when cases are circulating in the community.
“You can maybe have an office party and maybe get away with it, but you really need to think about the bigger systemic things,” he said.
“The problem with office parties is, especially given how much isolation we’ve had in 20 months, is people are really, really hankering for social interaction, which means no mask, which means the alcohol flows, which means people get a little bit loud, a little bit messy, a little bit close. And so even the best of intentions can kind of fall by the wayside.”
3 Ways to Make Your Holiday Party Work This Year
So, that holiday party may need to wait for another year just to be safe. But there are ways to make it work for everyone:
- Proof of vaccination is mandatory: If you still plan to host an in-person holiday gathering, double vaccination should be mandatory for attendance. Require employees to wear masks indoors and try to social distance themselves as much as possible. Rapid tests at the door could also help prevent a positive case from potentially ruining a lot of people’s holiday season.
- Smaller groups: Rather than one large party, consider a series of smaller gatherings. Department employees who interact with each other closely each day could still have a smaller holiday gathering. This will reduce the mixing of employees who do not interact regularly in person.
- One more year of Zoom parties: While this may not be the most appealing option, it is the safer option. Think of a creative way to host the party online to get people engaged.
Read More About Remote Work and Holiday Party Ideas on Our Recruiting Blog
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