'Christmas, like for so many other people, has always been a special time of year for me. From bringing the family together to spending time with my friends, it’s always provided me with a sense togetherness, even at work.
If I were to sum up my workplace Christmases over the years in one word, it would be varied! My first experience was at the tender age of 22 when I was working for a local authority. I loved my job and the people I worked for, but there was barely any budget for the work we had to do, let alone a Christmas party. I fondly remember us all clubbing our money together in a communal pot to buy ourselves a Christmas lunch and supplies to make our own Christmas decorations. While I never thought that I’d ever make paper snowflakes again after age 5, I loved every minute of it. For the first time in my new, scary, first proper job, I felt like I was part of a team.
Fast forward to 8 years later, and I found myself living 4 hours away from home, living on my own, and working for one of the biggest and most well-known brands in the world. There were people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds, all under one roof. I’d never met half of these people, or even seen them around the building before Christmas. Why did I suddenly come to know these people? Christmas in this organisation was a big deal. From desk decorating competitions, to gingerbread house making through to company wide secret Santa and even Christmas craft sessions for children, they really brought everyone together. Suddenly, the long winter days were filled with laughter and fun, and so many new faces to talk to. It lifted the spirit of the whole building and offered me an excuse to speak to as many people as possible that I wouldn’t normally come into contact with.
Why am I telling you this? Because when you spend more of your time, on average 2000 hours a year in the office, than at home with your loved ones, it’s important to maintain a positive culture all year round. Companies of all sizes can create a positive workplace at Christmas and, for me, it’s all about picking the right activities and festivities that bring people together.
To help you bring in the festive spirit to your positive workplace, I am sharing my favourite festive office activities:
1. Christmas Music
So simple, yet so effective! All you need is a wireless speaker and someone with a Spotify or Apple Music account. There are hundreds of Christmas music playlists out there, and let’s be honest, anyone who says they don’t like Christmas music is lying!
2. Bring Your Own Buffet
Christmas is the perfect time to overindulge and what better way to do so than with a bring your own buffet? Leave it up to your team as to what they bring or leave everyone with a wish list of what you’d like to see on the table.
This type of festive activity is great for building a positive culture in workspaces with a multi-cultural workforce. Ask for traditional dishes that they would present at Christmas, or any kind of celebration, and get ready to enjoy some seriously tasty treats!
3. Elf on the shelf
It may be the favourite festive game with my 4-year-old niece, but it’s a fun game for the people of all ages, especially in the office!
Every night give a team member the job of moving the elf of the shelf and see the mischief commence. Better yet, offer a prize to the best one to add even more festive fun to your team!
4. Secret Santa
One of the best ways to bring a small to medium-size teams or individual departments together is to take part in Secret Santa! All you need to do is put everyone in your team’s name in a hat, let everyone pick out a name, and then they must buy that person a present! Make sure to set a price limit too, otherwise, the person who bought their colleague socks will feel a bit silly when they receive chocolate hamper and a bottle of wine!
5. Get in the Competitive Spirit
There’s nothing like a bit of competition to really add some festive cheer! The idea for a Christmas competition should allow departments to take part as individual teams, be Christmas themed and, of course, allow people to have some fun when they’re usually working!
Some of my favourite competitions are:
Whatever competition you hold, make sure you’re utilising the workspace you’re in. If you’ve got a communal area that people haven’t gotten in the habit of using, this is a great way of familiarising them with the space and breaking down barriers.
6. Christmas Jumper Day
Save the Children’s annual Christmas jumper day is one of my favourites because it’s a little bit of fun and there is always that one person who will turn up wearing a light up jumper doing their best Christmas tree impression!
7. Collecting for a shoe box appeal
The gift of giving is something is one of my favourite things about Christmas. In this merry time, gathering your team together to bond over sharing goodwill!
There are lots schemes out there, so find one that links to your organisations values or could help people in the local community.
Nothing makes you feel more festive than spending time decorating! Whether it’s your desk area or the rest of the office, placing a small ornament on your desk or hanging streamers across the ceiling, this is bound to get everyone in the festive spirit.
Your Workplace Culture and Christmas
If I haven’t persuaded you already, the greatest gift you can give your workplace this year through festive fun are the benefits of the positive workplace. By engaging your team member’s in Christmas-themed events, or just spreading a bit of Christmas cheer, you’ll be creating a positive environment where employee engagement can flourish. And the gifts you’ll receive for this simple yet fun investment in your workplace culture? Stronger relationships between colleagues, bonding opportunities between departments, and a right good giggle all in the name of a positive workplace (and Christmas too!)'
To find out how we can create a Positive Workplace for you, get in touch now!