Choosing to host your company Christmas party in an office rental building comes with many benefits; here’s what to know.
With the holidays around the corner, it’s a good idea to start thinking about preparing presents for friends and family and scheduling your December to fit both your working obligations and your social plans. However, one event that’s always debatably skippable and often considered quite awkward is the professional’s company Christmas party.
Usually scheduled within the first two weeks of December and held in an office environment between coworkers, the office Christmas party is notorious for being one celebration that workers often seek to skip, rather than genuinely enjoy. In many cases, people approach it with a mindset of survival rather than indulgency.
But hear us out here. We’re here to make the argument that Christmas parties are genuinely different when celebrated in a coworking environment, or a shared office, rather than a traditional office space.
While the differences between a coworking space and a traditional office might seem rather superficial at the surface, there’s a lot behind the deeper workings of a shared workspace that makes them very different to the traditional office space, to the point that they change the social dynamic of the office and allow for a much more chill, much less tense, and far less awkward social environment.
Why Bother with a Company Christmas Party to Begin With?
First, it’s important to field the most obvious question: why bother in the first place? The months of November, December, and January have more than their fair share of celebratory occasions, mandatory family get-togethers, and excuses to be with friends and head out to party.
What’s it hurt to skip one of the more awkward social events, especially if you’ve already separated yourself from the ‘mandatory’ nature of traditional office parties, and are more of an introvert to begin with?
Arguably the greatest reason to host a company Christmas party at work to begin with is to promote teambuilding. However, you might counter that it’s strange to think of a coworking space as a ‘team’, when attendance and membership is transient and ephemeral, and many of the people coming to ‘work’ are generally strangers.
The nature of coworking means that no matter how new someone is, they meet with others fairly quickly. While there is no formal team, there is a sense of collective identity, especially in coworking spaces that make a point of hosting regular events and get-togethers as a way to promote cohesion and develop a friendly and harmonic atmosphere at work.
Besides teambuilding, there’s also value in hosting a company Christmas party as a way to prepare for:
- The upcoming year
- Recap previous achievements
- Celebrate specific milestones
- Feature certain workers
- Speak about policy changes or certain goals that might exist past the horizon of the current year
More than just a space for people to work separately on their own projects and deadlines, coworking spaces also offer a collective identity and sense of culture. The management that often works closely with workers to create a better, healthier workspace, and that means that moments wherein workers come together to talk about what they liked and didn’t like about the year are an important opportunity to introduce improvements in the early days of the next quarter.
Coworking Parties vs. Traditional Office Parties
It’s true that social events can be a little bit more of a pain to get through when you’re primarily introverted (which could really just mean that you’re not much of a party person to begin with), but there are still plenty of pragmatic reasons to attend Christmas parties in coworking spaces, and they’re usually far less awkward than those in traditional office spaces.
With lesser worries about hierarchies, a more casual environment all year round, and more regular events, coworking spaces are far less likely to confront the problem traditional office spaces have where everyone’s freak flag flies high after being bottled up for the entire year. Some offices see the Christmas party as a great way to ‘really’ get to know one another, while in coworking spaces, such social interactions are part of the norm. You also don’t have to worry about looking ridiculous in front of the boss.
It’s Still a Christmas Party
At the end of the day, many of the same rules apply, especially when hosting the party itself. Keep the atmosphere light and fun, incorporate something to do aside from mingling and drinking, get a DJ or even a live band performance, and hire a catering service. Christmas parties can have a them, and they can even be celebrated entirely without alcohol (some workers might resent that).
Some things are universal, including how to throw a good party – and knowing what to avoid when trying to throw a good party. Simple examples include charging members of the coworking space extra to attend the party, disallowing plus ones, making the party mandatory (or practically mandatory), and so on.
Don’t skimp but maintain a healthy budget. Prioritize the important things: that is, food, beverages, and music. As mentioned previously, the beverages don’t have to be alcoholic, and there are plenty of ways to have fun while sober, and further minimize the potential of having people embarrass themselves.
Less Post-Party Shame
This one is arguable, but some might say that there’s less shame in letting loose at a company Christmas party than a regular office holidays party. This is partly because, in theory, all workers in a coworking space generally work on the same level and there is no hierarchy – while the landlord or landlady owns the space and may be involved in its management, the management of a space is separate from the people who work in it, and you don’t have to worry about feeling like you made a fool of yourself in front of a department head or your boss.
Since the relationships between people at a shared space are purely social and voluntary rather than being based on contracts and demonstratable differences in power, there’s room for a generally much lighter and more socially conducive atmosphere.