The past couple of years have been challenging for many companies. For a time, office holiday parties seemed to fall by the wayside — especially during the height of lockdown. Work celebrations quickly pivoted to virtual parties, and it took a while to steer back toward in-person functions. As momentum has shifted back to live gatherings, holiday parties are making a comeback to honor the season.
We’ve spoken with Thriver Culture Experts Sarah and Jorge to get their perspectives on the latest celebration trends and find out what companies are doing for Christmas and holiday parties in 2022, with some practical ideas to make the season bright for your organization.
Let your party-planning committee book your next holiday party directly, or connect with our dedicated team to plan the best possible get-together — large or small — for your organization.
The Holiday Party Comeback
Holiday parties are no longer a thing of the past. Leaders want their teams together under one roof and ready to celebrate, and it’s more apparent than ever that connecting face-to-face is vital to a vibrant and cohesive work atmosphere. Many companies that follow a hybrid work model choose to go with in-person office parties during the holidays.
Larger, well-established companies are looking for impressive venues and unique entertainment for their office holiday parties. In some cases, leaders are flying employees in from different parts of the globe to join the celebration in person.
Most holiday events are planned for early to mid-December before workers start logging off for the holidays. As a result, bookings are filling up quickly, so now’s the time to strike if you have a specific venue or entertainer in mind.
Keep it local
Another common thread for workplace celebration ideas — especially among smaller organizations with tighter budgets — are regional parties based around individual office locations. For larger companies with teams spread out nationally or even globally, it’s sometimes easier to celebrate based on locale. Such gatherings are more cost-effective overall and provide a personal experience for teams working in the same region.
Enjoy a curated selection of the most unique party venues to hold your holiday events.
Throw some gadgetry or fun toys into your office party, like a console game tournament or VR glasses. One popular add-on this year is the 360 photo booth. These platforms incorporate a camera assembly that revolves around you and your team on a robotic arm. The device takes photos at 120 frames per second, giving you a short, 360-degree, slow-motion video to remember your celebration. The photo booth then sends you the video to keep and share.
Explore party rentals in your area that you can book directly on Thriver.
Smaller In-Office Bashes
For smaller teams with tighter budgets, a cozier, more intimate in-office get-together is in order. These occasions offer the opportunity to get the team together without spending a ton on a venue and entertainment.
Family-style catering or appetizers, paired with an open bar and a D.J. or a live band, offers a wonderful evening filled with fun festivities — without breaking the bank. If live entertainment isn’t doable, bring a Bluetooth speaker and queue up a fun playlist. Low on space? Host the party in a conference room or rearrange desks to create a party-ready area.
Sometimes, going all out isn’t in the cards. For a personal, low-tech occasion, consider experiences like a tarot-card reader, a caricature artist, or both. These entertainment options allow your employees to connect as they enjoy conversation and engage in unique activities.
Browse budget-friendly entertainment and gifts for your holiday party on Thriver.
The holiday lunch is a popular choice among traditional industries, like banking and accounting, but any workplace can enjoy an employee trip to a restaurant or in-office catering. Close up shop early or schedule a two-hour break during the middle of the workday to make time for this tasty celebration. Bonus: afternoon celebrations allow employees to keep their evenings open.
Opportunities for client connection
Jorge describes a fresh outlook many tech companies have adopted. Instead of hosting employee-only bashes, tech businesses are using the holiday party as an opportunity to connect with clients. These companies apply a sophisticated approach for VIP clients, including sponsored lunch-and-learns with engaging experiences like ice-skating rings or escape rooms.
Virtual celebrations for remote teams
For some companies, Zoom gatherings and Slack messages are a way of life. If your business operates remotely, Thriver experts can help you host a fun virtual event that all your employees enjoy together — even when they’re hundreds of miles apart.
Remote hands-on fun
Just because your office is scattered across the globe doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. A few popular work celebration activity ideas for remote workers are the DIY workshops offered on Thriver. From wreath-making classes to the 5-star hot sauce-making class, nothing can stop you from having a memorable holiday bash. Our workshops include kits shipped to each participant for an immersive and engaging experience.
Explore virtual holiday-themed experiences on the Virtual Celebrations collection.
Thank you gifts
Recognizing your team for their hard work directly impacts employee retention. Thank you gifts are a fantastic way for both remote-first and office-first setups to show their employees just how much they’re appreciated.
Baskets, packages, and boxes
‘Tis the season for gift baskets and care packages — a surefire way to connect with and show appreciation for your teams. The Culture Experts at Thriver take pride in helping alleviate the burden of searching through countless gift options online. Explore Thriver’s Marketplace to find a wide array of gift offerings and the best services for employee appreciation. Whether you’re looking to welcome newcomers, give your team a wellness day, or simply say “thank you,” our Marketplace lets you filter gifts and events by occasion and preferences.
Companies and organizations are as diverse as those who work at them, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — it all boils down to what type of office holiday celebration works best for you and your team. Visit Thriver to learn more about planning your holiday party, whether it’s in-person at the office or over a screen from home. Our Culture Experts are here to help you kick the festivities off with a bang.