Whether it’s Christmas, summer, or an employee’s leaving do, organising a party for your colleagues is a regular duty for an employee. Whether you’re in charge of business, or simply the person who’s had this responsibility delegated to them, getting everything for the party right is a challenge.
When you look at venues for hire in London you’ll find a huge variety of spaces, which should fit any permutation of your budget and needs. The important thing, therefore is to fit the place to the occasion.
There are upsides to holding a Christmas party in your office for example, not least in the money you save on hiring a venue. This comes with downsides, however: depending on how many people you employ it may be hard to actually get them all in the same room. You also lose productive time in setting up the party, you also have to arrange food and drink yourself, and of course there’s the risk of office equipment being damaged in the celebrations. Photocopier pranks are a Christmas cliché, but they do happen, and they’re not good for the photocopier.
Hiring an outside venue has the benefits of outsourcing those worries, as well as increasing the prestige of the event and making your employees feel more valued, so it’s well worth leaving the office when you want to celebrate.
Handling conduct can be a difficult tightrope to walk at a company celebration: the rules are obviously a little relaxed but people still need to be aware they are at a work event, and moderate their behaviour appropriately.
Providing a free bar is a temptation: spreading a little largesse makes your employees feel valued and of course it creates a sense of prestige for your company. On the other hand, to a certain type of person it also signals that anything goes. The consequences the following day could reflect poorly on your company, and internally lead to disciplinary proceedings or even resignations or terminations, if people’s behaviour when they’re letting loose makes other employees uncomfortable around them.
Encouraging people to exert a bit of self-control is best done subtly, rather than overtly. Dictatorial emails rarely have the desired effect and just make people resentful. Instead, allowing every employee one or two free drinks and regulating the system with hand stamps or tokens reminds people that there is a system in place, and encourages them to monitor their own behaviour.
With the right venue and some subconscious behavioural safeguards in place, your office party should go with a swing!