Covidmas office party: over half of workers cite festive fun as crucial for team morale

  • Over a third agree bonding with colleagues during the festive season helps teams work more efficiently and effectively together
  • While 61% say they’ll attend a virtual replacement party, 21% are concerned it might not have the same impact as the real deal
  • O2 Business shares tips on how to invigorate and keep teams connected during the Christmas period, with Brown Bear events company providing inspiration for how to make a virtual celebration special

With the global pandemic set to cancel Christmas parties as we know them this year, 72% have come to realise the value of festive fun, agreeing it enables them to bond with colleagues and over a third (34%) saying it helps teams to work more efficiently and effectively together.

The new data from O2 Business has found that while 39% admit they previously saw Christmas parties as a chance to simply unwind, faced with the reality of it being taken away, 54% say they underestimated the importance they have in boosting morale and keeping the team connected.

Indeed, two thirds (66%) agree they would benefit from a Christmas celebration this year more than ever before and business leaders are being encouraged to adapt their usual way of marking the end of the year, with a quarter (25%) saying it would feel a shame if there wasn’t an end of year get together of some kind.

Despite 35% admitting they’re facing video conferencing fatigue, the majority (61%) plan to still partake and look forward to spending time with colleagues chatting about something other than work, with 83% admitting they miss seeing teammates in the office day-to-day.

For SMBs in particular, O2 Business research reveals this can be a great time to re-energise employees ahead of the new year as almost a quarter (24%) of employees within a small or medium business (under 250 employees) say a virtual celebration will help them feel more connected to their team members.

There are other benefits to take from virtual events this year, as 47% admit they won’t miss having to travel and 39% are looking forward to not getting carried away with spending at the bar!

Maria Fernandez, Trading SMB Director at O2 Business said: “Christmas is traditionally a time of year when employers give something back by organising an event where everyone can let their hair down and have some fun, which in turn has a positive impact on team morale.

This year will be a little different, but with innovative local businesses diversifying and offering new experiences online, it can also make for a great opportunity to support a fellow business too.

Whatever you’re doing this festive season, we understand the importance of keeping connected – now more than ever before – which is why O2 Business provides businesses with strong and reliable tech solutions, enabling you to bring everyone together and spread the Christmas cheer remotely.”

As well as bringing everyone together – albeit virtually – to thank teams for their hard work and resilience, other options workers said they’d appreciate include receiving a voucher to treat themselves (40%), gifted time off at Christmas (36%) or simply receiving a bottle of fizz (16%).

To help businesses mark the end of 2020 in a meaningful way, O2 Business has partnered with Gina Brown at Brown Bear Events to provide five top tips of inspiration on how to make a virtual celebration special during these extraordinary times:

  1. Team-building at a distance with an added bonus– With video calls comprising most people’s day to day work and social lives these days, why not create a video call with a difference? A virtual experience using a service such as Microsoft Teams allowing employees to create a little bit of Christmas alongside their colleagues, leaves them with some festive spirit whilst also having something to talk around

How about sending employees themed bespoke wreath-making gift boxes for them to create and enjoy, accompanied by a wreath making workshop online, for people to put their skills to the test.

  1. A simple thank you – A little can go a long way, especially with the way things are currently. Instead of a larger celebration, a great way to let your team know that they’re valued is by sending a small, personalised gift. It could even be something they can treat themselves to, such as food or drink, but either way it’s a great way to let employees know their hard work is appreciated.

For an extra special addition, brand the boxes with company logos and include gifts that could inspire employees working from the home space, such as note books including positive quotes, or a thank you letter from the CEO.

  1. A twist on the dreaded virtual quiz! – Virtual quizzes and gatherings have been a staple in many people’s schedule since April so it’s important to create an experience that’s a little different if you’re going to entice people to join.

For example, get a live bespoke juke box performance from a band via video call. This can be tailored to team preferences and participants can submit requests during the virtual performance and even join in with the singing.

  1. Showing support from afar – There’s a big emphasis on how businesses can support employees in the way of wellbeing and health especially during this time. One way to show your employees you value them is by giving them something to enhance their health or wellbeing. This is a great way to end the year and help people feel motivated and refreshed for the year ahead. It will also provide a positive impact to your workplace because people will feel more energised and focused on work.

For example, offering virtual yoga or meditation classes to keep them feeling healthy both in their body and mind during lockdown.

  1. Get active – On a similar note, how about taking the commitment to health and wellbeing even further with a company walkathon, run or cycle? This is a great way to connect your team and get them working towards a collective goal outside the realms of work.

Perhaps you could create a competition with prizes for the member of staff who completes the greatest number of miles biking, or average number of steps per day, or the most exercise classes.

For information about how O2 Business can support you and your employees, please visit https://www.o2.co.uk/business.

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Notes to Editors

Censuswide surveyed 2,000 office workers. Fieldwork was carried out 17.11.20- 23.11.20

Telephone: +44 (0)1753 565656 / 020 3588 9700

Email: pressoffice@o2.com / O2@hopeandglorypr.com

All O2 news releases can be accessed at our website: www.o2.co.uk/news