Work Christmas Parties are out. These 5 alternative Office Christmas Party ideas are in.

02 Dec 2022

As with everything in life, trends change, and peoples’ tastes evolve. That’s why the days of the traditional office-based Christmas party – jostling for space to get changed in the office toilets, attempting karaoke classics on a makeshift stage next to the photocopier, and reluctantly tucking into lukewarm holiday buffet lunches – are over.

Yet arranging a yuletide corporate event that results in festive cheer for 100% of your party guests is a tall order. So, to help ensure you give your employees a festive shindig that brings joy to the workforce this holiday season, we’ve come up with some alternative Christmas party ideas – and party game ideas – so your people can eat, drink, and be merry.

  1. Virtual festive events

There’s no denying that the outbreak of Covid has changed the nature of office-based work in Australia. Before the pandemic, it is reported that on average 23% of employees worked from home at least one day a week. This compares to nearly 6 out of 10 (58%) employees who work from home at least one day a week post-pandemic. Plus, on a Monday and Friday, you can expect to see fewer employees working onsite. For this reason, online parties for the entire office are on the rise.

Particularly when you consider the cost of in-person corporate parties. Australian firms are estimated to spend about $10,000 on corporate Christmas party each year.

With no event space cost or geographical boundaries, online parties are a relatively cost-effective way to ensure your employees have quality time filled with fun activities no matter where in the world they are based.

Here are some virtual holiday party ideas guaranteed to have your people happy this festive season.

  • Tree decorating competition – a fun way for each employee to showcase their festive decor
  • Christmas jumper competition – everyone loves a festive jumper…the uglier the better!
  • Christmas movie watch along – unite your workforce by watching a Christmas classic
  • Christmas quiz – split your employees into teams and let the general knowledge battle commence
  • Christmas bingo – eyes down for a full house…full of festive cheer that is thanks to the popular past time
  • Great Christmas bake off – it’s the perfect time to let your employees reveal their hidden MasterChef
  • Christmas singalong – a joyous afternoon of carol singing is much less intimidating than when in-person!
  • Secret Santa – bring everyone together online for a grand present opening of their Secret Santa party gifts
  • Festive scavenger hunt – a fun game that involves employees searching for items against the clock
  • Virtual interactive workshops such as Christmas decoration making or Christmas cocktail making
  • End of year award ceremony – who better than Santa Claus to recognise and reward your employees?
  1. Memorable out-of-office activities

Did you know that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime? So, it’s fair to assume that the last place they want to be spending their free time is at the office.

Therefore, if your workforce is still predominantly office-based, we recommend going the extra mile (quite literally) and treating your employees to a party outside of their usual surroundings. After all, it can be hard to slip into the Christmas spirit when you’re just metres away from your ever-growing in-tray.

To kick-start your festive planning, here are some fun holiday party experiences based away from the office.

Tackle an escape room

If you’re looking for festive party activities that promote creative thinking skills, effective communication, and team building, you could do a lot worse than locking your employees up in a room. An escape room, that is!

With so many to choose from across Australia, this creative office party idea involves working together as a group to solve problems and crack codes to enable you to unlock and leave the room before the time expires.

They’re fun, a great employee unifier, and also add a touch of friendly competition as rival teams compete against each other to beat the room in the quickest time possible.

Visit a comedy club

Many studies have uncovered the numerous benefits of laughter. On a short-term basis, having a good old chuckle can help to relieve stress and decrease blood pressure and heart rate. Plus, over time, regular giggling can help to relieve pain, boost mood, and improve the immune system.

So, be sure to consider treating your employees to a trip to your local comedy venue this Christmas.

  1. Local Christmas markets

Tis the most wonderful time of the year for visiting your local Christmas market. As the holiday season approaches, town squares and shopping centres across the land are swiftly transforming into festive venues.

A work-based trip to a Christmas market is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Some venues also boast open-air live music, Christmas-themed games or rides, and carol singers to make spirits bright. One option is to set a budget for your employees to spend on their chosen way to have a merry Christmas. Just be sure to get everyone together for an obligatory office Christmas photo beneath the Christmas tree.

  1. Let them choose their own unforgettable experience

While group activities make for good end-of-year rewards, our research has found that 85% of employees prefer individual corporate incentives.

For that reason, you could consider swapping party time for quality me-time and treating your people to individual experiences, such as a spa session, balloon ride, family day out, afternoon tea, or short break away.

  1. Give the gift of choice with gift cards

Our recent research into Australian employees’ opinions on employers’ gifts during the holiday season uncovered some interesting statistics:

  • Only 17% said that they actually wanted a Christmas party
  • 81% said their favourite Christmas gift was a gift card

Gift cards are popular with all demographics as they give recipients a guilt-free way of choosing a gift for themselves. eGift cards have risen in popularity since covid as they can be delivered and redeemed instantly with no shipping or production costs.

As well as giving your employees what they want, gifting gift cards has also been shown to increase employee loyalty and productivity.

Using Corporate Card Store, our end-to-end corporate gift cards platform, we can take care of everything for you from adding personalised messaging and company branding to distributing the eGift cards to your employees.

As for giving your employees freedom of choice, our Ultimate multi-store gift cards can be used at more than 100+ retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Sephora, Boots, The Good Guys, H&M, Webjet, OzSale, Lululemon, Nando’s, Pandora, EB games, Binge, and Waterstones. Gift cards can also be customised with your company branding and you can select the spending limit from $25 to $1000.

If you decide to follow the research and treat your employees to gift cards rather than a Christmas party this year, we’d love to help.

To find out more about our gift card range for employees get in touch today on +61 3 9930 5020

You might also like these articles…

Contact a Rewards Expert Today