As an expert office cleaning company in London, we’ve seen our fair share of fantastic work Christmas party ideas come to fruition over the years!
So with the festive period fast approaching, if you still need some inspiration, we’ll share a wide range of Christmas work party ideas in this guide.
In the UK, the CIPD reports that 60% of employers provide staff with a Christmas party or a lunch at the very least.
And just a few years on from a time when work Christmas parties were solely virtual, due to COVID-19, many businesses are getting back into the full festive swing of things in 2023.
No matter whether you want to stay put in the office or head out into the city for a night out, we’ve got you covered. And we’ll also share some advice for the post-Christmas party office cleaning plan, so your team can get back to work efficiently the day after.
Many of the ideas below also work well in combination with others and can take place on platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, if you have lots of remote or hybrid workers.
#1 Vote on a theme
First of all, if you want to try something a little different, that’s understandable. After several years in a row of Santa hats and Christmas jumpers, mixing it up a little is a good idea to keep things fresh.
You could ask staff to suggest a long list of themes and then ask them to vote for their favourites. If needed, whittle down the options into a shortlist and hold a final vote on that.
How about the 80s? Or a tropical theme? The possibilities are endless and you can still include all the Christmas classics like a tree, presents or mince pies alongside your theme.
It’s a good way to include staff in the party, increasing the likelihood that they’ll engage well with the celebrations.
#2 Awards ceremony
If rewards are up for grabs, that’s another great way to get staff excited for the party! Ask employees to nominate other members of staff for awards categories.
They could be serious ones – employee of the year, most revenue generated and so on. Or fun ones, such as ‘the most likely to work in a complete mess’ and struggle with the clear desk policy!
Oscars-style black tie is encouraged, of course. The prizes could range from stocking fillers (e.g. sweets or chocolate) to something more substantial – they could even be work perks, such as a free lunch or a morning off.
#3 Seasonal scavenger hunt
Get people active by hiding items around the office for them to find. Divide the company into teams.
Staff can take photos of the items after finding them and show them to an independent judge at the end.
How many things you can hide depends on the size of your workplace and your office space planning.
#4 Icebreaker questions
The work Christmas party is a good opportunity for staff to get to know each other better, particularly if you’re bringing together lots of employees from different offices.
Christmas icebreaker questions are a good way to get the conversations flowing, such as:
- Best present you’ve ever received?
- Favourite film to watch at Christmas?
- Have you ever spent Christmas abroad?
You could also throw some ‘never have I ever questions’ in there. For example, never have I ever re-gifted a Christmas present?
#5 Christmas pet party
Alongside all your other office Christmas party ideas, this could be the right time to let staff bring in their beloved pets.
Why not host a Christmas pet party? Rather than being a distraction, some pets can actually boost workplace productivity!
#6 Desk decorating
Nothing looks more festive than Christmas-decorated office desks. Get staff to show their creative side and make it competitive.
Divide the office into teams and give them a desk to work on, plus a big box of Christmas decorations.
For more options, let staff bring in their own decorations for the day to take their creations up a notch.
#7 Christmas jumper competition
Is any work Christmas party complete without Xmas jumpers?
Again, you can turn this into a competition with prizes on offer. Bonus points if anyone knits their own Christmas jumper!
#8 Christmas quiz
A classic – divide the office into teams and host a Christmas quiz.
The questions could be general knowledge or Christmas-themed, taken from the internet.
Or you could crowdsource some office-specific questions from colleagues to give the quiz a personal and perhaps humorous touch.
#9 Photo booth
Whatever you get up to, as the party goes on, the photo booth tends to become increasingly popular.
Set it up in a corner and give the staff a big box of fun clothes, accessories and Christmas decorations to use for some wacky photos!
#10 Games, games, games
If in doubt, set up some games for staff to play. If the budget is tight, this is one of the most cost-effective options and you could also ask staff to bring in their games from home.
Board games, cards, charades, bingo … The more staff relax and unwind, the more they tend to throw themselves wholeheartedly into a fun, simple game!
#11 Secret Santa
Another classic. Start by putting everyone’s name in a hat, or use a website like this, then ask staff to pick one completely at random.
To take the pressure off, let employees drop out if they don’t want to participate and set a low budget limit (e.g. £5 or £10) for those who are taking part.
#12 Christmas come dine with me
Do some of the staff in your office love to cook or bake? Ask them if they’d like to prepare something for the office.
You could give each of them a table, with staff walking around each one to sample the goods or put a helping on their plate.
Don’t give everyone scores, your office chefs all deserve unaminous praise for their efforts! But if they agree you could let staff pick an overall winner to make things interesting.
#13 Charity initiatives
Another option is to support your company’s chosen charity via fundraising during the office Christmas party.
Alternatively you could set up some volunteering activities at local shelters, food banks and so on.
Always remember that Christmas is a good time to give back, support those in need and make a positive impact on the community.
Work Christmas party ideas outside the office
Don’t like the idea of making a big mess in the office?
We hear you! The post-Christmas party cleanup is hard work – more on that shortly.
If there’s enough budget, then there are no end of work Christmas party options out there in the city. To summarise these:
- #14 Entertainment and experiences: Christmas cooking classes, cocktail making, ice skating, karaoke, the list goes on!
- #15 Team building: Sports, obstacle courses, escape rooms and more – get your team working together and on the move, so they can stay warm in the cold weather.
- #16 Dinner, drinks and/or dancing: The tried and trusted work Christmas party is a favourite for a reason!
Whatever you choose to do, make things easier for yourself and the office by putting a cleaning plan in place for post-Christmas party working.
Final thoughts: Post-party planning, working and cleaning
The post-Christmas party plan should be more straightforward if you’re going outside the office for your event. Perhaps you could let staff start a little later the day after, but if they’re not hybrid working, then they should have a nice clean office to come back to either way.
If you’re having a Christmas party in the office, think about their productivity the next day and what’s most convenient for them. If all the desks are still covered in decorations, it will be harder for them to get work done, for example – here are the benefits of maintaining a clean office space for employees.
From a cleaning and hygiene point of view, take care with any leftover food – some of it will stay edible for a long time, but not all. Also, watch out for the air quality and cleanliness, as the Christmas cheeses and reheated Brussels sprouts will leave a bad smell in your office!
Here is a comprehensive office cleaning checklist if you need it. Alternatively, experienced office cleaners will have seen all the post-Christmas party mess before but depending on your plans, you may want to consult them in advance about:
- What would help the cleaners get the office back to the standard of cleanliness you expect?
- Which Christmas things do you want them to leave untouched, throw away or recycle?
We hope you found this guide on work Christmas party ideas helpful. Best wishes for all your office parties and festivities from the Think FM team!
share this article