The traditional office party has always been a signal for the end of the work year. A joyous event towards the end of the year to celebrate all of the hard work that your employees have done. Yet, for the last two years the office party has taken a bit of a back seat during the pandemic as social distancing made it difficult to gather and celebrate in proximity.

This year is different though, we’re putting the pandemic behind us and heading full steam ahead into the new year ready to face new challenges, and with that comes the return of the office party.

If you’ve started to plan this year’s office party and have gotten anxious about all of the possible things that could happen during the party, then fret not! We’ll be going of some key safety tips to help you survive this year’s return to the office party, so your employees can be safe and still have fun this year!

A Note on Safety

Holiday parties can get rowdy if left unchecked, and because they are technically employee-sponsored events, you could potentially be liable if anybody gets hurt during the event. So with that in mind, here a few safety tips to keep in mind when holding your holiday event:

  • Limit the Hours: As boring as it sounds, an office party can’t get out of hand if it’s not held to late into the evening. Consider holding the event right after work, so employees don’t get the urge to pre-party before they arrive to the event. Telling bartenders that they can’t serve shots and limiting the party to about three hours is also a good way to keep a handle on things.
  • Provide Rides: Ensuring that everyone getting home safely if they’ve had to much to drink is a most. Consider offering to cover an employee’s ride share if they need to get home but had a bit too much to drink for the night. The last thing you want is someone getting hurt because they had too much to drink at the office Christmas party.
  • Limit Alcohol: if you decide to have drinks at your office party then having a drink ticket policy is a good way to limit the number of drinks that your employees have access to.
  • Monitor Behavior: Monitor behavior at the party by keeping an eye out for conflict. Putting someone in charge of making sure things don’t get out of hand is important, as unfortunate as it is someone needs to be the “adult” at the party to keep the peace.

You can’t eliminate all of the potential liability that stems from company sponsored events, but you can attempt to put in place barriers that will protect you and your employees. Be sure to communicate with your employees beforehand to establish what is and isn’t expected at the party, but remember the event is to celebrate your employees so be sure to have fun!

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