How to plan a hybrid Christmas party

Business Insights

Many companies have transitioned their teams back to the office following changes to Government guidance. As a result, hybrid-working models have become a popular way of maintaining the flexibility and reduced contact of remote working, whilst allowing teams to collaborate face to face where appropriate. You can find out more about implementing a hybrid working model in our guide: 4 steps to hybrid-working.

As we approach the festive season, employers will be looking forward to celebrating the end of another challenging year with their teams. Some companies opt for a gift hamper in replacement of a Christmas party, but if you are planning a workplace get-together, you may be considering the best way to move forward in the current climate.

So, how can you organise a Christmas party for a hybrid-workforce? Well, all hybrid working models will come in different shapes and sizes. However, it’s likely that they include a mixture of remote working and time spent in the office. As a result, there are a few ways employers can approach the Christmas Party for their hybrid team.

Option 1: A virtual Christmas party for all

Last year, we all had to reimagine how the Christmas party could be transformed into a virtual event for remote teams, with many of us working from home full time. In addition, Government restrictions prevented larger groups from meeting in person. We explored a few alternative Christmas party options, including a virtual team party with virtual entertainment from hosted games, to online masterclasses and shows. Don’t forget the Christmas Jumper competitions and Secret Santa gift sharing that helped us to celebrate together while we were apart.

Once again, you may decide that a virtual party is the best way for your hybrid team to connect this year. However, your team are more likely to prefer Option 2, if possible.

Option 2: A traditional work Christmas party for all

Virtual parties serve their purpose during difficult times. However, with more options for meeting safely available to us than last year, you may wish to take advantage of being able to meet up in person with your teams and celebrate as a group in a traditional face-to-face Christmas party.

From an office party with some bubbles and mince pies, to a sit-down meal or party away from the office, this will be an excellent way to get a hybrid team together. Perhaps, even for the first time! If you’ve welcomed new employees to your team since coronavirus restrictions began, you may not have been able to socialise as a whole team yet.

Enabling teams to meet and celebrate in-person will be so important for helping colleagues to form real connections and boost working relationships, and ultimately feel more engaged in their work and the company.

Option 3: A hybrid approach

Another option to explore could be combining a larger virtual celebration for all employees, with smaller in-person gatherings. This would enable you to maintain social bubbles between colleagues that work in similar hybrid patterns and help them to foster stronger working relationships. In addition, you could organise a virtually hosted game night, masterclass or show for the company to enjoy together, and achieve the best of both worlds.

Things to consider when planning a Christmas party this year

Hybrid working came about as a flexible way to transition out of full-time remote working which was necessary during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. A new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, has recently been identified and the Government have introduced restrictions as a precaution while little is known about the impacts of the new variant. So, while connecting in person will be especially valuable to hybrid teams, where possible and appropriate, we encourage you to take into consideration the risk level of your Christmas party and ensure it is in line with Government guidance on meeting safely.

If you would like support with your HR requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Fitzgerald HR on 0330 223 5253 or