Elena Deeley

Why Virtual Christmas Parties Will Be Important More Than Ever for Mental Health Welfare

Cite This
Elena Deeley, (2020, December 25). Why Virtual Christmas Parties Will Be Important More Than Ever for Mental Health Welfare. Psychreg on Organisational Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/virtual-christmas-parties-mental-health/
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No doubt, every sector of the global economy has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made many businesses adapt to the new ‘normal’, of observing the government, and social distancing guidelines, aimed at keeping both clients and employees safe. As a result of the pandemic, the number of employees working from home has increased. 

After getting used to this new way of working, organisations are beginning to realise that the virtual way of working can be as productive as being physically present. However, if business owners neglect all the important social aspects of the workplace, workers can still experience a negative impact on their job satisfaction and even their mental health.

Cezanne HR developed a league table to showcase the different and most popular socially distant work party ideas that employees stated that they would most be willing to take part in this Christmas, which includes: pub quiz, team dinner, escape room, wine tasting, murder mystery, cooking class, zoo live streaming, karaoke, dancing, etc. 

These creative party ideas are fun ways that employees can still have their Christmas party celebrations and remain safe and healthy,  which can provide an essential boost to team morale as well as employees’ mental health. The rest of this article will explain why having a Christmas work party social annually is still extremely important, particularly now more than ever due to the pandemic. 

Why are work socials important for employees’ mental health?

Teams and businesses should be responsible and accountable for the mental health of their employees. Although, it may seem trivial adding and continuing social events during this pandemic, coupled with localised and national lockdown, it is essential to keep these going, most especially for those isolated and quarantined. These can come as small perks to employees. 

Sue Lingard, Marketing Director at Cezanne HR stated that: ‘In fact, figures released by the ONS in August reported a significant increase in the number of working adults experiencing depression since lockdown began. 

This reflects research Cezanne HR ran earlier this year where 56% of respondents said that working from home had had a negative impact on their mental health, with more than half citing socialising with their colleagues as the thing they missed the most closely followed by office banter.’

Furthermore, it is no doubt that the social activities of workers are also suffering, as they are missing out on crucial workplace socialisation. Even though it seems impossible, organisations are beginning to find ways in which social events can continue, virtually, and Christmas parties shouldn’t be an exception, because of its positive impact on the mental health of workers.

Company culture

When it comes to job satisfaction, company’s culture plays a very huge part. The best candidates for new roles can be enticed or repelled as a result of the reputation of a company’s culture. Employees like seeing themselves as a second family. This is what makes the workplace friendly, welcoming, and lively. 

When there is a consistent social calendar in an organization, it can also make clients more attracted to the organisation. A business can portray itself as valuing a good work-life balance by providing regular social events.

Bringing together teams

It can be seemingly impossible creating a workplace friendship between all colleagues, especially in large businesses. Without work socials, a good number of colleagues may never meet, with teams spaced throughout a building or even in different locations. 

Departments can meet, and build a bond, by bringing together teams in the same space, even socially distant, and in a virtual space. In addition to making daily work easier, this can boost morale in an obvious sense, such that they would be able to form new friendships.

 It can be daunting, and some may feel reluctant emailing and calling unknown departments that are unknown, so connecting during social events can make things easier.

Reward achievement

Rewarding when a goal has been achieved could be anything from large end-of-year parties honouring the hard work for the last 12 months.

The morale of the employees can also be boosted by recognizing individual milestones, such as celebrating when a colleague finally got an industry-specific qualification or when a colleague finally influenced a difficult client to sign a deal. 

This individual can feel valued by including the whole team in the celebration, which will also inspire others to strive to achieve the same fit because they have witnessed other colleagues being celebrated.

Networking

This gives participants a taste of the company’s culture. Social events don’t necessarily only include those on the payroll. Friendly competitors within the sector, suppliers, and clients can also be invited. 

Both in and out of the workplace, networking with these individuals can provide essential contacts that will help with career progression. This can give staff who are not used to networking a sense of value and pride, and also heightened their morale. 

Uncertainty of the pandemic has many worried about the future, so maintaining staff morale is more important now than ever.  

Without the right support, mental health can quickly deteriorate, and a simply friendly face, plus a few hours to take away the focus from a busy working day can turn things for the better.


Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.


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