With the global pandemic set to cancel Christmas parties as we know them this year, 72% have come to realise the value of festive fun, agreeing it enables them to bond with colleagues and over a third (34%) saying it helps teams to work more efficiently and effectively together.
The new data from O2 Business has found that while 39% admit they previously saw Christmas parties as a chance to simply unwind, faced with the reality of it being taken away, 54% say they underestimated the importance they have in boosting morale and keeping the team connected.
Indeed, two thirds (66%) agree they would benefit from a Christmas celebration this year more than ever before and business leaders are being encouraged to adapt their usual way of marking the end of the year, with a quarter (25%) saying it would feel a shame if there wasn’t an end of year get together of some kind.
Despite 35% admitting they’re facing video conferencing fatigue, the majority (61%) plan to still partake and look forward to spending time with colleagues chatting about something other than work, with 83% admitting they miss seeing teammates in the office day-to-day.
For SMBs in particular, O2 Business research reveals this can be a great time to re-energise employees ahead of the new year as almost a quarter (24%) of employees within a small or medium business (under 250 employees) say a virtual celebration will help them feel more connected to their team members.
There are other benefits to take from virtual events this year, as 47% admit they won’t miss having to travel and 39% are looking forward to not getting carried away with spending at the bar!
Maria Fernandez, Trading SMB Director at O2 Business said: “Christmas is traditionally a time of year when employers give something back by organising an event where everyone can let their hair down and have some fun, which in turn has a positive impact on team morale.
This year will be a little different, but with innovative local businesses diversifying and offering new experiences online, it can also make for a great opportunity to support a fellow business too.
Whatever you’re doing this festive season, we understand the importance of keeping connected – now more than ever before – which is why O2 Business provides businesses with strong and reliable tech solutions, enabling you to bring everyone together and spread the Christmas cheer remotely.”
As well as bringing everyone together – albeit virtually – to thank teams for their hard work and resilience, other options workers said they’d appreciate include receiving a voucher to treat themselves (40%), gifted time off at Christmas (36%) or simply receiving a bottle of fizz (16%).
To help businesses mark the end of 2020 in a meaningful way, O2 Business has partnered with Gina Brown at Brown Bear Events to provide five top tips of inspiration on how to make a virtual celebration special during these extraordinary times:
How about sending employees themed bespoke wreath-making gift boxes for them to create and enjoy, accompanied by a wreath making workshop online, for people to put their skills to the test.
For an extra special addition, brand the boxes with company logos and include gifts that could inspire employees working from the home space, such as note books including positive quotes, or a thank you letter from the CEO.
For example, get a live bespoke juke box performance from a band via video call. This can be tailored to team preferences and participants can submit requests during the virtual performance and even join in with the singing.
For example, offering virtual yoga or meditation classes to keep them feeling healthy both in their body and mind during lockdown.
Perhaps you could create a competition with prizes for the member of staff who completes the greatest number of miles biking, or average number of steps per day, or the most exercise classes.
For information about how O2 Business can support you and your employees, please visit http://www.o2.co.uk/business.
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Notes to Editors
Censuswide surveyed 2,000 office workers. Fieldwork was carried out 17.11.20- 23.11.20
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