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Office Christmas Party: Ensuring Safe and Healthy Fun

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As the year slowly draws to a close, most offices swing into that convivial, holiday mood and get ready for a Christmas party. However, as a business owner. a lot of responsibility rests on your shoulders to not only ensure everyone has a fun-filled, memorable event, but also that it is done under a safe and healthy atmosphere.

One sticking point when people are having a bash is the danger of alcohol overindulgence. As a matter of fact, a survey that polled 3,500 businesses in the UK showed that 80% of bosses cancelled office Christmas parties partly to avoid incidences of fighting and flirting influenced by alcohol intoxication. In a particular year, Walmart tried to ban office romance or “lustful glances” in the workplace.

But both the boss and the staff can have a good time at the office Christmas party: the secret is in making good preparation and making sure everyone keeps to the basic health and safety regulations. Here are five tips to keep excitement flowing with peace of mind for that day and the day after.

Make Sure Everyone Familiarizes Themselves with Health and Safety Tips

Some offices choose places specifically designed for entertainment and leisure like bar, restaurant and hotels for their office Christmas party. Others prefer to host it at the office. If you choose your place of work for your end-of-year party, make sure to get everyone familiarized with the nearest fire extinguishers, exit points, and any other safety equipment.

If the party is taking place outside office hours or in the evening, you should make sure that you notify the building security or at least know their arrangements so you and your staff don’t run the risk of getting locked in and unable to escape in the event of an emergency.

It is also a good idea to involve trained safety reps and office first-aiders when organizing your party, as they can easily help you spot any potential dangers quickly and advise you on how to circumvent them.

Remind Everyone of the Company’s Drug and Alcohol Limit Policy

If it’s a conventional party where alcohol is served, there will always be the typical employee who will want to take excess, get intoxicated and constitute a nuisance and a danger to others. You must not allow such a scenario. So, don’t fail to remind everyone drinking to keep it within the limit allowed in the company’s drug and alcohol policy, since they’re still in the place of work and the stipulated punishment could apply if violated.

This is particularly important for staff members who drive to work, as the body system can store alcohol up to the next morning, and impair their vision and concentration level on the road.

Tell Employees to Make Adequate Travel Arrangements after the Party

Since your office party will likely go on till after office hours and perhaps late in the evening, as the boss you have a duty to your employees to ensure their safety home while they’re still within your office premises. Remind them to make adequate preparations on their travel home after the event with a number of convenient options like booking a taxi in advance, organizing for a friend or family member to pick them up, or organizing a minibus to transport a group they belong to.

Take Down Any After-Party Pictures and Posts That Can Potentially Damage Office Reputation

There’s a social media craze today where people want to be the first to post pictures and comments of social fun events on public mediums in return for flowery compliments. Of course, this can be part of the fun, but due process guidelines must be laid down in such circumstances for everyone to follow.

Don’t Forget It’s Still a Formal Environment and Improper Behaviours Should Not Be Condoned

This particular should be spelt out so no one is carried away and in the excitement begin to get mischievous or consider harassing a colleague, whether physically or sexually. Also, treat any complaints seriously.

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