How to plan a work function

When you really want a party


Should you have your event during work hours? A lot of people have after-hours responsibilities that are often not considered, like family commitments. A lovely long lunch ensures that everyone can join in without having to sacrifice personal plans or deal with the hassle of babysitters.


Let your employees have a say in where you go and what you do. Ask around the office, or send around a simple online poll that lets everyone make suggestions and vote on plans.


This is a bit of a minefield. As an employer, you may want to provide drinks at your party. But with the Health and Safety at Work Act, you are required to keep your team safe at work functions. So it’s a good idea to explain to your employees what you expect from them at the event - they are still representing your company and they are still required to behave respectfully to other team members. For more info, read the recommendations from NZ’s law society.

No Alcohol

Not everyone drinks. Studies have shown that Gen Z’s and Gen X’s drink far less than Baby Boomers . So, consider including mocktails on your drinks list.

Some Basic Don’ts

Definitely don’t...

  • tell people what to wear.
  • pressure people to attend.
  • feel pressure to put on a party at all!
You don’t actually have to have a party

Here’s a sobering fact: a survey of 700 office workers revealed that a whopping 75% of employees

weren’t actively looking forward to their office Christmas party, the biggest work function of the year. So maybe, it’s worth considering an alternative to the classic work party.

Not having a party opens you up to some interesting options. Here are some of them:

Invest In Your Office

Don’t be afraid to ask your employees if they would want something more permanent than a party. It could be a new coffee machine? An extra-cosy chair? A larger desk? Some artwork ?


Ask your staff if they’d prefer to take an afternoon off to volunteer locally, or perhaps they’d be up for offering some advice to inexperienced people in their field. Depending on your business, you could also offer up some company services for a cause. Alternatively, make a donation on behalf of your business.

Relax In Nature

Being outdoors and close to nature has a de-stressing effect, lowers blood pressure, and improves your ability to focus . So, why not take a leaf out of Google’s book and consider a summer picnic on the beach or at a local park.

Be Mindful Of Other Traditions

Different cultures have different holidays and celebrations over the course of the year. Have an informal gathering that acknowledges and appreciates the multicultural richness of your business.

Hopefully these pointers have given you food for thought when planning for your next work function.

Good luck!