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HR Managers – how are you feeling about your Christmas do??

4th December 2023

Amidst the hustle and bustle of December (present buying, Christmas-day planning, making sure you visit those Christmas markets…), there’s still a stretch of work weeks left, and for many HR managers, the looming highlight (or nightmare!) on their professional calendar is none other than the office Christmas do.

The office shindig is a time when colleagues get to unwind and strengthen bonds, and companies get to show appreciation for their hardworking employees. However, the blend of high spirits and free-flowing drinks can sometimes pose a challenge for HR managers.

Being a party pooper is the last thing anyone wants, but for employers and HR teams, a bit of preparation goes a long way during the festive season. Here are some key areas to for HR Managers to keep in mind to help ease the pain:


While some may cringe at the thought of reiterating company codes of conduct for social events, setting clear behaviour guidelines is key for some organisations. If you think it necessary, remind employees that the Christmas party is still a work-related event, and the company will be accountable for any disruptive actions.


A generous bar allowance is a common gesture of appreciation, but with alcohol often a factor in workplace tellings-off, a little caution is advised. If offering free drinks, balance it out with accessible soft drinks. Maybe even issue drink tokens to keep tabs on alcohol consumption.

Social Media

The prevalence of social media can demand some guidance, especially during work-related gatherings. Clearly communicate guidelines – if you’d rather avoid a flood of party pics on social media, explain why and highlight potential repercussions for inappropriate content.


Whether hosting externally or attending a planned party, consider the entertainment carefully. Ensure it caters to a diverse audience. For instance, a casino-themed night might not resonate with everyone, considering varying cultural and personal preferences.

Absence Management

The perennial issue of increased absences during the festive season can be mitigated. Consider scheduling the party on a Friday or, if it falls on a weekday, communicate expectations for the next day. Could a later start or earlier finish be on the cards?

The Christmas do should be a time to get together as a team, bond, have fun and celebrate the successes of the year. If you are the one in charge of planning the do, we really hope it all goes to plan and that you manage to have some fun yourself too!

Merry Christmas.

Seven are experts in FMCG, consumer and retail recruitment.

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