An office Christmas party is the opportunity to send out the year on a high and leave everyone in good spirits, but only if no one comes to harm. On top of planning what everyone is going to be eating and drinking, it’s very important that you consider the risks of your party and how you can mitigate them.
It may be tempting to say the more the merrier, but it’s essential that you know in advance the maximum number of people who are going to be attending. Do you want to keep it to staff only, or allow plus-ones? Will staff be able to bring children or do you want to keep it adults-only?
Setting a head count in advance doesn’t just let you set a catering budget, it also allows you to keep the party safe. Your office might be able to safely accommodate all of your staff on a normal work day, but will it still be safe at double the capacity? If not, you should host the party at an outside venue that is designed for larger numbers.
If children are coming, make sure that there is someone dedicated to attending them at all times, which may involve hiring outside help. You may also want to set up a separate space for them where they have their own activities, food and drink to keep them occupied. Bored, wandering children can be a disaster at a Christmas party.
Whether the fire alarm goes off at exactly the wrong moment or somebody injures themselves cutting the cake, it’s important that you have at least one person who stays sober to make sure everyone is kept safe should something go wrong.
The risk of an incident always increases significantly when alcohol is involved. Whoever you choose to be responsible for the party must have first aid training and ideally will know how to handle someone who is under the influence.
If you don’t want anyone in your company to be left out of the festivities or don’t have anyone capable of taking on the role, consider bringing in outside help in the form of a security officer.
Our friendly and professional security guards are available for one-off events, letting you relax knowing that everyone is in safe hands. You will also benefit from a free risk assessment of your site so that we are aware of any potential hazards and evacuation procedures.
Before your party, you should already know who will need additional travel arrangements so that you can book buses or taxis or organise carpooling with designated drivers in advance.
People attending from outside the office should be provided with detailed public transport directions and the same pre-arranged transport options as your staff. This is another reason why you should know exactly who is attending long before the party.
While someone who isn’t drinking can safely make their own arrangements, anyone who has had alcohol shouldn’t be sent off into the night without any help. This is another area where security guards can assist by escorting your attendees to and from cabs or to the closest public transport.
If your office doesn’t already have security, make sure you hire one for the night of your Christmas party so that no uninvited guests make their way in. Even if there is already office security, you may want to consider hiring additional officers for the night who can monitor the party itself rather than remain at the front desk.
Security officers can monitor for theft, prevent inappropriate behaviour, diffuse aggressive individuals and provide first aid. You may think that such measures are not necessary for your staff, but situations can quickly escalate when there is alcohol involved. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
For small gatherings, one security guard should be enough to keep everyone safe but for larger companies you may need a team. To find out what level of security would be best for your Christmas party, get in touch with our award-winning customer services team now on 0800 772 3786.
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