How to Plan a Safe End of Year Work Party with Alcohol

Planning a safe work Christmas party with alcohol

As a young 20-something newspaper journalist (too many years ago to mention), I went to some memorable work Christmas parties. This was back when our biggest advertisers would throw extravagant end of year get-togethers for the local media with free-flowing alcohol and a laissez faire attitude. Let’s just say there are photos of me out there somewhere doing the limbo in a bikini. But I digress!

Oh how things have changed, and for good reason. For employers operating in this much more safety-focussed world, alcohol at work functions can be seen as highly problematic. And that’s because the good stuff has been the catalyst for much bad behaviour, and not just by journalists. Sexual assault, drunken injuries, telling the boss what you really think of him …the list goes on.

And here we are again, contemplating what to do for the end of year shindig and agonising over whether the emphasis should be on safety or Singapore Slings.

After a tough year, it’s important for teams to be able to come together to celebrate achievements, blow off some steam and enjoy some well-deserved festive cheer. But, when alcohol is involved, it’s crucial to prioritise safety to ensure everyone has a memorable and incident-free evening. Here are some essential tips for hosting a safe work Christmas party involving alcohol.

  1. Set Clear Expectations

Before the event takes place, communicate clear guidelines regarding behaviour expectations during the party. Emphasise that all company policies relating to harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate conduct apply at social events as well. In other words, just because you’re no longer on the clock, doesn’t mean you can be a jerk.

  1. Encourage Responsible Drinking

Promote responsible alcohol consumption by offering a variety of non-alcoholic beverages alongside alcoholic options. Ensure there are plenty of water stations available throughout the venue.

  1. Provide Transportation Options

Consider arranging a shuttle service or designated drivers to ensure employees have safe alternatives if they choose not to drive after consuming alcohol.

  1. Offer Food and Snacks

Providing substantial food options can help slow down alcohol absorption in the body and reduce intoxication levels.

  1. Monitor Alcohol Consumption

Designate trained staff or volunteers who can discreetly monitor guests’ alcohol intake throughout the event without being intrusive or judgmental.

  1. Implement Drink Ticket System

To control the flow of alcoholic beverages, consider using a drink ticket system where each attendee receives a limited number of tickets redeemable for drinks throughout the night.

  1. Create an Inclusive Environment

Ensure that non-drinkers or those who prefer not to consume alcohol, feel comfortable attending by offering engaging activities that don’t revolve solely around drinking.

  1. Plan Entertainment Alternatives

Organise entertainment options such as games, live music, photo booths, or raffles to keep attention away from excessive drinking.

  1. Be Mindful of Dietary Restrictions

Take into account any dietary restrictions or allergies when planning the menu, ensuring that there are suitable options for everyone, including those who may not consume alcohol.

  1. Provide Resources and Support

Make information available about local taxi’s or ride-sharing apps to encourage responsible transportation choices. Additionally, ensure that HR representatives or designated personnel are available throughout the event to address any concerns or issues promptly.

By prioritising safety, you can create a work party environment where employees feel comfortable, respected, and able to enjoy themselves responsibly. Remember that fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere this festive season will contribute to stronger team bonds and lasting memories for all involved. Cheers to a safe and enjoyable holiday celebration! I’m off to dig out that bikini – just kidding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *