While some professions have a reputation for being high intensity, nearly all jobs came with some degree of stress, and everyone will have busy periods. Lawyers, doctors and teachers all have a justly earned reputation for putting professionals under pressure, but ask anyone working in a shop or bar in the Christmas season, or an account at year end, and you’ll find them working as hard as anyone and desperately in need of a break.
If you’re asking your staff to put in extra time and effort during an important period, and deal with more customers, clients or simply work, it’s important for you to recognise the extra effort you’ve asked them to put in and, when normal service is restored, celebrate that somehow.
Celebrating with your employees gives you a fine line to walk, and the right thing to do differs from workplace to workplace. It might be that you need to retain some social separation from the people working under you into order to manage them effectively. In others, relaxing and joining in and will help you to be seen as a part of the team, with the authority you need to set the agenda for the team or the business.
You’ll have to judge for yourself the extent to which you can enjoy the celebrations with your team: it could be that the most effective thing you can do is approve a budget and a half day for everyone to enjoy a night out while you simply enjoy some peace and quiet.
One of the most important things you can do is choose the right venue: this gives you some control over the shape of the celebration. If you want to ensure good behaviour to avoid a depressing effect on productivity or making the wrong impression in front of clients, picking somewhere a little upmarket or, less subtly without a bar should ensure your employees have a fun, but more civilised evening.
For example, if you’re looking for somewhere to host your office Christmas party, London has plenty of options, allowing you to choose to book a restaurant, a bar, a club, or a more unusual venue like part of a museum, an exclusive member’s club or a stately home. This means that at the very least, the part of the evening that’s paid for and therefore endorsed by the company is under your control and your employees will showing the world the impression you want them to make.