The original intention of work parties was to boost morale, but this rarely happens in most workplaces for two reasons: A) they usually consist of talking about work for long periods and B) work parties are usually overshadowed by a need for everyone to bond.
If you're throwing a party because you have to, you can't really call it a party, so ditch the obligatory holiday office bash for something spontaneous and relevant. Here are ideas for 3 work parties your employees would be happy to attend.
Cater to your employees
Chances are that your office is made up of people from all walks of life and cultures (or at the very least, different regions of Oz!). So in that spirit, why not rustle up some ethnic party dishes to reflect your diverse workforce? Your employees are bound to be touched by your efforts and feel part of the team. Sure, this may require a bit of research on your part, but that's what will make for a memorable party -- and make you a memorable boss!
Another option could be to prepare small 'taster' platters of everyone's favourite foods i.e. mini meat pies or a Subway sandwich platter featuring everyone's favourite sub. Don't forget to add name cards beside each favourite item to avoid a food war (unless you want that to be the theme of your party, of course).
Host a movie party
This could be a standalone event or something to break up a long day stuck at the office. If you're snowed under with deadlines, bring the party to your employees with a movie marathon. All you really need is a laptop, projector and a hefty supply of snacks. Get super organised by emailing your office a list of films weeks in advance and ask them to vote for their top 3 choices.
For those weeks and months at work that you know are going to be stressful, get everyone through it by hosting a film party at the end of each week, or when each goal has been reached. Again, you could ask employees to vote -- this time for their favourite genres -- and screen relevant films throughout the month. For an extra special treat, you could organise an outdoor film event. There's nothing quite like fresh air, cold beer and the silver screen for a mood boost!
The 'back to work' cocktail party
Everyone needs a little jump-start when returning to work after the holidays or a long break, so break the ice with a 'first week back' office cocktail party. Generally, this will always go down well, but it can also serve as an appropriate ice breaker if you're welcoming a new teammate on board too.
Shake things up a bit (no pun intended) by hosting half the party in the office and the rest in town. Sometimes, it's good to be away from the formality of the same four walls and get together in a livelier atmosphere where bonding can become more natural. For extra brownie points, ensure your employees save on transport with party bus hire to the drinks venue. Rather than having people arrive separately, your workforce has a chance to socialise on the journey -- making for a more enjoyable night and reminding them that they are all an integral part of the team.