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Hybrids, face-to-face or online? The 2021 office holiday parties

With COVID-19 rates falling, many companies have slowly returned to in-person meetings, conferences, and team-building gatherings. And what about the traditional office holiday party this year? Surveys show that co-workers want to meet in person at the traditional “firm parties”, but most companies, given the unfolding of the pandemic, tend to opt for virtual get-togethers – as happened in 2020.

According to a poll by human resources consultancy Robert Half carried out on a LinkedIn page with 5,400 people in November, the majority (53%) of employees want a celebration outside the office. Thirty percent prefer to do a charity action, such as distributing food baskets, 11% choose the virtual celebration and 6% want to get together at the company.

Another survey of 400 businesses by legal organization and workplace consultancy, Seyfarth at Work, found that approximately 40% of companies will be holding holiday office parties this season – the consultancy conducted a similar survey in 2020, when only 6% of companies said they would send invites for an in-person gathering.

Among 10 companies interviewed by Valor, eight will meet via videoconference. Only one will organize a party in a buffet for employees, without companions, and another set up a hybrid schedule, with 90% of the staff at a distance and 10% meeting in an open-air environment, at the same time.

With the advance of vaccination and the drop in the number of covid-19 cases, there is a climate for everyone to be eager to resume the tradition of face-to-face social gatherings, but experts point out that it is the role of companies to pay attention to sanitary protocols and not contribute with a new wave of contamination.