Inclusive festivities in the office

There’s nothing quite like work festivities. 

Take the office party – a time to nervously drain glass after glass of champagne (wow, you’re on to your third already?), endure your boss’ best dance moves and overshare about your personal life with that girl from the other department you think you’ll never bump into again (you will). 

Since many holidays revolve around faith-based cultural beliefs, It can also be a time when the celebrations and traditions of some employees are either sidelined or completely erased, in favour of others. 

Did you know that 76% of employees agree that workplace culture affects their productivity? By creating a culture of either exclusion or inclusion in your organisation, you directly influence staff morale, motivation and ultimately turnover. 

We’ve compiled some tips to help you encourage a culture of inclusion within your workplace. 

Optional Attendance 

While this does little to prevent feelings of alienation and exclusion, some members of staff may become understandably distressed if mandated to engage in festivities which contradicts their own beliefs or views. Some may also want to avoid the festivities for personal reasons. Why not adapt company celebrations into a two-stage party, where the first stage is more business appropriate–potentially with a virtual element for any employees working remotely– the second stage more free flowing. 

Above all, the prerogative of your employees should always be respected. 


When it comes to your end of year celebrations, you may want to celebrate the company culture rather than predominant christmas culture (did somebody say branded bunting?). 

Where possible we’d recommend you use secularised decorations which don’t reflect the traditions of one culture over another. Alternatively, you could choose to display all the cultural holidays celebrated by your staff throughout your office. Not only will this set a higher standard of diversity and equality within your organisation, you’ll boost employee engagement too! 

Food & Drink 

Those of us with dietary requirements have far too much experience consoling ourselves with only a handful of olives for sustenance while everyone else gorges on the buffet. 

If your office party permits alcohol consumption, those who can’t eat much are downright playing with fire (don’t be surprised if they’re the first to pass out behind the photocopier). 

When planning an office party, you may want to consider the following: 

Do we need to provide halal or kosher food options? 

Are any members of our team vegetarian or vegan? 

Is anyone in our team lactose or gluten intolerant? If so, how can we prevent cross contamination? 

Are all of our employees comfortable if we serve alcohol? 

An office party is a celebration for your people, a reward for all their hard work and dedication. As such, it should cater to the needs and preferences of everyone in the company. 

Team collaboration 

The best way to make sure you include everyone is to include everyone. 

Invite feedback and suggestions from your employees to ensure your festivities are inclusive and celebrate the cultural traditions of the entire team. You can read our article on compassion in the workplace if you would like more advice centred around work culture.

We wrote another guide on office festivities, talking about the do’s and don’ts for office parties. Check it out if you want more celebration advice!

If you want to get in touch with our team, then click here to contact us.

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