Published on Jun 10, 2019
Once you’ve decided on the main elements of your Christmas party, it is time to knuckle down on the nitty gritty stuff – and something top of the debate list is whether or not to invite plus ones. After all, Christmas parties are the time when personalities begin to shine, barriers are broken, and hair is let loose. It’s a time for everyone to get to know each other that bit better and celebrate the achievements of the past year, seeing it out with champagne, dance moves and delicious food, surrounded by those you spend most of your working life with. The decision to invite plus ones is one that many debate year on year and there are many valid points both for and against.
Saying yes to bringing plus ones to the work Christmas party can be a great way to really get into the spirit of the festive season and get to know your employees on more of a personal level than just an employee. While meeting the parents is definitely the nerviest, meeting your partner’s boss is another biggie in a relationship and therefore they are likely to be on their best behaviour, wanting to impress! It is also a great chance for other halves to get an insight into the company that their partner works for and the employee will feel grateful you’ve given the opportunity to get their partner involved and see how the business works. After all, they spend more time with their work colleagues than their other half, so for them to see who they are working with every day can make them feel more involved too.
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The festive season is a time when partners want to spend time together and by allowing plus ones, it means it is more likely for the employees to come. The addition of plus ones also makes it much more of a social function, rather than just an extension of your working environment. It can make the atmosphere more relaxed and chilled as everyone will be less likely to be talking about work issues and instead getting to know one another’s partners, mingling and mixing with different crowds. New characters can also make the event more fun, bringing in new party tricks, jokes and insights.
For smaller companies plus ones can be great for increasing the numbers to further better the experience and make it more of a party than a gathering. Check out our UK shared Christmas party nights, perfect for smaller groups.
On the other hand, those that are single don’t always appreciate the idea of plus ones at a party. They already feel shunted out in what many consider the season of “romance” and the thought of having to turn up alone to a party which is filled with couples is enough to put anyone off their eggnog. Some employers consider extending the plus one option to friends instead of just a significant other to a Christmas party. While this can be great in the way it won’t discourage them from not attending due to the thought of a room filled with married couples, it can also have its pitfalls. You would need to carefully consider that some friends can be a bit more unpredictable than other halves, less likely to stay professional and probably a bit more likely to take advantage of the free bar as they don’t have as strong a loyalty as a romantic partner might have. This is definitely not always the case, but something to consider as a possibility!
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It is also important to consider that bringing plus ones to the work Christmas party can alter the whole feel and vibe of a party. Those who turn up with a plus one can feel a sense of responsibility for them, particularly if they haven’t been introduced to anyone in the workforce before. They can feel a constant need to check their plus one is having a good time and getting on well with other guests feeling too concerned about them having a good time to mingle and really relax themselves. This could affect the overall vibe you would want at your Christmas party, so is a definite point to take into consideration.
Be sure to also consider the added cost of having plus ones attend the Christmas party – you are effectively doubling your costs per head, so this is something to think about. Some choose to pay for their own employee, but have their plus ones contribute for their place to attend.
There are a myriad of points both for and against the inviting of plus ones to the work Christmas party for you to think about before making any final decisions. Why not put it forward to your employees for a vote to see how they feel about it? You could give options such as no plus one’s, plus one’s, plus one’s but they have to contribute a small fee etc. tailoring the options depending on what your main concerns are. Whichever you choose, remember neither is wrong and at the end of the day the party is there to celebrate the achievements and successes of the last year. The final decision is down to you and it’s up to you to outweigh what are the most important factors for you.