The COVID-19 pandemic has had one of the largest impacts on businesses worldwide. Workplaces and stores have been forced to shut down and work remotely for the past year. However, as the vaccine becomes more and more readily available to the average person, many businesses and workplaces have started to open their doors again. Even with this, many employees are burnt out from having to work remotely for almost a year.
If you, as their boss, colleague, and friend, are looking to award them for their work and help them get back on track to start working in-person, consider hosting some sort of covid-friendly work party!
If you are able to, throwing a work party outside would be an easy way to have your employees together while also maintaining distance and CDC guidelines. An outdoor space, in combination with distance protocols and masks, could wipe out any spread of COVID-19. Find a large space where tables, desks, and chairs could be set up for each employee and space each set 3-6ft apart from each other. Use local parks, lawns, or even a parking lot if that is all that is available to you!
When setting up your outdoor work party, consider getting a tent or canopy for the group if the weather is questionable. If that is out of your price range, however, make sure that you choose a location that is well-shaded or has easy access to some form of shelter. In addition to this, make sure that you invest in some sort of tent for the food. Even just a 10×10 tent that fits over the table would be perfect!
One of the most important things to do when setting up a low-risk work party is to get prepackaged meals. Have your employees fill out a form of what they would like to eat and drink ahead of time.
You can then utilize catering services that package meals in boxes or containers to help reduce any sort of contamination. You can also get snacks and drinks that are already in their own containers and organizers. On top of this, you can also make sure that no one is contaminating the meals by assigning desks and delivering the food yourself while wearing gloves.
If this does not work for you, however, just have one employee or have yourself just handing out the meals underneath the tent. Although it may be more work than normal, your employees will certainly appreciate the effort!
PPE is the most important aspect of your work party. Make sure that everyone there has a mask or two, hand sanitizer, and wipes to clean anything that they touch. Make sure that you, as their boss, are encouraging them to sanitize everything before and after they eat. If possible, consider getting some acrylic desk shields to use while your employees are eating and their masks are off.
There are hundreds of different ones available, and you could even end up re-using them in the office! Just make sure that each one is sanitized well and that there is no risk for contamination or sickness.
If having an in-person party is absolutely impossible, consider still hosting one online. Utilize platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet to allow all of your employees to see each other face-to-face again. You can still give the same speeches, and you could allow your employees to socialize like normal through the use of applications like break-out rooms.
If you really want to make the meeting as normal and rewarding as possible, send each of your employees and food delivery service gift cards (like DoorDash, GrubHub, or Postmates) so that they will be able to order their food and have it during or after the meeting!
Overall, finding a way to have a covid-friendly work party is one of the best ways to reward your employees for their hard work and effort over the past year. They deserve to know that you respect and appreciate them and are thankful that they have stuck with the company while having to work remotely.
If possible, do everything in your power to hold an outdoor and safe party so that your employees could socialize in person. Invest in tents, seating, and catered food to give the party the most normal feeling as possible. If you are unable to do this, try to hold a party online and still reward your employees with free food or other items.