What employees want in 2021

A number of months in the past, with COVID-19 charges falling, many firms had been slowly returning to in-person events, conferences, and team-building gatherings. However with the emergence of omicron (and reviews of the variant making an early vacation occasion in Norway a superspreader event) some companies are once more placing a short lived maintain on in-person celebrations.

So the place does that depart the standard workplace vacation occasion this 12 months? A number of weeks in the past we requested CEOs and different executives what that they had deliberate. However we had been additionally curious: What do employees really want out of their firm’s vacation occasion this 12 months?

Based on a survey of 400 companies by authorized group and office consultancy, Seyfarth at Work, roughly 40% of firms will likely be holding vacation workplace events this season. (The consultancy performed an analogous survey in 2020, when solely 6% of firms stated they’d ship invitations for an in-person gathering.)


We requested Quick Firm readers on LinkedIn and Twitter what they would favor their firm do to mark the vacation season. In both informal polls (which collectively gathered greater than 5,000 responses), many respondents stated they would favor to obtain reward playing cards, over exhibiting as much as an in-person occasion.

A senior director of person expertise, Janine Nock participated in our ballot, and agreed to share her ideas round group occasions. Nock identified that Christmas or different holiday-themed events can exclude some staff. “There’s a have to simplify a few of this over-indulgence of Christmas actions, particularly since not everyone celebrates Christmas,” Nock says.

Being considerate of individuals’s totally different existence, backgrounds, and time constraints could make a distinction to staff. Noticeably, fairly just a few respondents from our polls echoed this sentiment.

Some would moderately spend time bonding with their coworkers by way of hands-on actions, whether or not by way of a enjoyable shared expertise,  a charity donation, or a extra close-knit gathering, possibly damaged down by particular person groups.

Nock agrees, saying firms usually skip out correctly soliciting worker suggestions forward of time, selecting to advertise (and even mandate) attendance at over-the-top celebrations.  “Truthfully, I believe it’s studying the room, partaking the temperature of the group. Typically it’s sending out an [employee] survey of ‘what would you love to do?’ However I don’t assume any of these items ought to be compelled, and if it’s going to be a gathering, no person ought to really feel excluded.”

In the event you’re a supervisor or firm chief, hold perspective round how high-pressure this time of 12 months might be for employees—particularly in a second 12 months of the pandemic. Usually, the final month of the 12 months is a mad rush for employees. Lots of your staff are trying ahead to taking it slower and discovering time to decompress earlier than the brand new 12 months begins. “Be respectful of individuals’s time,” says Nock. “They’ve so much occurring in December [even] exterior of the vacations.”