Given the COVID-19 pandemic, should we cancel our annual holiday party?

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Question

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, should we cancel our annual holiday party?

Answer

We would certainly recommend not having an in-person event this year, which could put your company, employees, customers, and community at risk. If your event spreads the virus, your employees could become sick, much of your workforce may need to quarantine, and your event could make the news.

We understand, however, that cancelling this event could be disappointing to you and your employees. One way to spread joy, but not the virus, would be to host a virtual party. You could provide gift cards to local eateries or food delivery services, organize a home decorating or ugly sweater contest, and facilitate interactive games.

You could also offer employees the option of having the cost of the gift card they would otherwise receive donated to a charity (while still having the virtual shindig). Or, if a virtual party isn’t feasible or employees aren’t in the mood, you could donate the entire cost of the celebration to a worthwhile organization. If you take either charitable approach, we recommend allowing employees to help you choose the charities, so they feel like they’ve participated in the giving.

Answer by Emily Schlaudecker

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