The science behind office parties: Why we need them

If you’re a rundown office worker who thinks socialising with your colleagues is the worst fate imaginable, then read on and see why you should care about the office party.

Ah, the office party, whether it’s the annual Christmas gathering at a cheap hotel’s function room, or just an end of month shindig because sales targets were met, these booze addled, small talk heavy gatherings are pretty essential for a cohesive work environment. So, if you’re a boss who can’t be bothered to shell out every so often on a free bar, or you’re a rundown office worker who thinks socialising with your colleagues is the worst fate imaginable, then read on and see why you should care about the office party.

Blow off steam

The main reason that bosses like to hold office parties is because – as well as rewarding your service – they want you to blow off steam. Being able to relaxand go a little bit crazy can have a massive effect on your relationship with the office and you’ll start to think that maybe going to work every day isn’t the most horrible way to spend your time. This is especially important if you’re not the type of person who has a thriving social life and so might rely on those parties as your only social interaction … outside of World of Warcraft … if people still play that?

Humanised bosses

I’m one of those people who, regardless of how a nice a boss is,will still hate them. I think it’s a gut reaction that a lot of people have to authority figures, but enough about my personal issues; the office party is a great way to take them out of context and maybe start to see them as a real human and not just that person who makes you sit in a room with relative strangers and then pays you for it every month. By accepting that they are just doing their job and that they are a real human will improve your success in the role and your enjoyment of your work life.

Colleague interaction

This is related to the previous entry, but actually seeing your colleagues as potential friends will have an incredibly positive effect on you. You will no longer see them as the annoying people who borrow your pens and don’t return them becausethey become people you can share a laugh with, make fun of the boss with, and have a good old fashioned gossip about Sandra from HR (as every HR department in the world has a Sandra). Some of my closest friends have been former colleagues, who for most of them, I thought were real idiots the first time I met them, but because of office parties and socialising outside of the office environment, I came to learn that we actually have a lot in common.

Try new things

This one only applies to the bosses who have a little imagination. After many hotel function rooms and pubs, sometimes a boss will try and think of new ways to engage the staff and force them into having fun in different ways. It could be going to a comedy show, a one day food and drink festival, or even going to bingo for a laugh … although if you have a really unimaginative boss, like I had once they would probably think everyone sat in the same room playing online bingo games would be exactly the same. It’s not, by the way. This will make the staff feel more fulfilled if they try something that they have never done before, as it will make them feel like their work life is meaningful and leading to new experiences.

Happy office

This is for any bosses reading this and it’s what the entire article has been building towards. If you keep your staff entertained with promises of parties and free booze, they will work more cohesively as a unit and harder as an individual and so I don’t need to tell you that if they start working better, they will be more efficient and make more money for you, so not only are office parties important for the individual staff members, they are also vitally important to the success of the business as a whole.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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