Break out your brightest colors and bake yourself a King Cake because today is Mardi Gras, the traditional bacchanalian celebration of the last day before Lent.
Sure, Fat Tuesday as it’s known in English, is typically associated with the days of revelry across the streets of New Orleans, but there’s no reason why they should have all the fun. In fact, the weeklong celebration of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is actually nothing more than the Brazilian equivalent of the same occasion. Even though the Brazilians seem to make our own celebrations seem relatively tame by comparison, the point is that events like Mardi Gras, like most traditions, can be enjoyed by anyone anywhere.
In light of that attitude of celebration, we’d like to focus on shared experiences and what they can mean for us in the workplace and at large.
Mardi Gras Celebrations For the Office
Okay, we all know some of the racier and even scandalous shenanigans that can ensue at the two major festivals mentioned above. Let’s be clear on one thing before we proceed; VirtualPBX is in no way suggesting that you introduce a one-way ticket to an HR violation into your own office party.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little celebration at work, and in fact, those types of social occasions are often cited as one of the best ways to strengthen interpersonal working relationships in the office. Of course there are some folks (present company included) who would love to find an excuse to party everyday, but striking a balance is important because, c’mon, we’re running a business here, right?
Remember to keep that in mind when designing a work get together. Treating employees to a Mardi Gras spread of donuts or cupcakes is likely going to be a pleasant and welcome surprise, but make sure to not make a habit of it. Because once you’ve conditioned your team to expect a party on Boxing Day, the law of diminishing returns is likely to have kicked in completely at that point.
How to Party With Remote Workers
Obviously, we are big proponents of the benefits of working remotely.
The logistics involved in coordinating a party across multiple offices and time zones can be pretty overwhelming. Unless a holiday coincides with occasions like sales meetings or trade shows when your team in one place, in which case you should definitely throw a party, you’ll have to get creative to make the event special.
Because we use our own Business Phone System Dash to communicate with each other during work days, we can have a widely distributed workforce that feels like we’re just a cube away. Plus, seeing as how we know how to cut loose between rolling out new products and features, we also know a thing or two about making the most of a celebration. That’s why we’ve been able to put together these quick suggestions on how to make your next party fun for everyone, even those workers who can’t actually make it.
- Think about what services are available for all of the people on your team and coordinate them. For instance, if you want to have a March Madness pizza party, you can surprise your team members who work from home by arranging for everyone to have a pizza delivered directly to them.
- For Halloween (which we obviously take quite seriously), you can leverage Video Conferencing to have a costume competition that everyone can participate in.
- Similar to having a distributed pizza party, if you ever have an offsite for your office employees, make sure to keep the remote workers feeling included. You can do that as easily as just sending them a pair of movie tickets, but it’s important to make sure there is an equitably sense of how in-office and remote workers are treated.
- Involve remote workers in the planning process as best you can. One easy way to make people feel like they had an immediate impact on the quality of an office party is to make a team playlist where everyone can submit music suggestions, then the completed list can be shared with everyone in or out of the office.
- And most importantly, but perhaps seemingly contradictory to what we’ve listed here, remember to not try and force anything. The positive benefits of letting off some steam in the workplace are great, but parties, more so than most events, aren’t likely to be enjoyed when it feels rushed or obligatory. Nobody likes, “mandatory fun time,” so if it feels like it’s too much, maybe shelve the party until next time when it makes more sense.
What’s your Mardi Gras Look Like?
Taking a page right out of our playbook for throwing a fun party when everyone is in different offices, we’d like to know how you celebrate at work. It doesn’t have to be for Mardi Gras, but if you have a good story or picture of how you were able to involve employees from multiple locations in a celebration, we’d love to hear about it!
Share your stories with us on Twitter or Facebook. Until then, be safe, have fun, and have a happy and productive day at the office, no matter where that may be!