Office parties: Show up or slink off?

Office parties: Show up or slink off?

JOLLY GOOD TIMES An office party rocks on!

Come December, most offices — especially those with young employees, host parties. Mohammad Khaleel, Quality Control Analyst at Omega Healthcare Management Services, says: “Christmas and New Year celebrations in office are not unusual events anymore. The global business environment has made us global citizens. It’s nice to step inside office and hear your colleagues singing carols with gusto and see lights twinkling on the sumptuous Christmas tree.”

If HyperCITY is celebrating Christmas with surprise gifts, carol singing sessions and a tree decoration contest, then FNF India (FNFI) has crafted a special calendar of fun activities.

Kanika Chhabra (21), a public relations professional, says: “Christmas and New Year signify starting on a new note, and what better way to start than with a rocking party?” She thinks office parties offer the opportunity to know one’s colleagues better. “After all, we spend the whole day together in office,” she says.

Kalpana, who heads human resources at Brand-Comm, thinks office parties add a lot of value in terms of bonding, boosting employee morale and opening up lines of communication.

The big hit is always ‘Secret Santa’, where everyone gets a chance to gift and feel gifted!

“I am still wondering who my Secret Santa is after I found a box of yummy chocolates on my desk,” gushes Sudha M of FNFI.

At an office party, the idea is to keep the mood casual and friendly, so HR executives invariably step in with guidelines. “There’s a ceiling of Rs 200 for ‘Secret Santa’ gifts, to avoid any possible unpleasant situation or embarrassment,” says Anindita Ranjan, who heads Human Resources at FNFI.

Bhagya, a 26-year-old team leader, cannot stop talking about her “unbelievable” party experience.

“We were at a resort, enjoying our open-air party, and the DJ had just got into his act when the sky  opened up. The entire show was in danger of being washed out, but a few enthusiastic colleagues started dancing in the rain. The DJ began to play rain dance numbers and we had a really good time. The fire dancers, who had been hired for the show, did their bit by blowing fire balls despite the steady drizzle,” she recalls.

The naysayers

Not everyone enjoys such “bonding” exercises. If Pratik Baurai, Senior Executive, Grey Cell PR, is to be believed the most common excuses trotted out to escape the office bash are “a sudden and severe migraine, a doctor’s appointment, or an urgent phone call from home”.

Trinita Irene from 92.7 BIG FM blithely adds, “I’d just say I have to attend my boyfriend’s Christmas party and make a quick getaway!”

Ambar Bose, software engineer, Yodlee Infotech, says her tried-and-tested excuse is to go for the party and after five minutes declare loudly that she had forgotten to switch off the geyser in her room in the morning! “I rush off after telling my boss that my landlord has called me, is livid with me and wants me to go right back!”

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