In response to hybrid working arrangements and increasing living costs, UK companies are shifting from traditional work parties to family-oriented team events, aiming to foster a sense of workplace community and unity.
While offices may be quieter due to remote working, it hasn’t slowed down workplace team-building events. According to a recent survey by Poptop, a leading online party planning platform, the number of workplace parties is on the rise. More and more UK businesses are opting for smaller, family-focused work events instead of extravagant corporate parties of the past.
Changing trends in corporate parties
Poptop surveyed 370 business clients to examine the evolving trends in corporate party planning in the wake of the hybrid working boom and the cost of living crisis. Surprisingly, the survey revealed a significant 48% increase in staff gatherings and parties compared to 2019. However, the types of parties being planned are changing. The survey showed a substantial 57% increase in new “family-friendly” corporate events.
These smaller, budget-conscious work gatherings invite team members to bring their partners and children to enjoy the festivities. This shift deviates from the traditional boozy Christmas events that became synonymous with 21st-century workplace culture. The change in tone is also evident in the categories of party services chosen by corporate bookers. Buffet catering and bartender bookings decreased by 40% compared to 2019, while corporate food services like BBQs saw a 60% increase. The data also reveals a remarkable 100% increase in family activity bookings, including magicians and children’s entertainers, compared to 2019.
The rise of hybrid working
The increase in family-focused work events can be attributed, in part, to the ongoing transition to remote and hybrid working. According to the Office for National Statistics, 44% of UK workers now report some level of hybrid working. With more workplaces adopting hybrid models, fostering inter-team connections, which were once crucial for workplace culture, has become more challenging through online calls and remote office software. Bringing teams together regularly and nurturing personal connections among employees has become essential for productivity and overall business success.
As the workplace integrates into the home due to hybrid working, the distinction between work and family life blurs. It is natural for employees to want to bring more elements of their home life into the office. Family-oriented workplace events offer a novel solution that bridges these previously separate worlds. Additionally, with rising costs for families, companies can now provide their employees with a cost-effective way to entertain the whole family.
Benefits for businesses
These new family-friendly events offer benefits for businesses as well, particularly in terms of budgeting. Inclusive workplace parties often take place at the office or nearby parks and outdoor spaces, resulting in significant savings on venue rentals. As a result, team get-togethers can be organized more frequently, with several Poptop clients reporting planned corporate events every few months, as opposed to once or twice a year.
“We have observed significant changes in party planning patterns post-COVID, not only among private bookers but also in corporate parties and gatherings. With a large proportion of people working remotely or in a hybrid model, it has become essential to bring staff together frequently, and more HR departments are recognizing this. At the same time, the shift in work-life balance encourages companies to arrange more family-friendly gatherings to make them accessible for people with children,” said Eugene Shestopal, CEO of Poptop.
Poptop is a platform that helps people take their parties to the next level. They inspire party planners with extraordinary services and experiences from some of the UK’s best event suppliers. With their unique “Live Pricing & Availability” technology, planning parties becomes straightforward and enjoyable, removing the stress from event planning and creating a seamless booking experience. Over 85,000 events have been planned with Poptop, making it one of the largest party planning platforms in the UK.