How to Plan the Best Year-End Function during Covid-19


If life has been uncertain for the better part of 2020, then what has work been?

Everyone has their own story of how their work life has changed since the coronavirus outbreak. And after such a traumatic year, the need for a year-end party to wind down seems greater than ever before.

There are many questions around whether this is even possible, and how one could possibly pull it off safely while still having fun.

We’ve put together all of the most recommended safety precautions for your year-end function, as well as ideas to help you plan around Covid-19 and all that comes with it.

Safety First!

No matter the type of event you are having, here is the checklist you need to follow if it is anything besides virtual:

  1. Adhere to the government regulated numbers. Remember to include caterers and restaurant or bar staff in your total head count.
  2. Screen everyone upon entry for temperature, history of contact and symptoms, and note their contact details.
  3. Sanitise everyone upon entry and have numerous easily accessible sanitising stations throughout the venue.
  4. Ensure the wearing of masks at all times, except when eating or drinking.
  5. Ensure that the venue is big enough to comfortably maintain social distancing of one to two metres.

Party Ideas

The No-Contact, No-Fuss Virtual Party

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What: Set up a group video call for the whole company.

How & Why:

  • Create a dress-up theme or use a dress code to get everyone in the party spirit
  • If the budget allows, have little snack baskets delivered to each employee (or collected from a specific, safe collection point)
  • Include families
  • Have a rule that bans any work talk for the duration of the function

Maybe no one will see your shoes in a virtual party, but you’ll feel your best if you dress your best with Sebago – complete with the comfort and style of the finest genuine leather.

Mini Departmental Parties

What: Have various smaller departmental parties instead of one big year-end function for everyone.

How & Why:

  • Smaller numbers offer a safer Covid-19 option
  • Employees will be ending the year with whom those that they worked closest

Outdoor Fun Day

What: Plan an outdoor event such as a picnic or braai if your city has dependable weather.

How & Why:

  • Covid-19 risks are lower in spacious outdoor environments
  • Depending on government regulations, you can have more attendees in this type of party (for small to medium companies this might be able to include the full staff complement)

New Year Party 

What: Postpone your end-of-year function to the new year and have an opening-of-office party in January or February instead.

How & Why:

  • This avoids cancelling the year-end function altogether, which might be bad for team morale
  • This is the best case for companies who have suffered financial strain and need a little more time to recover first

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So don’t let the pandemic steal your hopes of fun! 

Instead, as with a classic Sebago shoe, hand-craft a solution using determination and creativity, so that you can keep the spirit, cheer and positivity high after a year like no other.