As we enter the post-COVID era, many companies have moved away from traditional office Christmas parties featuring champagne, sequins, and “Secret Santa” gift exchanges. The reason behind this shift is the desire to foster inclusivity and team camaraderie, which have been affected by years of remote work.
Businesses have now started opting for unique and creative celebrations to show gratitude towards their employees and encourage them to reconnect with their colleagues and employers. This year, companies are looking for celebrations unrelated to seasonal connotations and are instead exploring physical team-building activities like pickleball.
The demand for outdoor spaces has increased, which might also indicate that businesses are seeking fresh ways to bring teams together during the holiday season. Derek Callow, the CEO of Swimply, a startup that rents out private pickleball courts and pools, sees this as an excellent opportunity for the sport of pickleball. He notes that many companies now consider pickleball as a critical contender for their distinctive holiday parties. For example, Outschool, an education technology company, held a pickleball lesson for their year-end celebration.
Pickleball has a unique culture, and its characteristics make it a prime activity for culture-building. The sport is accessible to everyone, even those who have never played, and offers an opportunity to learn, laugh, and interact with colleagues in a quality manner. Companies have started adding pickleball courts to their campuses as an employee amenity, and now, it’s becoming a popular choice for holiday parties.
Our Holiday Party was in full swing at Chicken n Pickle where we shared laughs while playing pickleball and enjoying time with our family and coworkers.— Lamb-Star (@Lamb_Star_LLC) December 12, 2023
This annual event is a highlight for our team, celebrating a year of hard work and shared fun.#LambStar #HolidayParty pic.twitter.com/Ouo3FLV76p
Office holiday parties have been declared a thing of the past many times, but they keep returning in a different form. One of the reasons for this change is to prevent any potential unprofessional behavior arising from drinking alcohol.
Instead, companies are shifting their focus towards health and overall wellness, offering activities that do not revolve around drinking and are inclusive. Pickleball, the fastest-growing sport, fits perfectly into this category, as it checks all the boxes for a memorable, fun, and rewarding team-building event.
The objective behind any unconventional celebration is to make it memorable and reward the staff. Angela Robinson, a marketing coordinator at Teambuilding.com, believes that off-the-wall celebrations are a great way to honor the holidays, celebrate the company’s achievements, and thank employees for their hard work. This year, companies seek activities that unite the team uniquely and memorably.
Changing times have brought a new perspective on office holiday parties. Companies are now seeking activities that foster inclusivity and team camaraderie while keeping their employees safe. This is why many businesses opt for unconventional activities such as pickleball parties, virtual murder mysteries, and guacamole-making competitions. We’ll stick with the pickleball parties; thank you!
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