What Will The Office Party Look Like in 2020?

Love them or loathe them, the Christmas office party is looking quite different in this ‘new normal’ era, but here at Social Pantry we’re ready to see out the last turbulent few months in style and we think we could all do with a proper office party! We’ve pulled together a few of our favourite social distance dining ideas and event catering tips to make this year’s seasonal celebrations as good as any!

COVID Compliant Office Ideas

The full workforce may have returned to work by now but for many, office environments are now looking more like a dining table or bedroom desk. No matter what your typical working day looks like it’s important to maintain compliance with the government guidelines during the party season, making the traditional Christmas office party not possible for many businesses. We provide office catering throughout the year for all manners of celebrations and gatherings, but smaller offices filled with work equipment can prove challenging to create space big enough to entertain all employees. It may have been the best way to save on budgets in the past by holding the office party at work but there are an abundance of potential party venues out there that are perfect for an office party and still allow for social distance without costing the earth. Speak to your local pubs and community centres, a lot of them offer free venue hire and allow for outside catering services. You might need a larger area this year but that definitely doesn’t have to mean a larger budget.

Care Packages

Zoom may not be something we were familiar with this time last year and was certainly not part of office party planning before 2020 but the past year has shown that virtual gatherings can in fact be heaps of fun, bringing colleagues together at the touch of a button. Care packages can be a great way to create a Christmas office party experience at a social distance, allowing colleagues to share cocktails and canapes together from the comfort of their own home. Care packages are also a great way to show appreciation to the workforce and to mark the end of such a turbulent year. Our event catering team will be happy to discuss the best social distance office party care package depending on your budget and requirements.

Socially Distanced Meals

As many industries have had to adjust to social distance and safety measures to allow life to resume, so too has catering services in order to comply with the new normal! Party venues have created innovative ways to provide experiences not possible in a virtual setting! Longer length dining tables, extra space between guests, safety screens and outdoor dining options are all part of current party venues options to offer a Christmas office party that would please even the most nervous of social distance diners. Here at Social Pantry we have also re-thought our office catering services to ensure maximum safety for our clients and would be happy to chat over our favourite office party ideas and party venues depending on your needs.

Virtual Pub Quiz

We might have been all quizzed out by the end of lockdown in the summer, but a virtual pub quiz is a great way to bring together the workforce for a fun Christmas office party without the awkward small talk that virtual meetings can often bring. Personalise the office party pub quiz with questions on the past year’s work happenings or test the crew on fun facts about different colleagues. As budgets can be saved on the usual party venues it could also allow the office party to feel extra special with the help of a great event catering service too.

Virtual Fancy Dress

For many offices, virtual team meetings have become the norm and it can be tricky not to feel dread at the thought of yet another zoom call! Make sure the Christmas office party feels different to any other meeting if it does have to be a virtual one! Fancy Dress is a fun way to ensure colleagues get involved in the festive spirit from their living rooms. Sparkles and sequins are a fab way of bringing a bit of joy to the office party zoom call or a theme can be great to add a special element which can cover everything from the fancy dress and office party soundtrack to the catering services and quiz questions!

Virtual Talent Show

Another way of adding a bit of fun to the virtual Christmas office party and differentiating it from the usual work zoom calls is a talent show. Encourage your colleagues to show off their skills at a social distance, and don’t worry you can always turn down your computer’s volume if the singing is perhaps not the best standard!

Virtual Cooking Competition

A great way to mark the Christmas office party differently is to arrange a virtual cooking competition. Office catering companies are able to tailor a package to provide your colleagues with the ingredients and guidelines needed to create a gorgeous office party meal that can be cooked together or in preparation for the party. Points can be given for creativity and presentation and a prize awarded for office chef 2020!

Socially Distanced Activities

If your Christmas office party doesn’t need to be a virtual one there are some brilliant party venues and activity ideas to celebrate the festive season in style whilst maintaining social distance. Outdoor obstacle courses, go-karting sessions and paintballing can be a great way to bring the team together and give a bit of relief from the traditional office party. If adrenaline and the outdoors isn’t quite what you had in mind party venues are also able to host karaoke competitions, art and craft workshops and special event catering to see out the last twelve months in social distance style!


Here at Social Pantry we have more than nine years of experience providing office catering to businesses small and large and would love to chat over how we can bring your Christmas office party to life whilst complying to all government guidelines. You can make an enquiry today or ring 020 8871 1949.