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December 20, 2013
Tips for a safe and healthy office celebration

Kick off the New Year right with parties that celebrate health and safety. A BLR® employer holiday habits survey revealed that among the 70 percent of survey participants that host year-end gatherings, 49 percent offer alcohol. How are employers celebrating, and what can you do to ensure a good, safe time is had by all?

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Workplace parties run the gamut—from costly restaurant lunches to potlucks or pizza parties at the jobsite. Many companies encourage reaching out to those in need with food and toy drives, as well as with monetary donations from management and employees. A dwindling number uphold the tradition of giving away turkeys, while others offer the gift of time, such as a half day off on the day before Christmas.

Tidings of safety and health

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) encourages employers to reduce the role of alcohol in their festivities. To that end:

  • Hire professional bartenders and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.
  • Distribute drink tickets to limit consumption.
  • Serve plenty of food so people aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Arrange for alternate transportation home.

Help your employees avoid extra fat and calories by serving smartly:

  • Offer a big veggie tray with yogurt-based dips and hummus.
  • Keep plates relatively small to avoid overloading.
  • If you plan a potluck, give people guidance on what to bring. For example, request a platter of roasted turkey instead of a cheesy ham casserole.
  • Mix up a festive, nonalcoholic punch with fruit, fruit juice, and flavored sparkling waters that have zero calories.
  • Provide music, an activity, or a year-end slide show so that eating isn’t the only thing to do at the party.
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