New Years Toast by Pexels

As New Year’s Eve falls on a Monday this year, some may find themselves in the office with the crush of year-end projects. If you find yourself working, keep in mind that a new beginning celebrated in the office place can increase productivity, company culture, and even foster new friendships. Representing a time of rebirth and the beginning of a new era of prosperity and health, New Years can signify a new “you” both personally and professionally. If you’ll be in the office this holiday, here are 4 ways enjoy your final goodbyes to 2018 with your colleagues before celebrating after hours with friends and family.  

  1. Stay Connected: New years is a great opportunity to swap holiday stories with colleagues and network with management. Have an after-work happy hour to celebrate the new year to come before heading home.
  2. Plan a game night: Gather everyone together for some healthy competition. This could be either at the office or an opportunity for executives to invite employees into their homes and enjoy games such as ping pong, board games, pool, Charades, etc. This opens people up to create lasting impressions, relationships, and boosts morale.
  3. Host a Competition: Host a competition such as best organized cubicle, neatest office space, best numbers (for sales or customer service industries), or a top 2018 client list. Consider a guessing game of New Years traditional foods worldwide such as grapes, lentils, and black-eyed peas in a jar to incentivize work for a reward later. Boost company culture by a small afterwork celebration with gifts for the three winners.
  4. Have a potluck lunch– Challenge yourself and coworkers to prepare a New Year’s eve good luck meal and test it out at lunch! This is an excellent opportunity to connect with acquaintances and discover new staples for next year’s meals.  
  5. Set Team Goals – Gather everyone to reflect on the year’s accomplishments. Determine what the team would like to focus on in the year ahead. White board ideas and come up with one central theme or mantra to keep the team motivated throughout 2019.
  6. Make office plans – The New Year is the best time to chart new plans. Gather the team and give employees a voice in better business methods. Plan the next outing for colleagues to look forward to such as company getaways, gifts or gatherings.
  7. Volunteer together– A fun way to get people together would be to offer a day to do charitable work instead of the normal work day. This sets as a warm and rewarding reminder to give to those less fortunate. Colleagues feel good, ready for the new year and it may even give some a new perspective. Consider a park or trail cleanup followed by lunch. Check out this blog for more fun ways to volunteer.

New Years is the Grand Finale of Celebrations, make it count!


Sharon Schweitzer and Vienna Raglin co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards and the 2017 New York City Big Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction.

Vienna Raglin is the Marketing and Sales Manager at Access to Culture. With a professional background in Sales and Hospitality, she earned a BBA in Marketing and Sales from Texas State.