John Lewis Xmas Ad | Ho-ho-honing in on the office loners

Ho-ho-honing in on the office loners

The John Lewis Christmas ad is finally here and its chosen theme of foster care should give us cause to think about our own office family.

With beaming celebrities, tongue-in-cheek humour and downright funny one-liners thrown in for good measure (‘When is Bin Day?’ Tesco ad), this year’s Christmas adverts are proving once again that Christmas is for happy families.

But while Morrisons, Marks & Spencers and Aldi have chosen to display succulent seasonal dishes at the end of their adverts, John Lewis went for a sobering statistic about the number of children in care.

Christmas can be a fairly stressful time with all the planning, cooking, wrapping or driving on the big day, yet for those who have no relations to visit or to welcome, this time of year must be hellish to endure.

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And not just at home but in the workplace too.

With nowhere special to be, some employees may feel forced to reluctantly hang around the luminescent lights of the office or be comforted by the glow of their active computer screen.

Lingering around the office - or staying logged in for longer than necessary - could be a warning sign that homelife is not as warm and welcoming as Christmas adverts want us to think.

So what can we do for staff who may be feeling a bit lonely? Read on for five useful tips to support your staff.

1. Virtual office party

As many employees now work from home, organising a get together online might be just the thing to unite staff. Play Bingo, host a quiz or even put some music on and have a go at a company-wide musical statues competition. Shared fun builds great memories to talk about later.

2. Christmas card

Sending a personalised e-card into your staff’s inboxes will brighten up at least one person’s day and lift their mood.

3. Buddy break

Buddy up employees so they arrange to take a weekly break together, either online or face-to-face. Helping to create friendships between employees can only improve staff morale and ultimately company productivity.

4. Team lunch

We’re not talking about taking everyone out to a fancy restaurant; no. Arrange a time once a week for different groups to bring in food from home and eat together. How you organise these groups is up to you.

5. Knowledge sharing

Does anyone skydive for fun or knit for charity in their free time? Arrange a talk and others will tune in to listen. Opening up about who we are in our personal lives is a great way to form connections and make people feel valued.

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