February 24th isn’t the usual date people hold their Christmas party but it’s a brilliant time of year for it – everyone has had their relaxing Christmas break, have been back into work long enough to have new work stories, the weather is settled (here in NZ February is the best month of the year weather wise), the venues / caterers / entertainment are so much easier to book than in November or December and most importantly it isn’t a struggle to find a date to suit everyone in the team (and their families).

Last year we held two office opening parties in October. The first was for friends & family. We invited staff, contractors and their families along and it also served as our trial run for the second – our massive customer party. Both were awesome events, heaps of fun, great entertainment (we had the Garage Project and three kegs for the customer one and they went down a treat) and very good company. So when it came to that frantic lead up to Christmas we were basically partied out, not to mention tired from our year of growth and change.

Having fun is pretty important to us here at OptimalHQ, we have many toys (many, many) and designed our office layout to incorporate a “track” suitable for chair racing or remote controlled cars etc – to give you an idea. Embracing the wider OptimalHQ family is very important too with many of our team members working flexible hours to accommodate their family commitments. Shane fondly remembers Christmas parties from his childhood – family parties that were loads of fun for both the children and adults – something we aspire to recreating as an ongoing aspect of our OptimalHQ culture.

All of these factors were important when it came to planning our Christmas party. So on February 24th we went to the Zoo. There we enjoyed a catered lunch at Kamalas, Fairy Trina who worked her magic on the kids and all those animals as entertainment. It’s an awesome space to run around in and the weather couldn’t have been better.

Our conclusion – we will continue to hold our Christmas party in February. It really was just that much easier, more relaxing and as a result everyone had a lovely time.

Food for thought – Why do we collectively put ourselves through the traditional cycle of cramming in parties in those weeks leading up to Christmas? when we are busiest work and personal commitments wise, often tired and so pressed for time we really can’t enjoy these important social events.  Cheers Vic

Footnotes:

Bronnie wrote a blog on our customer function, well worth a read. http://blog.optimalpeople.co.nz/2012/10/spectacular-grand-office-opening-success-thanks/

Fairy Trina is not just for girls, by the end of the hour she spent with us all of the boys were front and centre enjoying the face painting and magic stories along with the girls http://www.fairytrina.com/