One of the things that we miss out on at Human Made is the Christmas party at the end of the year. This is a tradition in so many workplaces, particularly in countries where Christmas or New Year are celebrated.
I’m always a little bit envious of anyone who gets to celebrate in person with their friends and colleagues. In the earlier days of Human Made, we did have per-region Christmas parties, but as we grew these became logistically complex and very expensive. The costs were as high as a large team meetup, and all for just one night together.
In 2018, we shifted to giving everyone a budget that they could use to either get together with their local team mates for a meal, or have a party, or spend with their family and friends. While logistically it wasn’t possible to get everyone together, we still wanted to mark the end of the calendar year together while also recognising the supporting role that family members play for remote workers.
Moving to end of year celebrations
One of the factors that we took into consideration was that not everyone celebrates Christmas. We try to be inclusive and mark the diversity of ways that people celebrate through the year. So we switched from doing “Christmas Dinners” to “End of Year Celebrations.” This takes into account the different ways that humans at Human Made celebrate, including: Diwali, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, New Year, Hogmanay, and many others. And for those who don’t celebrate a specific festival at this time, we love to mark the end of the calendar year and acknowledge the work that everyone has done.
Celebrating with friends and family
Everyone at Human Made receives a budget of £150 to get together with other humans, to treat their family, or just spend on themselves. This can be spent in November, December, or January. We have a thread on our internal blog where we encourage everyone to share photographs and a short write-up of how they celebrated.
Over the years people have celebrated in many different ways, including:
- Meeting up with other humans for dinner or karaoke
- Taking out friends or family
- Buying cheese or other Christmas treats
- Visiting the theatre
- Visiting an exhibition
- Spending a night in a hotel
- Travelling to visit family
- A spa day
It’s always a lot of fun to hear about what everyone at Human Made has done to celebrate the end of the year, and to learn about the diverse traditions and ways that we celebrate across the company. Here are some photos of humans having a great time: