With Christmas and New Years in the rear-view mirror, St. Patrick’s Day is creeping up on us faster than we know. Soon enough, the 17th will arrive and every street corner and pub will be decorated in Irish green.
St. Paddy’s is a day when everyone – Irish or not – can get involved and join in on the joyous festivities. Over the course of the holiday, you might attend a few parties with family and friends; but you might also find yourself charged with the task of throwing together something special at your workplace.
One roadblock in planning a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at work is that many of the traditional holiday events aren’t exactly…office-friendly. Chances are your boss won’t appreciate their employees getting drunk on the job (talk about unproductive!), so celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the workplace can prove to be quite the challenge.
How can you make St. Patrick’s Day fun while still complying with company protocol? Let’s look at six creative, office-friendly ways to celebrate St. Paddy’s with your coworkers!
1. Ask Everyone to Wear Green
This is just about the easiest way to get all of your coworkers involved and into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit! Blast out a short email to everyone in advance, and then maybe send everyone a simple text the night before as a final reminder. Try your best to get everyone on board! You could even entice with them a small prize awarded for the most spirited outfit.
If your workplace has a strict dress code, be sure to convey those standards again so that you don’t get any coworkers in trouble – unless, of course, your boss is willing to make an exception for this particular day.
2. Create an Irish Music Playlist
Ireland has produced some of the greatest music of all time. Start the day with some of the traditional Celtic songs to set the right St. Paddy’s Day mood (Spotify makes it easy with plenty of already-curated playlists and albums). If the Celtic folk tunes songs get a little grating after a few dozen passes, switch to a more subtle Irish homage with U2, The Cranberries, or Van Morrison. The variety of famous Irish artists should be enough to last the entire workday.
Create your playlists the night before, keep your phone charged, and let it play! Just be mindful that others are working, so find a soft, comfortable volume that doesn’t inhibit anyone’s ability to get work done.
3. Learn an Irish Jig
While we’re on the topic of music, nothing compliments upbeat Irish tunes like a fun Irish jig. The Internet is a beautiful thing – search for a few simple tutorials online, and teach yourself an Irish jig. If it’s easy enough, you may be able to teach a few employees on the fly, too!
A break for a short, lighthearted dance is a great way to get the blood flowing and lift the spirits of your coworkers!
4. Decorate! Decorate! Decorate!
It won’t feel like St. Patrick’s Day if there aren’t any green decorations around the office. Speak with your boss first and determine whether there’s any budget for such decorations; and if not, you can still find inexpensive decorations or even DIY something simple.
You can also ask each person in the office to handle a different decoration. This keeps costs low and makes everyone feel as though they are an important part of the day!
5. Share a Green Potluck Meal
You can’t have a St. Patrick’s Day celebration without green food! Ask each employee to bring a small dish of his or her favorite green colored food or (non-alcoholic) beverage. Cupcakes with green frosting, pesto pasta salad, spinach and artichoke dip, guacamole, key lime pie…the possibilities are endless!
This also doesn’t have to amount to a full-blown feast or even a full meal. An arrangement of light snacks or desserts may be plenty to keep the blood sugar up, as well as give people a chance to relax and mingle with their coworkers.
6. Hold Games and Contests
Break up your company’s workday with a few holiday games and contests. There are plenty of quick but fun Celtic-themed events to choose from.
Here are a few ideas:
- Gold Hunt (with chocolate coins!)
- Irish Trivia
- An In-Office Parade
- Jig Contest
- Costume Contest
Do you know any Irish folk at your workplace? Collaborate with them! Pick their brains and find out if they know of any special traditions or ideas that you can incorporate into your office celebrations.
And remember – if you choose to hold any (or all) of these six office-friendly St. Patrick’s Day activities, be sure to clear them with your boss in advance. Even though alcohol may not be involved and everything might seemingly respect company protocol, it’s best to ensure that there are no issues with anything that you’re planning. The last thing you want is for you or someone else to be disciplined as a result of some party planning gone wrong!
Enjoy bringing the spirit of St. Patrick to your festivities. Be safe and have fun!