February 8, 2023

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UK companies raise a glass to return of the summer party

2 min read

This summer roughly 700 members of staff at law firm Osborne Clarke will be invited to an “enchanted woodland” on an organic farm in Berkshire to enjoy food stalls, craft activities, live music and DJs.

The event is designed as a “big post-Covid thank you” to staff that worked through two years of the pandemic, often without seeing one another for months at a time, according to managing partner Ray Berg. “For all its benefits, the best relationships will never be built solely over Zoom. It has been a difficult couple of years with lockdowns but the legal sector has weathered it pretty well,” he added.

Similar events are being planned at companies across the UK as managers seek to restore a sense of corporate identity across workforces disrupted by two years of the pandemic, many of whom are only slowly returning to the office.

Law firm Pinsent Masons is organising summer drinks for its 900 London-based workers, while colleagues in Leeds and Birmingham will be invited to a summer barbecue and sports day respectively. Allen & Overy, meanwhile, will invite 1,000 people to a City of London venue for more traditional fare of live music, food and drink.

Ed Poland, co-founder of events planner Hire Space, said fostering a “sense of team was the big driver of company social events this year and creating momentum despite lingering corporate concerns”.

Some company bosses are seeing only a slow return to offices by staff, but they consider such social events to be important parts of a resumption of near pre-pandemic patterns of working.

The surge in corporate bookings has also been a welcome boost to the finances of the hospitality industry, which has struggled over the past two years during the various Covid-19 lockdowns.

Poland said this would be a “big summer for venues and events suppliers”, although he added that many companies were deciding to do events at the last minute given uncertainty over how their staff would feel. “That puts…

2022-06-03 06:00:24

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