Out-of-office events can be a wonderful way to promote goodwill and friendship among your employees. In the modern workplace, it’s so important to connect outside the professional environment, to get to know your employees as people, and to promote workplace unity. Plus, these events often offer employers major tax breaks. Here are four things to keep in mind when planning your out-of-office event:

–       Involve families, not just the employees themselves. By including staff, spouses, and their children, you illustrate that you care about your employees as more than just cogs in a machine. Invite family members to improve morale and personalize employer-employee relationships.

–       Think outside the office. Outdoor spaces offer a refreshing change of scenery to employees who might feel stuck inside the office on an ordinary workday. Outdoor event spaces give employees a greater chance to relax, bond, and unwind.

–       Make it fun! Office events need-not be work related. A fun trip to a ballgame or beach day can help your employees bond in ways they never could across the water cooler. Consider giving your event a theme to tie the whole thing together, and incentivize your event with fun prizes that will get employees talking and participating!

–       Hold events on a regular basis. A single event a quarter might not be enough to nurture those deep, abiding friendships that can truly become the backbone of your business. Consider holding events at least once a month so that employees can create lasting connections.

If you’re planning to implement these steps to introduce event planning to your business, you may wonder what tax rules exist to benefit your business. Previously, business could deduct 50% of meals and entertainment, with exceptions. 100% of a company outing could be deducted.

That’s still the case. However, you must invite the entire staff for this to be true. Work events can’t be restricted just to upper management for business owners to take the full write-off.

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