How ByteDance successfully ran their Return-To-Office programme

ByteDance staffs posing for photo in the office, in front of a balloon arch=

Concerts, theatres, travel, parties, and more are all back in full swing. But you know what’s missing? People going back to the office.

Even though the government gave companies the green light to have 100% of their employees in the office over a year ago, many employees still prefer to work from home.

While numerous companies, big and small, struggle to bring their employees back to the office, ByteDance has found the secret formula to make this transition enjoyable!

So, what’s their secret? It’s simple—they understand why people truly enjoy “working” in the office. It’s not just about the productivity of face-to-face meetings versus virtual calls on Zoom or Teams. It’s the social interaction and connections that thrive in the office environment.

Just think about it—working from home means missing out on seeing what your colleague had for breakfast, asking about their morning yoga routine, or discovering the new lunch spot together.

Don’t you just miss that little chat with your colleague before you boss comes into the meeting?

These small moments make the office more than just a place to work. It’s a place where people socialise, connect and not think about the worries at home.

According to Harvard Business Review, the main reason people are motivated to come to the office is the social time they get to spend with their coworkers.

That’s why ByteDance has teamed up with Gift Market to organise a series of incredible events. Whether it’s their Return-To-Office programme, festive celebrations, or department cohesion initiatives, Gift Market has been instrumental in making these events a resounding success for ByteDance!

The success of Return-To-Office programme at ByteDance

To kickstart their return-to-office programme, we meticulously crafted a gift kit designed to spark conversations among employees.

The customisable gifts we suggested were not only practical but also office essentials that screamed, “It’d be great if you can use me in the office!”

As for ByteDance employees, the personal touch of the TikTok logo splashed across the gifts serves as a friendly reminder from the company, inviting employees to return to the office and reconnect with their colleagues in person after working remotely for quite some time.

But these gifts were just the beginning. ByteDance understood that in order to lure their staff back into the office, simply giving out company swag may not be as effective. ByteDance realised that they need to tap on the social aspect of being in the office.

This is where they entice their employees to return to the office with multiple fun and engaging social events for their employees to return and mingle with their colleagues, catch-up over a drink and have fun! 

Make returning to the office fun!

We all know how companies celebrate festive occasions like Christmas, Chinese New Year, Halloween, and more in the name of fostering an excellent work culture.

Diwali 2022 celebrations at ByteDance.

But let’s be honest, simply having a team dinner, going for drinks, or cutting a cake can get boring. We’ve all been there.

Here’s where Gift Market comes to the rescue!

At Gift Market, we love creating events that you and your co-workers can truly enjoy. That’s why ByteDance partnered with us to elevate these social events, not only to celebrate the festive occasions but also to entice their employees to return to the office.

ByteDance employees were eager to play the Bingo during the Christmas celebration!

Employers need to understand that these social events don’t hinder productivity; instead, they encourage innovation, psychological safety, retention, and more, as Harvard Business Review suggests.

By hosting such social gatherings, employees are prone to establishing stronger bonds with their colleagues. According to Talent Intelligence, when employees have a close friend at work, it enhances their job satisfaction. Consequently, they feel more at liberty to express their creativity, as they can rely on a solid social support system within the workplace.

This cohesive group is more inclined to offer mutual support through encouragement and recognition of their peers’ achievements. This not only uplifts team morale but also reduces stress levels at work.

Hence, it is vital to organise social events as they play a pivotal role in fostering relationships among employees, thereby creating a comfortable and secure environment for them to thrive.

One such example is ByteDance Year End Celebration last year where they wanted to show appreciation for their employees’ efforts and accomplishments, on top of creating an enjoyable and engaging atmosphere during the festive period.

Live marching band for Christmas at TikTok office.

Such events helped to foster a sense of fun and celebration, employees would feel more motivated, connected and enthusiastic about their work as well as returning to office to be part of this celebration.

“The turnout rate for these events is usually exceptionally high, and seeing the smiles on their faces during these celebrations makes all the hard work worthwhile!” shares Geraldine, our Events Manager.

Part of Geraldine’s task is to generate a multitude of ideas that revolved around the Christmas theme, carefully designing and creating delightful and engaging experience for everyone involved such as captivating fringe activities, entertaining performances and delectable festive snacks

These corporate events is not only happening here, it’s similar outside of Singapore too.  Even tech giants like Google are using similar strategies to entice their employees back to the office. CNBC reported that Google organised a private Lizzo concert, hired marching bands, and even had mayors celebrating their staffs’ return!

Great event, greater employees!

You might be wondering, how effective are these events at bringing employees back to the office? Won’t they just continue working from home without events? Do you need to organise events every other week?

Well, let’s think of these events as a catalyst. Slowly but surely, your employees will see the benefits of returning to the office.

Forbes reveals that strong social connections make people happier and physically healthier, which, in turn, help them perform better at work. By attending these social events and building relationships with coworkers, employees experience increased happiness.

As employers, you’d want your employees to feel happy at work so that it’ll boost their morale and affect the people around them. In return, they’ll feel motivated to be in the office and this will somehow create a domino effect on everyone else in the office!

Additionally, these events provide opportunities for employees to interact with colleagues from other departments. Forbes highlights that when employees have friends or social connections at work, they tend to be more engaged and loyal.

So, when employees feel that there are more reasons to come to the office than just work, they’ll eagerly look forward to returning to meet their work besties, even if they’re on another floor or in a different department—probably for a bit of gossip too!

Do not underestimate office parties!

While it’s crucial for companies to be transparent about hybrid work policies and provide mental health support during this transition, they should never overlook the main reason behind why their staff are coming back to the office.

Social events and incentives are key factors that make employees look forward to being in the office. Let Gift Market handle all the heavy lifting while you and your team reap the benefits!

Our Gashapon machine is a popular hit among clients!

Together, let’s bring back the joy of working in the office and create unforgettable experiences that strengthen your team and workplace culture. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your return-to-office journey not only a resounding success, but a memorable one.

Plan your next corporate event with us today!