Whilst workers in offices all across the country will soon be gearing up for Christmas parties, ‘Secret Santas’ and a nice chunk of paid annual leave, those who work in a co-working environment might be inclined to feel a little envious of the festive office frolics that they may be missing out on for the first time in their career.

And if this is you, there’s no need to feel blue. Just because you’re a freelancer or self-employed doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely this Christmas – in fact, you might find quite the opposite.

Being part of a coworking community during the festive season has its own advantages and there are also a few things you can do to make sure you (and those around you) have a very merry coworking Christmas too.

Here are some suggestions:

Send Christmas Cards to your Neighbours

If you’ve not had chance to properly introduce yourself, sending a Christmas card to everyone in the building is a great way of introducing yourself and what you do to other people sharing the same workspace as you.

Deck the Halls

Most business centres will put up decorations in the common areas, but there’s nothing to stop you from adding your own little bit of festive sparkle to your office. Even if you just rent a desk, a little Christmas tree or some tinsel around your monitor is sure to help spread a bit of Christmas cheer among your coworkers.

Take Advantage of Flexible Hours

As a freelancer or business owner, you’re not confined to the 9-5, so make this flexible way of working work for you. Avoid the Christmas rush by getting your shopping done in the daytime when it’s quieter and the kids are in school, rather than cramming it all in at the weekend.

Accept Invitations

Even if it’s just mince pies and mulled wine, often, coworking spaces will organise their own little impromptu Christmas celebrations. We know the temptation at this busy time of year might be to ignore the invitation or to grab a mince pie and scarper, but taking 10 minutes out to chat and wish others a Merry Christmas is time well spent. If you’re a freelancer or micro business with a good working relationship with your client, you might get invited to their Christmas party – which provides a great opportunity to strengthen that relationship in a social setting – so accept that invite!

Coworking communities are also prone to organising their own casual Christmas outing, where everyone’s invited and no-one needs to worry about office politics, as this article in The Guardian points out:

“To many, the office Christmas party is something to survive – an evening of uncomfortable social interactions, followed by a hangover and an overwhelming sense of bitter regret. But it seems that small business owners and freelancers with no obligation to a larger company are actively seeking them out, with festive dos planned in co-working spaces across the country.”

Without enforced festivities, it’s easy as a freelancer or small business owner to not bother with Christmas celebrations. It can be a really busy and stressful time – but just as much as a full-time employee working in an office deserves a break at Christmas and a pat on the back for a year of hard work, so do you. So grab a mince pie, chug a mulled wine and be prepared to put on a party hat – because your coworking Christmas might just be the best one yet.