The office holiday party was once a source of dread and endless internal jokes.
But this year, as the coronavirus pandemic leaves us largely unable to celebrate the season together, many people are longing for those ‘good old days’. You may not be able to recreate your company’s traditional holiday festivities but there are still plenty of fun, risk-free ways to celebrate.
Here are some social distant alternatives to consider so you and your hard-working team can enjoy a very merry holiday season.
Host a virtual holiday blowout. This virtual event takes place on a video conferencing platform and includes interactive holiday-themed elements to keep everyone engaged. This is also a fitting time to thank and acknowledge your employees. Keep it positive and inclusive, whether that means giving individuals a fun award or noting each department’s outstanding accomplishments. Everyone will feel more involved and more valued—and that’s the ultimate goal.
Organize a virtual happy hour. When your employees can’t get together for an after-work happy hour, why not bring happy hour to them? Ship a bottle of bubbly (or sparkling juice for those who don’t consume alcohol) to each staff member as a thank you gift and hoist a toast to various individual and team accomplishments over Zoom. If sending alcohol is not permitted in your state, give employees an allowance to purchase whatever they wish to drink.
Ship a delectable goodie box right to their door. Celebrate your team’s hard work by delivering some serious holiday indulgences. For example, a themed gift basket filled with gourmet treats, a bottle of wine, and a fragrant candle is sure to encourage some well-earned rest and relaxation. Even a small gift will make your remote employees feel appreciated.
Do a virtual Secret Santa. No holiday party would be complete without a gift exchange, and it’s a great way to recapture the nostalgia of holidays spent together in the office. To hold a virtual office Secret Santa, your team members can each choose a name, send the present to the appropriate recipient, and wait to open their gifts at the online party. Physical packages add a more personal element, but teammates can also send each other virtual presents like online gift cards or internet subscriptions. A number of companies, such as Sneaky Santa, exist to help you simplify the process.
Tap into the latest game trends. A variety of online game options have popped up over the past few months. Whether you want to make a fun competition out of it and award prizes or prefer to encourage collaboration, the most important thing is that everyone has a great time. You might opt for a virtual escape room, which challenges teams to unlock a series of puzzles in order to exit the space. Or, you could lighten things up with old-school favorites like charades, Bingo, or karaoke. There’s no shortage of virtual game options so choose a couple that suit your team’s personality.
Dress up for the holidays. It can be hard to get in the holiday spirit while working from home. Donning fun seasonal garb for a virtual get-together can help put your employees in a festive mood. There’s no need to wear gowns and tuxedos—instead, think Santa hats, reindeer antlers, or the proverbial ugly sweater.
Enjoy a meal together. Even though your team isn’t physically in the same room, you can still bring the gang together around the virtual table. Uber Eats for Business and GrubHub Corporate are two of the many companies that offer group catering and delivery for remote staff. If you’re feeling the urge to whip up something tasty, why not host a virtual cooking party? Companies like CozyMeal will send you and your employees all the ingredients you need and provide a fun virtual cooking lesson, too.
Celebrate diversity. Your team members likely celebrate a variety of holidays. The logistics of office celebrations make it unrealistic to throw a party for every holiday but virtual events offer more flexibility. One great virtual holiday party idea is to invite employees to share their culture’s unique celebration with the rest of the team. You can ask participants to explain the holiday’s significance and include a special activity, such as making a customary meal or playing a traditional game. Celebrating a variety of holidays allows all of your team members to participate while acknowledging and respecting individual differences.
Give the gift of extra time off. Time is a valuable commodity for most people, whether they are working remotely or not. Reward your employees with extra days off this holiday season, such as Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve. This perk is sure to be appreciated and it won’t break the bank either.
The pandemic shouldn’t stop you and your team from celebrating the joy of the holiday season.
You can still find ways to have festive fun together, even when you’re apart physically. With a little innovation, you can create a unique holiday experience that your team will fondly remember for many years to come.
Is your organization seeking more clever ways to virtually celebrate the holidays? The HR Team is here with valuable resources and helpful tools. Please reach out to our friendly professionals anytime.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.