(By: Brittany Brooks)
Typically, holidays in the office are used to bring everyone together to have fun and bond. You might pass out bonuses, gifts, and awards both silly and professional. This is great for retention and boosting workplace morale, but what if you’re no longer in the office?
Is it possible to have office parties, holiday games, and dress up in costumes remotely and still have fun?
Yes, there are a few ways to enjoy the holidays as a remote company. We’ve listed a few ideas down below to help you celebrate your company’s remote holidays and may help improve your retention.
DIY Remote Party Ideas
You don’t have to hire a party planner and book a reservation for the Ritz Carlton ballroom to have a good time with your employees. You can create your own virtual office party for the next calendar holiday.
Holiday Happy Hour
Happy hours are a great way for employees to bond, relax, and unwind together. When you add the holiday element it makes it a little extra special. Select a few holiday-themed cocktails easy enough for everyone to make and you can send the ingredients to the employees’ homes ahead of time.
All of you will make them on camera together. You can also take it a step further, find an easy appetizer recipe, and send it with the Happy Hour ingredients. Turn on some appropriate music and you can have yourself a real Happy Hour.
*Make sure to pick a mocktail recipe option for the employees who prefer a nonalcoholic beverage.
Who doesn’t love game night? It reawakens your inner child and you get to see a completely different side of your employees and maybe even yourself.
You can play games like the “Naughty List” for Christmas, it’s a holiday version of “Never Have I Ever”. You can also play virtual Bingo and many more. If any games require any scorecards, game pieces, or accessories, send them before the virtual party date.
Send Out Gift Boxes
Gift boxes are always a nice touch and you have a lot of options and combinations to choose from when you put a gift box together. Like with the last 2 tips, you’ll be mailing these ahead of time to arrive before the party.
Items You Can Include:
- Holiday-themed candy & snacks
- Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
- Fun puzzles, games, & activities
- Gift cards to restaurants, subscriptions, memberships, & shops
- Company t-shirts, umbrellas, jackets, etc.
- Seasonal items related to the holiday: sunglasses, Santa hats, heart-shaped candy boxes, mugs, plastic Easter eggs, etc.
You can also combine all 3 ideas and have a fun-filled, interactive party that will keep everyone engaged. The best part, employees can include their family or significant other.
When you need a little assistance
Feel a little overwhelmed with a DIY remote party? No worries!
There are companies available to take over your virtual holiday planning needs, so you can take the hands-off approach and enjoy the party alongside your employees. You’ll get a host to literally keep the party going and you’ll also get an IT technician on standby for any technical issues.
Pricing is generally per person or by the group and varies depending on the activity. The company will send each of your staff members, including you if you’d like to participate, a kit with everything they’ll need for the event.
There’s an array of options to choose from such as:
- Cooking, baking, & sushi classes
- Wine tastings
- Virtual escape room or Escape The Zoom
- Sip & paint
- Murder mystery
- Holiday Heists
- Trivia games
And there are so many more to choose from. Companies like Yelp, Deloitte, Asics, and Microsoft have already started to take advantage of remote holidays by using services like this.
Ready for in-person interaction?
If you and your employees are both feeling the social impact of the pandemic, you may be yearning for some in-person interaction and that’s fine too. It will be good for everyone to get out of the house and enjoy themselves outside of a professional setting.
These next few tips are perfect for remote and hybrid companies looking to get together in a physical establishment.
Make Restaurant Reservations
Reserve a group space at a nice restaurant with a bar. Employees can chat over drinks and food, play games, and exchange gifts if the calendar holiday calls for it. It’s also a great time for recognition, you can give awards for professional accomplishments and the not-so-professional.
The employee of the year can be announced and the employee with the ugliest Christmas sweater can be recognized as well.
Let’s Go Somewhere Fun
The typical office party has been done over and over again, step outside the box and go somewhere fun. You can go bowling, roller skating, go-kart racing, to an amusement park, or somewhere like Dave & Buster’s.
You’ll most likely get special pricing since an entire group is going and these places usually have holiday-themed activities and foods.
Classic Pajama Party, But Different
Pajama parties bring you back to your childhood, but employees don’t have to wear pajamas to the office. Why not rent an Airbnb for a Holiday Pajama Party?
It’s better than sitting at your desk still working in your pajamas and it gives a more intimate environment to connect with your employees. You can bake and decorate cookies together, play board games, watch movies, and make some memories with your employees.
Just because your company is remote doesn’t mean your employees have to miss out on the fun during remote holidays. You also don’t have to miss out on the retention and workplace morale boosting benefits of the holidays.