The holiday season is upon us! For those of you wondering where the time has gone this year, we’re right there with you. Though 2020 has challenged us all in so many ways, there’s still plenty to celebrate. At the very least, we deserve a toast for making it to December with our sanity still (somewhat) intact.
Adapting to remote work at warp speed has arguably been one of the biggest hurdles for companies during the pandemic. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has forced leaders to up their game when it comes to creating a virtual work environment. Now that the budget has been spent strategically on improving communications platforms, building better workflow systems, and heightening security protocols, it’s time to spend what’s left on a little fun.
COVID-19 safety protocols obviously prohibit the traditional company holiday party. But with a little creativity and the help of technology, it’s still possible to capture that joyous spirit. Here are five ways to repurpose those holiday party funds to celebrate your team in a remote environment:
1. Host a Remote Holiday Party
Here’s a virtual meeting your team will actually want to attend. Schedule some festive face time with your employees on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. These video conferencing platforms have features that make it easy to adapt your typical party activities in the virtual realm. Why not play some fun games like holiday-themed trivia, bingo, or Pictionary? Encourage your team to grab some tasty snacks and their favorite beverage. If you’re looking for a fun photo-op, set a theme for your event. You know some of your employees have been waiting all year to show off their ugliest holiday sweaters.
2. Arrange a Virtual Gift Exchange
Secret Santa and white elephant gift exchanges are the hallmark of many a holiday party. It only takes a little extra planning to organize a remote swap. Use a website like Elfster to generate a virtual name drawing and have participants create wish lists. Set a budget and a deadline for gift-sending. Opening gifts together at your remote holiday party will surely generate some laughs — especially for the person who ends up with the latest “As Seen On TV” gadget.
3. Organize Remote Team Building Activities
While remote work during a pandemic doesn’t allow everyone to gather together to tackle a ropes course or enjoy a wine tasting, there are still plenty of ways to organize team-building activities online. Solve puzzles with your crew at a virtual escape room. Figure out who is the most suspicious of the bunch at a virtual murder mystery party. Or, if you’re really missing the melodic vocal stylings of your team, host a virtual karaoke session.
4. Send a Thoughtful Gift
Ready to play Santa? Surprise your team by sending a gift that shows your appreciation for their hard work during this challenging year. Consider a gift basket filled with “work-from-home” essentials, like a pair of comfy slippers, an insulated coffee mug, or noise-canceling headphones. Send some branded company apparel or swag so they can show their team spirit from home. If you’re still stumped for ideas, food and booze always make for great gifts. Ship a box of goodies to your team that they can enjoy at home — or during your virtual holiday party!
5. Make a Charitable Donation
The holiday season is the perfect time to pay it forward to those who’ve helped us through the pandemic or those who need an extra bit of help this time of year. Make a donation on behalf of your staff to an organization that is near and dear to your hearts. Or give your team an allowance and encourage them to do the same! Giving back is a fantastic way to spread holiday cheer far and wide.
However you decide to celebrate, don’t forget to make a toast to your wins this year. If there’s anything we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that supporting our people is the key to building a strong remote workforce. Our team has worked diligently to help our clients adapt and navigate through the complexities of COVID-19, and we’re excited to see how the transformation you’ve made translates to long-term success. Here’s a big, virtual “Cheers!” to you!