It’s that time of year – time to bust out the Santa hats and eggnog for the annual company holiday party. Of course, it’s also still that time of the pandemic, where large social gatherings are out. And many startups and small businesses rely on remote work for cost savings and other reasons.
The reality is that working from home is the reality for many of us, which complicates the traditional ‘office’ party. But the main pain point of remote work is the lack of camaraderie and connection, so holiday parties remain vital. Zoom fatigue is very real, though, and you don’t want your team to feel like their holiday party is just a draining video call to get through.
What’s a team leader to do? Plan an awesome holiday party that will be fun (really!) and help foster that warm, fuzzy feeling we all want during the holidays.
We’re a team of virtual financial strategists, so we know a thing or two about virtual working. Here’s how we’re having a great virtual holiday party this year!
Virtual Holiday Party Tip #1: The Food
Let’s be real. When you head to any holiday party, what are you most looking forward to? It’s all the holiday food, right? Who doesn’t love an appetizer tray, a cheese board, or a plate overflowing with sugar cookies!
Now that we’re in the end of the year, it’s a good opportunity to thank your team for all their hard work, and to let them know how valued they are. What better way to do that then to have a charcuterie box or fresh batch of cookies delivered right to their door? Bonus: you’ll also be supporting a local food company in the process.
Tip #2: The Drinks
And ok, ok … maybe it’s the drinks we look forward to more than the food. Something about the holidays screams fancy drinks, often with lots of eggnog or whipped cream or both.
There are lots of delicious and creative drink recipes that are perfect for holiday parties. Why not find a recipe you can share with your team, that you can call make together onscreen? A little mixology is always a fun activity and a good ice breaker, whether alcohol is involved or not (we’ll let you be the judge on that!).
Tip #3: The Music
No holiday party is complete without a killer playlist. Remember that one of our tips for keeping your remote team connected is set up a community chat in Slack that’s more fun than business. A channel that’s just for pet pictures or for sharing memes, for example, can be a great way to replace the water cooler.
So why not set up a channel where everyone can share their favourite holiday tunes? Then, put those tunes into one big playlist that everyone can share and play from home.
Tip #4: The Fun and Games
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to figure out what you’ll actually do with yourselves! That’s where the holiday games come in (pro-tip: add prizes to up the participation).
A game called ‘The Naughty List’ is a fun ice breaker. Have your employees ever re-gifted a present? Peeked at presents in advance? You get the idea! You can also find more Christmas ice breakers and party games here.
Of course there are always old favourites like bingo, scavenger hunts, and ‘name that tune.’ Maybe have a cookie decorating contest. You get the gist – the idea is to have some activities planned in advance to keep the fun rolling.
And don’t forget to take a screenshot or two of your team all decked out in their holiday attire! Remember, just because you’re not physically together, that doesn’t mean this isn’t an evening to remember.