With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, most companies are choosing to forego their traditional office holiday parties this year. While you might not be sipping eggnog by the water cooler, there are still plenty of ways you can deliver Christmas cheer to your remote workforce!
Today, we're sharing a few of our favorite ideas for celebrating the holidays from afar. These activities can help your employees feel like they're part of the action, even if they're miles away.
1. Hold a Virtual Decorating Contest
Does your staff fondly remember the days of decorating their office doors to see whose would be awarded as the most festive? There may not be red and green streamers, banners and confetti this year, you can still encourage your staff members to go all out with their holiday decorations!
In fact, many people have decided to go ahead and decorate for Christmas a little early this year, ignoring the fact that it's considered in proper taste to wait until at least after Thanksgiving. With the difficult hand dealt by 2020 in general, this is a harmless and easy way to manifest joy no matter where you are!
Host a friendly at-home decorating contest, and create a space where your employees can share photos and videos of their trees, miniature villages, and other displays. They can add them to your online group chat, or post them on social media for all of your followers to see.
Then, everyone can take a collective vote to see who gets the grand prize! Make the prize something you can deliver virtually, such as a digital gift card to a local bookstore or restaurant.
2. Host an Online Secret Santa Exchange
In the days leading up to Christmas, many companies choose to play the game of Secret Santa.
In short, this simply means allowing employees to draw a name from a hat, and asking them to keep their selection a secret. Then, they'll sneakily bring in small, inexpensive gifts for that person without revealing their identity. Finally, there's a big reveal where everyone can share who they've been buying for!
While this can be a ton of fun in person, it's still plenty enjoyable over the internet.
This Secret Santa Generator allows you to enter everyone's name into an online database. With just a few clicks, it can help you divvy out assignments and organize an entirely virtual game. When it comes to gift-giving ideas, you'll need to get a little creative, but it isn't impossible.
Instead of boxes of chocolate, coffee mugs and other knickknacks, think of things that employees can easily share virtually. A few ideas include:
· Electronic gift cards
· Tickets to events
· Credit toward DoorDash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub
· Time off work
· Donations to charity
Schedule a Zoom meeting for the big reveal and bring everyone together to celebrate.
3. Make a Holiday-Inspired Chat Channel
There's no denying that internal instant messaging platforms have made it infinitely easier for remote workers to connect with colleagues. Yet, they can also be filled to the brim with corporate speak, leaving employees zapped and needing inspiration.
To liven things up and get everyone in the holiday spirit, ask all team members to join a chat channel that's strictly devoted to holiday chatter.
They can use this space to share their favorite Christmas carols, post pictures in their favorite tacky sweater, or share workplace-appropriate memes that are sure to help everyone feel jolly. After all, is it really Christmas if you don't share a Griswold GIF at least once?
Once the holidays are over and the virtual tinsel is swept up, you can still keep this fun channel alive. Change it to a "Random" chat, a "Pets Only" chat or a "Birthday" chat, where teammates can send virtual hellos at any time. You may need to set regulations around its use to make sure everyone still stays on task, but it can offer a refreshing and much-needed reprieve when workday stress sets in.
4. Compile a Holiday Soundtrack
Do you love working with your headphones on? Studies show we're actually more productive when we're listening to music, so it's no wonder you're in the zone.
If everyone is jamming out to stay sane anyway, might as well make a collaborative playlist and let everyone else know what you're listening to! Simply open a queue on any music streaming site, and share the link between your staff members. Throughout the year, anyone can edit the selections to add their new favorite holiday-inspired tunes.
5. Send Gift Boxes
If you have a small team, you can show them you care by mailing a gift box ahead of the holidays. Fill them with simple, inexpensive treats you know they'll appreciate, including:
· Pre-packaged snacks
· Personalized notepads and stationery
· Gift cards
· Small electronic accessories (e.g. earbuds, phone stands, personalized chargers)
You can allow them to open the boxes on their own, or host a Zoom meeting and let everyone do a grand unboxing at the same time. This is an easy way to show your employees that you're thinking about them and appreciate them, whether they're just down the hall or halfway around the world.
Enjoy Celebrating the Holidays From Afar
This year has looked different from most in more ways than one. However, that does not mean that employers should nix all of the beloved holiday traditions that team members have come to anticipate and cherish.
Celebrating the holidays online allows you to stretch your creative muscles and think of new and inventive ways to bring your workforce together. Sometimes, that might mean logging into the group chat wearing a Santa hat with twinkly lights behind you. Other times, it will mean shopping online for digital and tangible gifts you know your employees will love.
However you choose to celebrate, we're here for you. Contact our office to connect at any time.