This year I think we could all agree that things are looking a little different around the office. Some of us have gone back into a quiet building, spaced accordingly and masked, while many others are working remotely from their home offices. Even still, we deserve a holiday gathering of sorts, to spread cheer and connection – perhaps we deserve this even more this year! The fact remains that whether you are working at a physical location or are safely tucked away in front of your screen at home, one party option proves to be the safest: Virtual Parties.
Now this could sound like a bit of a bummer, but if you dive into these helpful tips we believe that your virtual holiday office party could be an absolute hit, and an incredible morale booster to the rest of your workplace community. We have put together this little guide to planning and executing the best virtual party “…this side of the nuthouse” (reference from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).
To Get Started
Pick a Theme
This part is the most fun. You can theme it after a popular holiday movie, holiday luau, comfort and joy, etc. Good Housekeeping has a great article outlining a bunch of wonderful themes, in case this part gets you a little stumped.
Pick a Video Platform
Perhaps your company already has a subscription to a favorite video conferencing platform that you would like to use, or maybe you’re just looking for something new. TechRadar has a list of options you can choose from, in case you’re bored of Zoom.
Creating Fun E-vites
Your invitations to the event will start to build the excitement, so have fun creating them! Make sure to include all the important details – date, time, meeting link, and any other special information. Evites.com is a great platform for putting these together! Just make sure to remind everyone to check their email!
How often do we get to dress up these days (2020)? Especially if you are working remotely, nothing puts you in a party mood like getting all fancy or fun! Coordinate the dress code to the theme of the party – you can go funky with ugly Christmas sweaters, or formal and fancy. Make sure to allow people ways to show off all the effort they put into their outfits with either a contest, or just a mini-virtual fashion show!
To encourage everyone to participate, dress up, show up and have fun, offer some fun little prizes to boost the moods and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Gifts can be simple and something everyone would like.
Okay, we’re all here. Now what do we do?
You have to have something planned, especially when you’re working with virtual. In situations like this people can’t just mingle, so you have to have a little bit of structure and direction. Here are a few activities to incorporate into a virtual holiday party.
- Mixology or cooking classes: Nothing brings teams closer together like food and a few drinks. During a remote holiday party, consider hosting virtual mixology or cooking classes as a fun activity for everyone to enjoy. To make things easier, you will want to plan ahead and send care packages with the necessary food and drink ingredients. Once the class is complete, everyone will be loosened up to play games together for a few extra laughs.
- Team-building games: Utilizing games at a holiday party is a great way to get your employees more involved while also creating a healthy level of competition. Here are a few interactive game ideas for a virtual holiday party:
- Trivia: Create categories based on your achieved goals, industry or company culture and quiz everyone on the right answers.
- Awards show: Hand out silly awards to your employees, such as “most likely to get on Zoom first” or “multi-task champion”. Think the “Dundee Awards” from the Office, sans Michael Scott.
Throughout the games, hand out prizes so your employees are incentivized to stay engaged.
This year, we have all been through a lot together. Even though our celebrations may look a little different (maybe even a little pixelated), it’s still very important to bring everyone together to celebrate achievements and set the stage for success in 2021. After all, we could all use a reason to laugh and spend time together right now. Whether you decide to play interactive games or host a class, careful planning and creativity will help increase employee engagement during the holiday party.