Sarah Thomas

Due to the pandemic, many of us are working entirely from home and missing out on our usual end of year office celebrations. You can still celebrate the upcoming holidays and a year of hard work with your team even when you’re far apart, thanks to technology like Zoom and Slack and virtual party ideas.

Before scheduling any holiday parties, plan ahead to ensure that your festivities align with your company culture. You also need to be aware of your team and their individual living situations. If your party is taking place outside of their normal working hours, ask your team in advance if they will be available and be respectful of their time. While working from home, the lines between work life and home life are often blurred, and you need to be respectful of the boundaries between your team’s work time and personal time.

Read on to learn ways to celebrate your team and their accomplishments this year.

Festive Slack Channels

Create a festive Slack channel separate from your work channels and invite your team or your entire company. Utilize this channel to call out special accomplishments and goals that your team members have reached during the year. You can set specific times during the workday to play trivia games over Slack in your party channel and offer prizes for the person that gets the most answers correct.

Host a Get to Know You Session

Spend time getting to know your team during a virtual celebration. Search for virtual icebreakers to discuss over a Zoom session. Icebreakers work best in small groups, so if you have a large team, break out your group into smaller sections so that each member has ample time to talk and get to know each other.

Another way you can encourage your team to get to know each other is by having them take our assessment to first learn more about themselves. They’ll receive a free personalized report that will give them in-depth insights into how their personality impacts their own behaviors. You can then invite your group to a Team Room and see how your strengths, biases, and challenges impact your relationships with each other. You’ll learn how to best communicate with each other so that you can start the New Year with a strong, cohesive team – and you’ll have fun in the process!

Interactive Virtual Party Planning

Plan a virtual party, if possible, during your normal workday, when your entire team is already available. Pre-plan your party’s components in advance, particularly anything that may need to be shipped to your team members. If you’re planning on shipping interactive components of the party, or even gifts, to your employees, allow for additional time for shipping to ensure that everyone receives their shipment prior to the party date.

Here are some interactive projects you can ship to your team that you could work on at home, individually, but collectively over Zoom during an end of year party:

  •          Gingerbread house kits
  •          Wreath making kits
  •          Ugly sweater kits
  •          Holiday card kits
  •          Recipe kits with ingredients and instructions
  •          Hot chocolate or coffee kits
  •          Pre-made cookie decorating kits

If the time to ship an interactive project has passed, there are plenty of interactive online activities you can do together as a group.

Try some of these interactive group activities:

  •          Online karaoke
  •          Virtual online bingo
  •          Virtual Pictionary
  •          Remote charades
  •          Holiday-themed scavenger hunts
  •          Desk decorating contests
  •          Creative ugly sweater contests
  •          Silly hat or hairstyle contests
  •          Virtual escape rooms
  •          Remote baking competition
  •          Guess the wrapped gift game
  •          Most creative Zoom background contest
  •          Trivia games

Gifting During Virtual Parties

If you’re sending a gift to your team members or employees this year, be mindful of potential shipping delays due to the pandemic. This year it may be better to choose gifts that can be sent electronically, like gift cards to local businesses or easy-to-access chains that are accessible to all of your employees.

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