3 Holiday Party Ideas for Virtual Teams

If there’s one thing we know about work and life during the time of COVID-19, it’s that things are looking a little different this year and for the foreseeable future. From grocery shopping and mask-wearing to transitioning to a remote work lifestyle, if you’re like most people, much of your day to day habits and expectations have changed over the last several months.

So far, the trajectory of the pandemic signals a 2020 holiday season that’ll be unlike any other. Smaller-scale family gatherings, masks under the mistletoe, and virtual get-togethers are just a few of the things that could mark this year’s merriment. Additionally, holiday work parties are one of the many events that could face cancellation this year, but don’t fret just yet.

In this post, we’re sharing three-holiday party ideas to make your virtual holiday event a hit no matter how it stacks up to last year’s party.

1. Have some festive and friendly competition

One of the easiest and most effective ways you can engage your staff during an in-person or virtual event is through a little friendly competition. Thankfully, the holiday season lends itself super well to fun and festive activities that your virtual team will definitely love.

Not sure where to start? Check out these ideas:

  • Zoom background design competition: If you’re using Zoom or another video platform to host your event, you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have with holiday decor. Whether you set up your own holiday decorations or deck the halls virtually, there are plenty of fun ways you can spruce up your virtual space for the occasion. Get your team in on the action by hosting a background design competition! You can specify if you want live decorations or virtual backdrops, or let them have free-range. Once everyone’s been entered in the competition, you can use an online voting system to poll your team members and review the results.
  • Best holiday attire: What’s more festive than an ugly sweater party? Encourage your employees to dress in their holiday best or gift them with new ugly Christmas sweaters to mark the special yet strange circumstances of your 2020 holiday party.
  • Coolest original caroling song: If your team has a knack for creativity, try testing them on their caroling skills. Before your event, ask each department to work together on their own carol to be presented at the party. Bonus points if their carol is company-themed!
  • Holiday bingo: Looking for a passive game that can be played in between catching up, holiday bingo is your best bet. Send each staff member a virtual bingo card and call out festive things like:
    • “December birthdays”
    • “Still believes in Santa”
    • “Decked the halls this year”
    • “Drove by Christmas lights”
    • “Has completed all of their Christmas shopping”
    • “Celebrates Hanukkah or Kwanzaa”
    • “Participated in Giving Tuesday”
  • Tree decorating contest: For companies looking to spread some extra holiday cheer, consider sending a mini artificial Christmas tree to each of your employees and have them participate in a tree decorating competition.

Note: Competition is all fun and games but the real ticket to success is the prize box! Don’t forget to have plenty of prizes on-hand to ship out to winning staff. Or, send virtual gift cards for a no-contact, high-reward alternative.

2. Send a company card and care package

There is no question that this year’s holiday season is going to be challenged in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. However, that doesn’t mean any merriment has to be missed. One great way to share some seasonal cheer is by sending out a company holiday card and care package to your hard-working remote employees. Now, more than ever before, is the time to show your gratitude for their tireless efforts and teamwork during these unprecedented times.

Here are some suggestions you can use to fill up your care packages:

  • Custom company-branded face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hot chocolate kit with a mug
  • Festive cookies, candies, or savory treats
  • Gift cards to gas stations, grocery stores, or major retailers

3. Offer food and drink stipend for the event

One of the best parts about company holiday parties is the food and drink. While you might not be able to provide your team with a decadent spread this year, you can still make sure they can eat and imbibe the way company Christmas parties were intended! Simply send a stipend or food delivery gift card from Postmates, DoorDash, or Grub Hub to get the party started.

See, holiday cheer is still here to stay! Feel free to use these tips as your party-planning guide and share your favorites in the comment section below.


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