‘Tis the season for office holiday parties … or, it *would* be the season if anyone was still going to the office and/or restaurants and party venues weren’t subject to capacity limits. So what can you do to celebrate the end of the year in a fun-yet-socially-distanced manner? Lots of organizations are getting creative!
If your holiday gathering typically celebrates milestones or results that were achieved during the year, you may need to change your focus. Some organizations recognize the need to say “thank you” to their employees who worked in difficult and challenging circumstances. Still others want to express gratitude or support their local communities. Here a few ideas to help you brainstorm the right event for your business.
Video and Photo Tours
Host a contest where employees share photos or videos of their holiday decorations. Let employees vote on a winner (or winners!) and have a prize sent to that person. Bonus: With permission, you’ll get some fun images that you can incorporate into your website or social media.
Host a virtual tasting event or mixology event. I’ve seen ideas for a virtual charcuterie class, wine/champagne/beer tasting, chocolate tastings, cocktail mixing and more. The idea is to send a tasting sample to each employee, then have a remote tasting session with an expert who can guide employees through the different offerings. Pay attention to time zones – a wine tasting may not be a great idea if it’s 9AM for some of your team members.
While not a replacement for traditional office holiday parties, if gift-giving is part of your culture, virtual gifts or gift cards are a simple way to say thank you. Be careful with restaurant or travel cards. Sadly, the travel and leisure market has been especially hard-hit and some of these outlets may not survive long enough for a gift card to be redeemed. If your team is Zoom-fatigued, this may be a good option.
Some organizations are opting to take the money that would normally be spent on a holiday party and donating it to one or more charities. There are plenty of people who are struggling, and many charitable organizations are struggling as well due to lower-than-normal donations. If your company is especially CSR-minded, this is a great way to give back in a meaningful way, particularly if your normal “service days” have been disrupted.
There are ways to gather remotely as a team. Let’s face it, it was a tough year for many and simply having gotten through is a reason to celebrate. What’s your best idea for remote office holiday parties? Drop a comment below!