by Kelly Sullivan
With much of the workforce still taking advantage of a full or hybrid work from home model, a lot of the small but important social aspects of working from an office tend to fall by the wayside.
While working from home has many, many advantages, it also has some drawbacks. Many find it harder to focus when there are things to do around the house, such as take care of kids or pets, clean, do laundry, or eat.
Others may also miss being able to connect with coworkers face to face. Working from home basically eliminates any of the social life that takes place in the office. This could mean grabbing lunch with a work friend, high-fiving a team member after a job well done, or even holiday celebrations.
Celebrating a holiday virtually seems like an odd concept, but we’re here to tell you that it can actually be a fun and engaging way to provide people with team-building and social opportunities while they work from home.
Team-building is important and should be nurtured whether you are in the office or at home. Here are some fun ways you can celebrate holidays with the team to encourage camaraderie while working from home.
Host a Virtual Party
Holiday parties are often the highlight of the season for employees, and are an important part of the company culture that you have worked hard to build. You can host virtual parties through Zoom (or whatever your platform of choice is) and offer breakout sessions so that people can talk one-one-one, like they would at a physical party.
Send workers a food delivery gift card so that they can purchase their own snacks to bring, and present awards or play a fun game while people eat.
Have an Ugly Sweater Contest
Even if your regular holiday parties are usually swanky and fancy, people might want something more casual for a virtual setting.
Ugly sweater contests are a cheap, fun way to add a little pizazz to your virtual holiday party. See how creative your team gets, and offer a prize for the ugliest sweater!
Never Have I Ever
Fun games and contests are great team-building activities, even virtually.
Think about doing a fun holiday version of “Never Have I Ever” with items relevant to your office or the holiday. Everyone starts with ten fingers up, and for every item on the list that an employee has done, they have to put a finger down. The last person with any fingers up wins a prize!
For example, put a finger down if you have ever:
- Re-gifted a present.
- Cleaned up your background before you joined the virtual party.
- Were late for the holiday party.
- Bought a super last minute present.
- Went trick or treating to the same houses with different costumes in the same night.
- Hate haunted houses.
You get the idea. Make it your own!
Deliver Holiday Baskets
If you are able to pull together a small budget, have a cool local company deliver little holiday gift baskets for your employees. Whether this be candy on Halloween or hot cocoa for Christmas, this is an easy way to surprise your employees and get them into the holiday spirit.
Have a Decor Contest
If you’re working from home and are unable to decorate the office, get your employees involved by having a home decor contest! Those who have already decorated their spaces will love to show it off, and others may get inspired to participate.
Ramp up your team’s holiday spirit by throwing in a little prize! This always gets the creative juices flowing.
Virtual Secret Santa
No virtual holiday party would be complete without a Secret Santa! There are online gift exchanges that you can use for your virtual office Secret Santa that allow you to pick names using a gift exchange generator. Employees can send presents, and wait to open them together over Zoom at the online party.
Delivering physical packages is a great option as well, but having teammates send each other virtual presents like gift cards or subscriptions is an easy way to keep things virtual.
Holiday Happy Hour
It doesn’t even have to be a holiday for you to implement this one! Hosting a virtual team happy hour after work is a great way to bring everyone together. Depending on how long you’ve been working from home, it’s likely that your team hasn’t seen each other in months, years, or ever had the chance to meet in the first place.
Getting everyone together outside of work hours allows people to get to know each other outside of their usual workplace setting. Everyone can bring a beverage of their choice, and you can all discuss non work-related topics.
Don’t give up on celebrating the holidays just because you’re not in the office! Team-building doesn’t end with a work from home schedule, and bringing your team together during the holidays is a fun way to help your employees connect with one another. Keep your company culture lively and fun – your employees will thank you.
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