In all the TV shows and movies, office holiday parties seem so grand and memorable. So, when I joined Sidecar, I was so excited to finally have a team to celebrate the holidays with. Then COVID-19 hit.
Now, we know in-person holiday parties like I had seen on my TV screen were next to impossible this year. I know I’m not the only one bummed about this: People all over the world are missing their friends and family. In order to recreate some semblance of normalcy this holiday season, I started looking for ways to bring our office holiday party to the virtual realm. Here’s how your organization can do the same:
Pick a platform
Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Meets or Zoom are all fantastic platforms for a relaxed and unstructured meeting — making them perfect for a holiday party. Individuals can share festive backgrounds, show off home decorations, mix up cocktails and more with their coworkers.
Be cognizant that not all of your employees or members can participate in gift sharing or raffles. COVID-19 drained not only people’s bank accounts and health, but also their will to participate. Surviving during a pandemic is exhausting, and some employees or members may not feel comfortable or even want to celebrate.
Understanding these feelings and respecting boundaries will undoubtedly earn respect and make your employees or members feel heard. In some cases, offering financial support could help ease some tensions and make participating an easier decision for all.
Have a theme
Replicate the feeling of being together by coming up with a fun and cohesive theme. Your theme could be ugly holiday sweaters, a virtual escape room, murder mystery or even a dinner party where everyone cooks the same dish.
Whatever your theme may be, having one will bring your employees or members together for the holidays. Not only is it fun and inexpensive, it’s also a great team builder.
Games, games and more games
What is a holiday party without competition? Who has the ugliest sweater, the best background, best decorated cookies, wins at charades? Any fun and simple game raises spirits and let’s your employees or members feel accomplished. You could even go so far as to offer prizes or money for winners.
Keep in mind that if your organization is doing a gift swap, cookie decorating or wreath-building competition, you should send your employees or members the supplies prior to the event. This helps out those who have been hit hardest by COVID-19 and makes sure everyone can participate.
Whatever you decide to do, understand that this year is different for everyone. Your virtual holiday party may not be perfect, but your intentions are. Have fun, be relaxed, stay safe and enjoy your holiday.