Holiday parties are a rite of passage for many companies in December, but a surge in coronavirus cases is forcing many organizations to rethink their usual plans, either scaling back or finding alternative ways to celebrate. With a little creativity, you can still enjoy the festivities safely and responsibly.
While the ongoing pandemic may be putting a damper on everybody’s holiday spirit and interfering with your usual plans, there are plenty of creative options to celebrate this season. After such a trying year, it’s more important than ever to have a little fun and celebrate accomplishments while showing appreciation for your employees’ hard work—not to mention the struggles everybody has had to endure in 2020.
With safety concerns, that lavish party should certainly be off the table this year—but you can still celebrate the holidays while providing employees with an opportunity to bond and have fun…even if from a distance.
Here are a few ideas to help make the holidays a little brighter this year.
- Virtual holiday parties. With so many employees working remotely in 2020, not to mention the proliferation of Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams chats, we’ve become used to virtual meetings. There’s no reason you can’t also have a virtual holiday party this year! While several companies are offering virtual holiday party packages, with a little bit of planning you can have your own DIY celebration. Choose fun activities that lend themselves to video, such as ugly Christmas sweaters, home office decorating contests and virtual gift exchanges. You can even include a holiday toast, if appropriate, and use the time to celebrate employee achievements or milestones. Other creative ideas include streaming a holiday movie and virtual caroling.
- High-end holiday gifts. After such a difficult year, holiday gifts are a great way to show employees how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication under far-from-ideal circumstances. While you might normally limit your budget to simpler gifts, consider splurging a little this year; after all, you’ll probably save a significant amount of money on the cost of your annual in-person party once you factor in the costs of food, entertainment, room rental and more. High-end items such as wireless earbuds, tablet computers and smartwatches are wonderful gestures sure to be appreciated.
- Virtual dinner parties. For a more hands-on experience that is also an excellent team bonding event, consider a virtual dinner party complete with all the ingredients to make a meal. Search for an online culinary school such as Rouxbe, which provides recipes and step-by-step video instructions for putting together three-course meals. Prior to the event, a designated coordinator can send employees a box of ingredients; when the party commences, everybody can gather on Zoom to create the dishes as a team. You might even start off with a virtual happy hour to help loosen everybody up and get them in the holiday spirit.