While holding an office holiday party was off the table this year for us due to the pandemic, companies are finding other ways to help their workers celebrate this year—including virtual trivia, cocktail classes and gift delivery. Of course there are challenges to celebrating, while keeping employee safety at the forefront. While nothing can entirely replace an in-person gathering, here are some ideas to give employees the opportunity to come together and celebrate, and have a little fun. It has never been more important to celebrate and express gratitude for people after the year we have had.
For many, a virtual party is the only option this year. And employers know it’s going to take a lot to get people excited about spending more time in front of a computer. Thus, companies are having to get extra-creative with virtual celebrations.
One idea is to send out a package filled with the celebration necessities to enjoy the virtual part. This may or may not include champagne, party hats, balloons, other goodies and/or prizes. You can assign each member of the executive team to a time slot of where they are in charge of providing entertainment for the allotted time. Or allow employees to expense a lunch or dinner while virtually connecting on Zoom to celebrate or toast to the new year!
Holiday gifts, delivered
Companies can find ways to show their appreciation to workers who are still largely operating remotely. If you’re able to, add a touch of personalization to your gifts. This can be as simple as including a thoughtful, hand written note to express your appreciation of their contributions to the company. At GigSmart, holiday gift packages were hand delivered to employees homes utilizing our own gig work platform, Get Workers, to hire on-demand, local deliverers.
Remote games and trivia
There have never been more options for online group activities, most being reasonably priced or even free. Choose one (or more) activity for employees to participate in as a fun way to stay connected while working from home. GigSmart uses Sporcle to play bi-weekly trivia games while on Zoom. To add a holiday spin, select holiday trivia and invite everyone to join in their favorite tacky Christmas sweater. It’s a fun way to do non-work-related activities together as a team.
Cooking classes & remote tastings
Provide a virtual fun learning experience by hosting a cooking or mixology class. Ship out the ingredients needed and hire a bartender or chef to lead the class remotely. Provide chocolate, coffee samples or your favorite 21+ beverages and host a tasting over Zoom. Open it up to team members to decide which event they prefer. If you are able to, host more than one event to give your staff the option to decide which they would prefer to attend.
Entertainment from your car
If you still want to get everyone together, but want to follow local guidelines, hosting a drive-thru or drive-in event is a great way to get people together while staying safe. Buy tickets to a local drive-thru light show and organize a caravan to enjoy the experience together. Get an outdoor movie screen (if you have a large parking lot to accommodate) or rent a drive-in movie theater for the evening and host a drive-in movie night.
If the virtual celebration doesn’t seem appealing, there are plenty of opportunities to give back this holiday season. The holidays are a time for giving. Consider donating the money usually spent on a holiday party to a great cause. Involve employees by asking for recommendations on local causes and open it up to the company to vote on one or more to help this year.
Extra time off
If anything is certain, it’s that 2020 has been a hard year. Give the gift of time off to your employees as appreciation for their hard work during these difficult times. They will appreciate the time to spend with their families, do something they enjoy, or just unplug.
However your company decides to celebrate, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season.