What you did for holiday parties in the past probably won’t work for the 2020 season. “Last year we had clients booking huge, extravagant events at places like Maude Cobb Convention Center and Villa di Felicita for hundreds of people,” the owner of a Tyler event planning agency said, shaking her head. “This year no one is doing anything like that. Instead, they’re looking for solutions that allow for social distancing.”
Employers recognize they’ve asked a lot from employees this year, and they want to celebrate milestones and accomplishments. Do so safely with these workplace holiday celebration ideas that will even work in 2020.
Plan a Virtual Office Party
If your staff works remotely, a virtual office party might be the way to go. It’s cost-effective because there’s no need to rent or decorate a venue or provide transportation back and forth. You can choose to celebrate during business hours, which gives staff members a break from the work week. Or you might give them the gift of an after-hours event with zero commute time. Some of the top trending virtual office party ideas include a virtual game night, virtual happy hour or shared experience.
Virtual Game Night
Turn video conferencing into a team or individual challenge to build morale and foster a sense of comradery. Employees can participate from home or at the office to solve puzzles, answer trivia, or get in on game show style entertainment. Companies like Let’s Roam and Outback advertise virtual team-building with challenges companies can tailor to their team’s interests, size and preferred activity level.
Virtual Happy Hour
If your previous office party included libations, consider celebrating the 2020 holidays with a virtual happy hour. Ship them options from local vendors like Kiepersol or Briar Creek Vineyards and schedule a time to enjoy them together.
Or, leave the entertainment to someone else with an online hosted happy hour. Vendors like Cocktails from Home or Sourced allow corporate event planners to send employees mini cocktail or mocktail kits. Then attendees join in on a demonstration video where a mixologist or bartender teaches them to use the ingredients they received and enjoy their creation from wherever they are.
Share an Experience
Hire a local or big name entertainer to perform a live video concert that goes straight from their studio to staff homes and offices. Or send staff members tickets to an online concert and schedule to watch livestream shows together. Websites like Grammy.com maintain a list of free online concerts, while sources like StageIt allow employers to purchase tickets for paid events.
Or, make your office party an escape with virtual corporate travel. Take your group on a video trip to Paris with a free virtual tour of The Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, Egyptian Antiquities and the Galerie d’Apollon. Go on a virtual tour of Yellowstone and explore the park’s main attractions together. Hawaii has severe travel restrictions, but their online tour allows you to virtually fly over an active volcano and click and drag to explore shorelines and landscapes. Or tour Wilson Island in Queensland Australia using Google Maps Street view, then take a virtual plunge to see coral reefs beneath the surface.
Send a Gift
In-person holiday parties are expensive. If your company isn’t planning one this year, you might instead splurge on staff holiday gifts. Mail or deliver a wellness box stocked with self-care items from a local spa. Send foodies a carefully curated package of local, artisan foods. Or, keep things simple with gift cards for food delivery or a subscription to a snack box or streaming service.
Give Them Time
If you get the sense the last thing your employees want is another Zoom meeting, give them the gift of time. Let them know in lieu of a holiday party, you’re giving them hours or days off. Share how you hope they’ll spend the time doing whatever makes their life meaningful because you value their contribution to your business and appreciate the hard work they’ve put in throughout the year.
At Brelsford Personnel, we wish you happy holidays and look forward to working with you in the year ahead.