Let’s not cancel Christmas just yet. The festive period might be a little different this year, but it doesn’t mean you can’t give the office party tradition a 2020 twist. Here are 10 virtual Christmas party ideas to get you in the spirit.
Our normal work routines have been turned on their heads this year by the Coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, the Office for National Statistics reported almost half of people in employment worked from home for some time. Seven months later, remote working and Zoom meetings have become the new normal.
We’ve certainly become more resourceful, more inventive and more determined in how we organise our work. So, why not extend this creative approach to organising a festive shindig for your colleagues too?
But first, is hosting a Christmas party really that important this year?
If you need a bit of encouragement to find the motivation to organise a virtual get together, here’s a reminder of why Christmas parties are such an important part of the annual workplace calendar. Especially this year.
- They set the tone for the year ahead. Cancelling Christmas sends a very negative message to your employees. Start 2021 on a positive note.
- It’s important to say thank you. A Christmas event is an opportunity for some time out together. This is an important way for managers to recognise the hard work of their teams at the end of a challenging year.
- They are a time to build team rapport. Removing the stress of work pressures and deadlines gives your teams a chance to connect over something fun. Working from home can be lonely. Bringing people together (even virtually) reminds them that they aren’t alone and reinforces the value of team spirit.
- It gives your team something positive to talk about. This can help to create a culture that your employees want to be part of. A virtual Christmas get together is a way to inspire loyalty and reignite enthusiasm for the year ahead.
10 virtual Christmas party ideas
How can you create a virtual event that people will actually want to log into? Luckily there are some great ways to inject some fun into a group video call. Here are a few Christmas party ideas with a virtual twist.
1. Cocktail making
Hire a bartender to host a virtual cocktail masterclass where you learn how to mix a margarita from the comfort of your own home. And then enjoy drinking them together.
2. Festive cooking
Organise an online cookery class. Under the guidance of a chef, you can all make a festive dish and then enjoy your meal together from wherever you’re located.
3. Murder mystery evening
Bring your employees together (virtually) in a joint mission to solve a murder investigation.
4. Wine tasting
Gather your colleagues online and hire an expert to show you all how to swirl, sniff and sip a selection of wines. To add an alternative dimension, you could add in a whisky tasting. Or introduce a little indulgence with a Champagne pairing experience.
5. Virtual escape room
Under the pressure of a ticking clock, challenge your team to work together to ‘escape’ by completing puzzles, cryptic clues and riddles.
6. Gingerbread house challenge
Challenge your team to construct a gingerbread property empire in 45 minutes. They then each present their house to the allotted judges with prizes for the best constructions.
7. Festive quiz
There’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition to unite a team. You may also be surprised what you learn about each other.
8. Charity auction house
Invite your clients and colleagues to donate gifts (or promises) and then try to outbid each other in a live virtual auction to raise money for a chosen charity.
9. Bingo evening
A good old-fashioned game of bingo is a simple way to get people interacting with each other online.
10. Secret Santa
Whatever the theme of your virtual event, no work Christmas party would be complete without Secret Santa. Just because you’re not together in the office, it doesn’t mean it can’t go ahead this year. For example, you can use the Slack Secret Santa app to assign each member of your team a person to send an anonymous gift.
A few practical considerations
How big is your team? While a small business may be able to involve everyone in a single video call, for bigger workplaces it may be wise to have team or department celebrations.
Do you have the technology to support your Christmas party ideas? For example, if you’re using Zoom (or other video call facilities) make sure you have an unlimited account. You don’t want your party to come to an abrupt halt because you’re booted off at the end of a time limit. Also, make sure you have the capacity to host everyone.
Make sure everyone is invited. This year you can’t rely on word of mouth and the office grapevine to spread the word. Instead, send out an invite so everyone knows the date, time and has a link to the virtual event.
Talk to your accountant. Find out if you can claim any expenses or apply for tax relief against expenditure on your virtual event.
Who is going to organise it all?
If your office Christmas party has got overlooked with all that’s happening at the moment, we can help. It’s not too late to save your office Christmas party. Book a consultation to discuss hiring a VA to organise a virtual event for your team.