I get it. Your team deserves some recognition and a chance to bond over one of the most challenging years in our lifetime but planning a virtual office party during a pandemic is feeling like pouring salt on a wound.
After some thought and a bit of research, I wanted to share with you the top four office party ideas good for teams of all sizes, across multiple sites, and time zones that you can put into action in no time. Open up a new project in your PM software because here we go!
Idea #4: Hire a hosted virtual event service
The holiday office party is supposed to be a time for festive good cheer. And yet, even before the health crisis and ensuing economic downturn that has been our 2020, the holiday season is always one of the most stressful times of the year.
A hosted virtual event takes the stress and worry out of an office holiday party because:
- The host service (like Teambuilding.com) does the work for you.
- They’ve tested these virtual event ideas out which means no wondering if it will work. Just pick one (or two)!
- Your party is mostly complete. A few words from Team Leads and the CEO and a toast at the end and you’re done!
However, if your crew is high energy, get them going with this next idea.
Idea #3: A virtual ‘Goodbye to 2020’ race
This year, a ton of very popular organized races have had to go virtual. Take a page from their playbook and make your end-of-the-year celebration a two-for wellness and recognition of your team's grit and determination. Helpful custom virtual race services are available to assist you.
You can also DIY a virtual race.
A virtual race can be made very memorable with minimal planning by keeping a few things in mind:
- Everyone races at their own pace and in their own way (i.e. walk, ride your bike, hike, or run) on the same day and then come together virtually to raise a glass (of water).
- Participation can be solo or as a socially distanced group. Introverts may prefer to race alone but extroverts may want to put together a group. Costumes are welcome and encouraged!
- Recognition of “most minutes” or the “most steps” welcomes participation at any level of fitness.
- The “virtual” part of the race shouldn’t take away from the actual experience. So, sharing routes on MapMyRun or Strava are great but make it optional.
This idea loves a logo. There is no limit to the number of 2020 puns (i.e. Zombie Run 2020, Don’t Look Back on 2020...Ever) or the level of customization (i.e. race ribbons, company race t-shirts, and prizes) of a virtual race. Have fun with it!
Idea #2: A break-out virtual holiday party
By now, you should be familiar with video conferencing Zoom’s “break out rooms” or Webex’s break-out sessions that encourage small-group conversations and teambuilding. You may not have heard of Coffee Roulette or Slack’s chat roulette called Snack. Both use an algorithm that selects team members to meet one-on-one, at random.
This year, your virtual holiday party could be centered around this simple (yet powerful) idea that there is always something new to learn about your coworker. If your company has been actively building a virtually inclusive office culture, this is your time to celebrate the talent and diversity that makes your company a great place to work.
Idea #1: Pass it on...virtually
This is my favorite idea because it combines giving and receiving a gift. Everyone gets a box mailed to their home. On the video conference call, each person (or group) takes turns opening (not unwrapping) their box to reveal the company's surprise inside. If you have more than 50 people, break them up into smaller (even-numbered) groups.
After everyone’s gift has been revealed, the giving can start. Each person passes something on to another person in their virtual room. What is passed on can be almost anything: a compliment, a joke, an IOU coffee, a magic trick, or a holiday recipe. People can be as silly and as generous as they wish.
Feel free to pass this post on to the person in your office in charge of your virtual office party this holiday season. They’ll thank you for it. Let us know how you celebrated the close of 2020 with your team in the comments below.
Your hardworking team deserves a great back office team and inDinero has the accounting, bookkeeping, and CFO services to take care of the bottom-line so that your team can concentrate on top-line sales and revenue generation. Get in touch.