It’s looking like for the first time in our lives, a pillar stone of company culture, the office Christmas parties, is off. Not only that, the whole month leading up to Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year – people are wearing a smile around the office and the warm fuzzy glow is tangible. Far too much Chocolate is passed around and Christmas cheer makes work fun.
So how are you going to replicate the memories and feelings of the Christmas in your office in December in 2020?
We’ve stirred together 12 ideas for your 12 days of virtual xmas.
- Send the team a personalised hampers – You could do this with your team leaders help and put personalised gifts and messages in there based on things you know about the individuals. Involvement from leadership will really be the icing on the cake and make them feel cared for by their boss.
- Encourage people use Augmented Reality filers on their calls – Zoom has new built in beta features to make your virtual team meetings just a little more light hearted. You might also want to consider something event more advance like Snapcam. This will bring a lighthearted element to your meetings over the Christmas period. Starting every call with a bit of a laugh and smile will help the general mood in the team!
- Run a secret Santa Via post – The miracle of e-commerce makes this one an easy win.
- Cook a festive recipe with each other. You can do this with the video call on. Place you laptops somewhere n ear shot, even better if you have wireless headphones to talk with each-other as you cook. Then once you’re done cooking enjoy the fruits of your labour as you wine and dine together over afternoon over a Friday lunch time hangout.
- Make a collaborative Christmas Spotify playlist – Nothing brings festive cheer like the classic xmas bangers. Mine is all I want for Christmas is you. You can access the collaboration setting by tapping the three dots at the top of a playlist. To add accompanying debate about which Christmas tune rules the roost, be sure open a thread on your team’s Instant messenger tool.
- Open mic working sessions – Create a video call ink that’s an always on. You can then use this virtual space as a hangout room that people can pop in and out of while they work. No agenda in there, just background chatter. I’m a big fan of this idea because I believe the most fun you have at any company is the camaraderie you get with your five closest work friends that sit around your table. Virtual working cuts that off and this technique does, in some small way brings that back.
- Christmas Attire – Obviously Christmas jumpers they are a must this year, plus festive headwear on calls. I’d say that should be mandatory after December 5th but that’s just me.
- Giving to Charity – A few ways you could do this:
- Volunteering a little of your time or perhaps your product and services, will help your team to feel warm and festive. There’s not much better in life than giving, to make your team feel full of Christmas cheer.
- Raise money for a cause – Try to find a charity your team is passionate about, or at least agrees on. You could go one step further and donate a percentage of your revenue in the month leading up to Christmas. Seeing as the planet is heating up this could be a great time to hop on the sustainability train that is starting to pick up steam again after Covid. Saving the planet comes will come with a positive buzz that will fill your team with warmth. “Meat free Monday” challenges are great to do together, or you could try to live plastic free for a few days.
- An Online musical recital – If you have a musician in your team, you could ask them to play some festive songs one afternoon while the rest of the team sips on some Eggnog. If not, find a video or recording of a concert you all like and watch it together. Music is a powerful way to bring people together.
- Team competition – Wether you are in Sales, Ops or Admin, setup a stretch target against your key metrics and put an exciting reward up for grabs for hitting it just before Christmas.
- Team Building – Let’s face it. People are burnt and tired of quizzes. When you get them together for a beer and awkward chat for the 36th time this year, don’t expect them to be jumping up and down. The case for working with a professional, fun bringing, team building company has never been stronger. Of course, we’re biased. But don’t just look at Steamed Egg’s Stella Yolking From Home team game show. =There are other options out there. We’ve even made a list of 9 companies doing virtual team events that we think also rock.
- Create something new for your clients – This will help your business but also remind you of the joy of giving exceptional service to your customers. You could send them fun content, a hand made gift package, even bundled in some free products and services.
This is a little left field . . .
- Create a your own Festive Collages / Artworks. People are on video calls a lot so this is where the virtual cheer happens.
- If your team aren’t the visual creative types, you can give a few quid (~£20) to hire an outsourcer and create their own festive art work.
- Once you’ve made art with the funniest moments of the year, team jokes and general bizarreness, then you can present the to each-other. You can offer a prize for the most creative/ funniest/ festive.
- You can find affordable design freelancers on sites like Fiverr. Here’s a list of my favourite visual artists on Fiver.
Here’s one we made with the help of an outsourcer on Fiver, Eden in his hosting gear in a 3D animated Yolking From Home TV studio.