The holidays are nearly here, and there is no better way to share holiday cheer with your employees than to throw a virtual holiday party!
Having a virtual water cooler and regular video calls with your team is a great way to increase the productivity and motivation of your remote workers, but when it comes to that special time of year, it doesn’t hurt to throw an extra special virtual party and give your team a memorable experience.
Before you take this extra step, there are some things to keep in mind.
That’s why we’ve prepared some tips on throwing an amazing virtual holiday party for remote employees. Read on!
Plan Your Agenda
When having a virtual holiday party, it’s important to have a plan. This may seem like a buzzkill, but it’s important to remember that virtual parties need to have a clear structure in order to work.
When you have an office party, it’s natural for people to break off into smaller groups and have separate conversations. But when you have a virtual party, everyone is online together and you need to keep every worker interested and engaged at all times.
Whether you want to include holiday games, toasts, theme competitions, or music performances, you need to know how long each activity will take.
You need to play the role of the moderator and make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Think of the following things:
- List of activities
- Schedule (time for each activity)
- Instructions (preparations your remote workers need to do beforehand)
After you think about these things and determine what kind of activities you want to include, you can design your plan for the evening.
For example, you can create something like this:
- Voting on the best costume/best desk decorations (10 minutes)
- Online game #1 (15 minutes)
- Online game #2 (20 minutes)
- Sharing prepared videos (10 minutes)
- Final toast (5 minutes)
This kind of agenda will ensure that all of your participants are engaged, and you will have enough time for everything you have planned.
Think of Your Team
Your agenda should be based on the interests of your employees.
Let your team get creative and have fun with preparing humorous pictures or videos you can watch together. If some of them can play instruments, they can start the party by performing.
You can also select the best speaker to write a toast beforehand and finish the party with a glass of champagne (or other more appropriate beverage, as it might be breakfast time for some of your employees)! This is a great way to acknowledge your team’s efforts and motivate your workers to continue the good work!
If you’re not sure what to include, you can go in a more general direction and select online games that almost everyone can enjoy.
Unless you want to keep the agenda a mystery, it’s always a good idea to consult your employees and ask them for some ideas. Encourage them to dress up, decorate their desks and bring their favorite holiday snacks. Also, it’s very important to give them instructions on what to prepare at least a week before the party.
Think of the Technicalities
If you have a remote team, you probably already have a preferred method of communication and software you use for video calls. However, it might be more complicated if you have a large team that has never been on the same call before.
Here are the tools commonly used for virtual parties:
Zoom – Zoom has a free version with a 40-minute meeting limit for up to 100 participants. You can also pay $149.90 annually for unlimited time, but it’s usually easy enough to just start the call again once your time is up.
Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts allows up to 150 participants in chat, but the video calls are limited to 25 people per call. Additionally, only the 10 most active participants are shown at the bottom of the screen.
Facebook Messenger – Facebook’s video chat is a great option as it allows free unlimited calls with up to 50 people. However, it may be unsuitable for some party games as only the dominant speaker is shown to all the party guests.
It’s a good idea to think about alternatives in case your first choice doesn’t work out. Also, keep in mind that virtual holiday parties should not last long – one hour is enough to let your workers enjoy a great experience without making them feel like they’re in a long meeting.
These were our tips on throwing a great virtual holiday party. Remember that virtual holiday parties need a bit more organization, so plan your agenda and stick to the schedule. Your remote workers will surely appreciate it.
Oh and don’t forget to take pictures. Screenshots of you all on Zoom can be great fun to share after the event.
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