A table in a warmly lit room. A laptop screen shows a three-by-three grid of nine video feeds showing various people in various locations. Most of the people on-screen are wearing Santa hats; some are outside in tropical locations or in front of a house. Around the laptop, the table is decorated with pine garland, lit candles and a small statue of a bearded elf in a Nordic-style hat and sweater.
Don't let remote work get in the way of celebrating the holidays with your team. — Getty Images/Lorado

Hosting a holiday party is a great way to create a sense of camaraderie, especially for a virtual team. If in-person gatherings aren’t in the cards for you, here are 10 virtual holiday party ideas.

[Read more: Ways to Improve Remote Team Communication]

Host a virtual happy hour

If you’re looking to keep it simple, why not schedule a virtual happy hour? A virtual happy hour is a low-pressure way to get everyone together for some social interaction. Bonus points if everyone brings holiday-themed beverages.

Send holiday gift boxes

One of the downsides to hosting a virtual party is that there are no holiday treats to enjoy. So, a week before the party, why not send your employees a holiday gift box? The gift boxes can include things like hot chocolate and cookies. Then everyone can enjoy their treats together at the party.

Do a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange

Gift exchanges are always a fun way to build rapport among team members. To host a virtual Secret Santa gift exchange, start by using a gift exchange generator to pick names randomly. Everyone can send their Secret Santa a present, then open them together at the virtual holiday party.

Celebrate diversity

If you have employees that live in different states or even other countries, you all likely celebrate different holidays. To celebrate diversity, you can host an event where everyone talks about their holidays and the unique ways they celebrate. This is a great way to embrace the holiday season while acknowledging the differences among your team.

Schedule a virtual decorating event

One of the most enjoyable parts of working in an office is decorating for the holidays. And decorating by yourself just isn’t as much fun, so why not host a virtual holiday decorating event? You can schedule a time to play holiday music, and everyone can decorate their desks and home offices together.

Encourage everyone to find their ugliest holiday sweater and an even uglier Zoom background.

Plan a virtual photo booth

Another way to make a virtual holiday party fun is by planning a photo booth. This is easy to do, thanks to video-conferencing software like Zoom. Encourage your employees to wear holiday-themed photo props, like reindeer antlers or a Santa hat.

Then everyone can gather on the screen to take a photo. From there, you can send everyone a copy as a way to remember the event.

[Read more: Zoom Video Conferencing Alternatives]

Play holiday bingo

Who doesn’t enjoy getting together for a game of virtual bingo? This is a fun and easy game you can play with your employees over Zoom for an hour. There are tons of free board game templates you can download and send to your employees before the event.

Do a virtual escape room

If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your team, you might consider hosting a virtual escape room. Web-based escape rooms are conducted via Zoom or another video-conferencing software.

During the event, your team has a certain amount of time to solve a riddle or puzzle. If you can complete the challenge before your time is up, you’ll “escape” from the room.

Host an ugly sweater contest

Another way to make your remote party more interesting is by holding an ugly sweater contest. Encourage everyone to find their ugliest holiday sweater and an even uglier Zoom background. Everyone can vote on whose sweater is the worst during the party, and you can send a digital gift card to the winner.

Watch a holiday movie

Another easy option is to plan a time when your team can watch a holiday movie together. Come up with a list of holiday movies ahead of time, and have everyone vote on their favorite movie. Then on the night of the party, everyone can stream it together. This is a great way to unwind during the busy holiday season.

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Published November 08, 2021