Lockdown has impacted all of us and at this time of year, the thought of an isolated Christmas is on all of our minds. Businesses across the country are having to cancel holiday parties, which could leave the workforce feeling deflated and melancholy as the festive period of 2020 begins to look bleak.
However, these Christmas work parties don’t have to be cancelled this year if businesses are willing to make a few alterations and be a bit creative with their ideas. Virtual Christmas parties are the answer to this year’s festivities.
No matter where staff are located, with the use of video calling software, work Christmas parties can still go ahead while everyone remains safe and abides by social distancing guidelines.
Christmas parties are the highlight of the year for many staff, not only are they great fun and a break from the normal working day, but they also provide more. Social events with colleagues can increase morale, provide creative team-building exercises, boost morale and show staff their hard work from the past 12 months is appreciated.
Missing out on this year’s Christmas social has led to calls to pay each employee an extra £200 as an alternative, while most employees would welcome this small bonus, can it really replace the experience of fun with colleagues?
In reality, cash can’t replace the bonding experience and being able to socialise with others during the festive period is incredibly important for mental health and to provide interaction to those who live alone or are having to self-isolate or shield.
Below, we outline some of the most popular ways to celebrate the holiday season with the use of video calling apps, a little planning and an open mind.
Since WHO announced COVID19 as a worldwide pandemic, the public has gone crazy for the virtual pub quiz and it has been voted as the most popular way to virtually socialise during lockdown.
You can support your local pub by joining any live streaming they may be doing during this time and have everyone log into the software provider they are using at the same time. Check your local pub’s social media pages to see if they are participating.
You can also host this yourself, nominate a quiz master to create a list of questions, alternatively, you can have various rounds written by different colleagues. Popular subjects at this time of year include Christmas rounds, fact about the business and personal trivia regarding colleagues.
Don’t forget the prizes! This doesn’t have to be extravagant either, it could be a box of chocolates, an extra day off at Christmas or a certificate to proudly display when we are allowed back in the office.
Murder mystery virtual nights are perfect for smaller offices of under 10. If your business is larger, break everyone into groups and have a few events running at the same time.
Simply search for a provider online, it doesn’t matter where they are located either. Choose your theme, there’s something for every taste, from Poirot inspired period drama to Doctor Who style sci-fi adventures.
Download the information pack, allocate characters to the team and distribute their character profiles and scripts accordingly. There is no need to memorise lines, everything can be referred to during the video call. Props and costumes aren’t essential but always recommended to get everyone into the spirit of the game.
Then it’s time to work out who the murderer is!
This one is simple, easy and a game of chance, which means everyone has an equal chance to win. Virtual bingo is growing in popularity all across the world and it’s a great way to throw a Christmas work party.
There are plenty of websites online that can automatically call numbers for you, along with bingo card generators. Players can print these off or can mark them online, whichever they’d prefer.
One of the best parts of virtual bingo is there is little need to concentrate on the game, which means everyone can have a drink and a chat at the same time, leaving things casual.
Show & Tell
Virtual show & tell can be interpreted in many different ways. Have colleagues take it in turns to speak to the rest of the team about a certain subject, object, or past time.
This could literally be anything, but it’s fun to have a set theme. This could be the worst/best Christmas gift they have ever been given, a favorite city or country they have visited, an interesting family heirloom, the choices really are endless.
Giving prizes for the most interesting talk encourages some friendly competition and there can even be booby prizes for the worst.
These are just some of the ideas you can use for Christmas work socials this year, others include wine tasting, cooking classes, escape rooms, beer pong, and karaoke-all virtual of course!
We can still have a good end to 2020, the pandemic shouldn’t stop us from coming together during the holidays even if it is at a social distance.