Finding holiday cheer can be difficult during a pandemic, but that’s exactly why it’s more important than ever to focus on team building this year. Remote workforces and hybrid offices are common during COVID-19, and research has found that virtual workplaces provide less opportunities for socialization. This can leave people feeling increasingly isolated and disconnected. The holidays are the perfect time to bring your office back together for some fun virtual holiday party activities. These team building activities boost morale, and celebrate your hard-earned achievements. To make it easy on you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite ideas for hosting a virtual office party. We hope this will inspire you to create some holiday magic of your own!

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Don’t forget that this party is supposed to be fun! It’s a chance to relax and strengthen the bonds of your team. You don’t need to make the party overly-complicated, just start with a few of our simple ideas. If party hosing is not easy for you, there may be others in the office that would love to host, plan, or help. Lastly, consider that some of your co-workers might be on a tight budget. If gifts are involved you should set a spending limit, and think about using your party planning budget to send participants whatever supplies they will need for the party activities.

guy attending a holiday virtual office party

Easy Ways to Create a Fun Atmosphere

It’s easy to create a merry mood for a virtual holiday party!

  • Send out fun Evites, or make a Jib Jab of the leadership team to get everyone laughing and set the tone for the party.
  • Choose a theme, like “ugly sweater,” or “winter wonderland,” and have participants dress accordingly. Create an easy game by giving out awards for the theme, like “most jolly,” “most creative,” or “tackiest outfit.”
  • If you have some extra time, send photo props to participants beforehand and take screen shots of your virtual office party to make a festive office holiday card.
  • Encourage participants to download a wintry backdrop to use online during the Zoom or Google Meet.
  • Music is an excellent mood booster, so you may want to assign a DJ to play music in the background of your virtual holiday party.

Break the Ice

If you’re worried that your virtual party might be filled with awkward silences, consider an ice breaker activity to give people time to relax and warm-up to each other.

  • Get participants moving with a Home Scavenger Hunt. You don’t have to stay tied to your computer just because this is a virtual holiday party. Have participants look for items in their houses and race back for some funny and memorable team building sharing. Get creative by having participants look for the weirdest thing in their refrigerator, a sentimental item, etc.
  • Try a variation of the game Two Truths and a Lie. You can ask participants to prepare ahead with some facts about themselves to share. Two facts should be true, and one will be a lie. Participants then have to guess which statements are true and which is the lie. You can also play this game as a “Holiday Tradition or Not” version, where participants name two true family holiday traditions, and one lie.

Send a Holiday Box of Gifts or Activities

It would seem like a gift box or present exchange would be difficult with a remote workforce, but these simple team building activities have easy options that really work well! The gift boxes don’t need to be too expensive, and you can include whatever you want to make it personal. Remember, it’s the creativity and thought that counts.

  • Send photo props, holiday décor, hot cocoa, and a holiday craft to work on together.
  • Create your own gingerbread house or cookie decorating kit (or order one online) and send participant everything they will need to do this activity together.
  • Put everyone’s names into an online gift exchange generator to make a Secret Santa list for a gift exchange. Participants can then send each other gifts, open them together during the virtual holiday party, and eventually reveal who gave each gift. Another variations of this idea is to use “white elephant” or gag gifts for the gift exchange.
  • Host a virtual gift swap. For this idea a team member will volunteer to purchase the gifts and coordinate the swap during the party. The host will then mail out everyone’s gifts at the end of the party.
  • Send the items needed to make a simple appetizer or holiday-themed cocktail. Everyone can then make them at home and enjoy them together during the virtual holiday party team building activities.

Play Holiday Team Building Games

  • Charades is a great game for a virtual office party. It works just as well online with your remote workforce as it does in person. You can easily make the game holiday-centered by choosing holiday or winter movies, classic holiday books, or favorite holiday songs. To begin, the host can simply sent a private chat message with the clue to the person performing the charade. Then, everyone else can make guesses as individuals instead of on teams.
  • Try Team Bonding’s Family Feud style virtual survey for a version of “Survey Says.” It’s an engaging team building activity that puts your knowledge of your co-workers, industry, and company culture to the test.
  • Have everyone print out a Holiday Office Bingo board and play for prizes. Many bingo board options can be found online. You can also print out multiple boards for more rounds, or personalize your own bingo board.

Let Someone Else Host the Virtual Office Party

There are currently a lot of options for a hosted virtual holiday party that caters to the new remote workforce. Take a peek at a few of our favorites:

  • Escape rooms are very popular, and now you can do them online! You choose your own virtual adventure, and let someone else do all the hosting while you have all the fun.
  • Virtual wine tasting is an up and coming industry, and there are a myriad of options if your group likes wine. Make sure this type of event does not exclude anyone who does not drink.
  • How about an online cooking class? You can have participants order their ingredients, or you can send them out ahead of time. Everyone can make a tasty dish, and make some memories.

Recognize the Team’s Achievements

You should end your party by spending some time recognizing your team’s achievements and expressing your gratitude. This is your chance to build up your team and raise their spirits as you head into the new year. You will want to highlight the value of your team and the ways that you are proud of them. Showcase their contributions and all of their hard work during a demanding year as a new remote workforce. You can also give out awards, or just publicly recognize that during this challenging time you are proud of your team for stepping-up and pulling together. This process can be especially meaningful to the group, and is wonderful way to end the party on a high note.

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