How To Include Remote Colleagues In Your Holiday Parties

build camaraderie among remote team employees

Holiday parties can be daunting – even if you’re all in the same physical location. This week, we discuss some ideas to help you celebrate the holidays with all members of your team, especially those who work remotely.

How to include virtual colleagues in your holiday festivities

  1. TREAT PEOPLE EQUALLY. If you’re getting gifts for your office colleagues, remember to get gifts for your remote colleagues as well. If people in the office are going out to dinner, send your remote colleagues to dinner too. Try a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or let it be “spouse’s choice”.
  2. TURN THE VIDEO ON. When we can’t see someone in person, video is the next best thing. Whether you want to host a virtual holiday party, or you want to do a video tour of your holiday tradition, video is a great way to connect.
  3. WATCH MOVIES TOGETHER ONLINE. It sounds strange but the experience can be surprisingly fun. Someone can share their screen and play the movie. Or everyone can start the film at the same time and the team talks via chat. Make popcorn. Be creative!
  4. PLAY GAMES TOGETHER. Try a virtual icebreaker for team building, or create a special Slack channel where you can share pictures from your holiday celebrations, or have a recipe exchange. Many card and video games can be played from anywhere. Or set up a virtual treasure hunt in a virtual office.
  5. DECORATE YOUR DESK/SPACE. Try adding decorations to your desk or space to bring out the holiday spirit.
  6. TRY COSTUMES. Just because we can’t be together in person, doesn’t mean we can’t dress up! Costumes can be a fun way to bring smiles to an online gathering. Costume contests are as easy to do online as they are in person.
  7. TRY A SECRET SANTA. Every team member is paired with someone else (colocated or remote) and is tasked with giving (or sending) them a gift.
  8. GIVE SUPERCARDS AS GIFTS. A great give for any remote team are the Collaboration Supercards! They make your online meetings more productive – and fun.
  9. GIVE THE WORK TOGETHER ANYWHERE HANDBOOK. It’s a handbook on working remotely — Successfully — for individuals, team, and managers.
  10. COMPILE A PLAYLIST TOGETHER. Create playlists of music to listen to with apps like Spotify or Google Play.
  11. DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY. Decide on a charity that you’d like to make a donation to together.
  12. CREATE A GRATITUDE LIST. Make a list of all the highlights from the last year together and celebrate the small achievements along the way.

If you’ve never thrown a holiday party, don’t worry to much and just try things out. Even if it doesn’t work out as planned, the effort made to try something new and inclusive will go a long way to build camaraderie amongst remote team members.


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