It's the most wonderful time of the year, but how do you celebrate the holidays if your team of coworkers and colleagues are spread across various states or countries? We compiled a few of our favorite ideas for office parties or team building in the virtual space. At To Plan Ahead our team is located in four different states and we travel quite a bit as well. Therefore we understand what it takes to make a productive virtual team, even while maintaining relationships with our clients who host Engineering, Technical, Scientific, and Academic meetings and are spread even farther across the country and globe.
- Give to charity as a group or individually. Instead of the traditional Secret Santa buy a coworker the gift that honors the 'child within' but donate it to a local toy drive and take turns sharing with your team why you selected that particular gift at your gathering. Ex. A model airplane for the travel enthusiast.
- Suggest the recipient bring their favorite beverage to the virtual party. In advance of the party date, send a gift card for a cup of coffee, etc. For instance, Starbucks eCards can be ordered online and sent via email notification.
- Ask your IT team or the average 20 year old to design a virtual holiday tree online. Then guests can choose from a list of items to hang on the tree. They can be personal like pictures of yourselves or your pets, holiday inspired like a Hanukkah dreidel or tinsel star, and a variety of lights, colored balls, popcorn garland, etc.
- Encourage participation during the virtual party through the sharing of family holiday recipes, throwback photos of childhood holidays, fun holiday traditions.
- Use a video conferencing system so everyone can see and chat with one another. An ugly sweater contest will make the visual connection more engaging. One option for video conferencing includes Google Hangouts which is free for up to 10 computers. Once logged in you can add virtual party hats, sounds and other fun apps that will make this the best online meeting ever!
We hope your virtual team members enjoy the holidays during this busy event season. Follow To Plan Ahead on social media for more free event and meeting planning advice year round.