Office Party Ideas In Remote Workplaces So Your Tech Employees Don’t Have To Be “Home Alone” During The Holidays

After 18 months of video meetings, virtual happy hours, and overall “Zoom fatigue,” it can be a challenge to come up with holiday office party ideas in remote workplaces that your tech employees will actually be excited to attend. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, nor does it mean that folks don’t want to enjoy some holiday cheer with their coworkers.

In fact, virtual holiday office parties can provide the same fun and camaraderie as in-person parties, but without many of the potential downsides. For instance, employees will not be driving home after too many drinks since they are already home. Also, there will be no opportunity for employees (or their managers, if we are being honest) to engage in any other ill-advised behaviors that can happen at office parties.

But all legendary virtual holiday parties have some things in common, starting with the likable host.

Yes, someone should be in charge of the festivities as a moderator/host/MC/cat herder to keep everything moving along and prevent things from descending into anarchy (albeit friendly anarchy). This person will ideally have a good rapport with their coworkers, and a decent knowledge of the software platform being used to host the party.

To maximize participation in your office party, you should also consider your employees’ needs and realities. Given how many other responsibilities and obligations your employees likely have, it may make more sense to hold your event during the workday than after hours.

Finally, you know your company and your workforce. Pick themes, activities, or games that suit their interests and align with your corporate culture.

Implementing simple and creative office party ideas is all it takes to make your tech employees’ holiday season merry and bright. Here are five office party ideas in remote workplaces to help you spread laughter through your employees’ laptops:

1. Virtual Secret Santa/Gift Swap

This classic holiday staple can work well remotely with some planning and creativity. You can pick who gets who using a gift exchange generator, then have everyone send their presents and wait to open gifts together at the online party. A great site that we love is Elfster, which acts as a name generator, and has helpful links to various online retailers. Employees can choose to shop by price, category, and other criteria and ship directly to their recipient.

While physical gifts add a more tactile element (especially if you plan to open gifts together during the party), tech employees, in particular, may like the option of sending virtual presents such as online gift cards or virtual shoutouts from an app like Cameo.

2. Holiday Cocktail Kits

As noted, one of the great things about hosting a virtual holiday party this year is that your remote employees can enjoy holiday party cocktails without having to worry about getting behind the wheel. You can make that happen by picking a couple of classic or new-fangled cocktail recipes and asking everyone to make them for the party. You can either send a pre-packaged set of ingredients and recipes or send a recipe and ingredient list for employees to pick up before the shindig. Try to include a “mocktail” recipe as well for those who don’t imbibe.

GTN-office-party-ideas-in-remote-workplaces-ugly-sweater-contest3. Ugly Sweater Contest

This is one office party idea in remote workplaces that we really love. Ugly sweater contests have taken on a life of their own in recent years and never fail to bring laughter to the participants. Encourage all employees to come to the party in their boldest, ugliest, and funniest holiday sweaters and other gear and vote on the winner (or loser). Have the participants tell the story of how they got their hideous or amusing holiday garments, and you have the makings of a great holiday office party!

4. Virtual Reindeer Games

Holiday-themed games combine the holiday and competitive spirits, and if done right, they can be downright hilarious. Holiday-themed trivia with creative and funny questions is always a classic. But other games can also bring cheer. A holiday version of “Never Have I Ever” is a great icebreaker, with folks raising or lowering their hands to such prompts as “regifted a present to a coworker” or “knocked over a Christmas tree.” A quick Google search can provide lists of entertaining holiday-themed prompts.

5. Classic Holiday Movie Night

We all have our favorite classic holiday films.  Some, like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” are masterpieces, while others are just good fun. Theming your virtual office party around a holiday movie can be an entertaining way to get everyone in the spirit. For the fun holiday films we all know by heart, consider having a watch party where everyone can add their clever commentary, a la “Mystery Science Theatre 3000.” Good choices are “Elf,” “A Christmas Story,” “Christmas Vacation,” or “Home Alone.” But don’t forget about other “holiday” classics like “Die Hard” and “Trading Places.”

Inspired By These Office Party Ideas In Remote Workplaces?

Dedicated remote tech employees who work hard throughout the year look forward to holiday parties as an opportunity to connect with their peers over something other than the latest project milestone. No matter what theme you choose, what platform you host it on, or what activities you include, the office party ideas in remote workplaces shared here can be a source of joy, merriment and camaraderie in your organization.

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