This has been an incredibly difficult year for many people as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to make cutbacks while employees moved to a remote work environment. While working from home has many benefits – including not having a commute and the ability to be close to family members – there is a social aspect of the workplace that gets lost.
As we enter the holiday season, businesses need to keep a festive atmosphere even during this hard time. A happy holiday season can reinvigorate employees as we head into what will hopefully be a better year. Here are a few ideas to have a happy holiday season even while employees work remotely.
Ideas for a Happy Holiday Season While Working Remotely
A Virtual Holiday Party. This kind of goes without saying, the company holiday party is a hallmark of most businesses. With employees working remotely, you can host an event over Zoom or another teleconferencing platform. While it will not be the same as an in-person event, it can give workers a chance to socialize with co-workers without the day’s work hanging over their head. Employees may feel isolated during this time and will likely relish a chance to let loose a little bit, even if it is virtually. A fun wrinkle could also be hosting a company dinner where employees can order delivery from their favorite local restaurant and eat at the same time.
A Virtual Secret Santa. Thanks to Amazon and other online retailers, it is relatively easy to send presents to any address. Employees who want to participate in a secret gift exchange can add their home address to a spreadsheet and have one employee act as the ringmaster, selecting which employees shop for each other. Employees can be asked not to open their gifts until a set time when they can do it in front of the group over Zoom. This is an easy and fun way to have a happy holiday season while working remotely.
A Gratitude Celebration. Everyone loves a little recognition from time-to-time. Hold an online company meeting and take time to praise each employee’s contributions over the past year. Also, encourage employees to come up with kudos for their co-workers. In what has no doubt been a difficult year, taking time to appreciate the work done by your staff will go a long way. As a business owner, you can also use this as an opportunity to look at the year ahead. Provide an optimistic view for 2021 to motivate and inspire your employees to continue working hard in the months ahead. When possible, lay out specific company goals and provide incentives for employees to reach them. Be sure to, encourage employees to take time off during the holiday season, unplug from their work, and spend time with loved ones.
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