We are a completely remote company here at ChuckJoe. That means every one of us works on our own – mostly in our own homes – in multiple states across the globe. This is both an amazing opportunity, however it does present a certain set of obstacles.
One of the biggest difficulties working within a remote team is the reduced opportunities to “gather around the water cooler” and connect on our personal lives. Most of our conversations happen via Slack, so many of the day-to-day bonding interactions get lost. We combat this pain point by implementing a “How Are You as a Human?” kick off during our weekly Monday Team Video Meetings via Zoom. We each chat about how our weekend was, any personal achievements, if there were any wins from the week before, and we answer a “question of the week” that is usually humorous in nature. This allows us all to remember that there’s a real person on the other side of that email and lets us all connect in the way we might if we were working in a physical office together.
Holidays however, still presented a particular challenge. How could we all come together for a holiday party? Well, for the last four years, we have thrown a Virtual Holiday Party! Everyone hops on video chat at the same time and we have an end of year celebration. Through trial and error, we have found some sure-fire ways to make a remote holiday party a success. We would like to share them with you in the hopes that you are able to throw your very own party with your team, no matter what time zone they are in!
1. Send a Gift Box
Every year, we send gift boxes to each of our team members that say not to open until the holiday party. Sending this to each person helps build comradery as everyone opens their boxes simultaneously. In addition, this gesture shows that your company cares for its employees.
You can’t have a party without poppers… or other party supplies that would be expected in “real life”. Each of the boxes contain the same items, so it’s like we’re all together celebrating at the same party! Our boxes over the years have included:
Cookies and Candy
A Small Bottle of Champagne
Christmas Poppers (crackers)
Small Holiday Crafts
3. Play Games
Games can be a great way to get everyone on the team involved and having fun! For example, within your gift box you can send a couple bingo cards. Someone on your team can share their screen and use a Bingo Number Generator to choose digital Bingo Balls. Have a prize ready to be sent to the winner for a little extra competition.
Bingo is a fun option, but there are all kinds of games you could play online including Charades and Fibbage.
4. Stir Up Conversation
Prepare some questions to ask the “room” and have each person give their answer. Some examples are:
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
What is a hidden talent of yours?
What was your favorite gift you ever received?
If you could spend the holidays anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Do you have a New Years’ resolution in mind? If yes, what is it?
Just because your team works remotely doesn’t mean you can’t build relationships with co-workers and get into the holiday spirit like other office teams. This holiday season there are plenty of ways to stay connected and bring the festive cheer with remote team celebrations.
How do you celebrate the holidays with your remote team?