Build­ing cama­raderie between your employ­ees is essen­tial for employ­ee engage­ment and reten­tion. In fact, employ­ees with close work friend­ships report 50% high­er sat­is­fac­tion with their work, accord­ing to Gallup. Host­ing par­ties for your office this sea­son may not be pos­si­ble, yet they are still impor­tant. We’ve gath­ered some fun alter­na­tive ways to cel­e­brate togeth­er while apart this hol­i­day season.


Gin­ger­bread House Build­ing Contest

  • Mail a box of the com­po­nents to your team ahead of the par­ty date.
  • Host a video call with back­ground music while every­one con­structs their house so they can see the progress of their co-work­ers’ build.
  • Post pic­tures of the fin­ished hous­es on your com­pa­ny Face­book page and take votes for dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. Your team can share the page with friends and fam­i­ly to try to drum up votes and, in turn, your page will get some new vis­its! Win-Win!
  • Send gift cards to win­ners to online merchants.

Vir­tu­al Hol­i­day Bingo

  • Mail bin­go cards and dob­bers or stick­ers ahead of the par­ty date.
  • Host a video call and ask your most out­go­ing and beloved team mem­ber to be the bin­go caller.
  • Email e‑card prizes to winners.

Win­ter Cock­tail Party

  • Mail a “mix-kit” of cock­tail com­po­nents to your team ahead of the par­ty date.
  • Hire a mixol­o­gist to teach via video call how to make a cou­ple of cock­tails with the ingre­di­ents you have sent out ahead of time.
  • *Option­al: take votes on a short menu of cock­tails to see which ones the team is most inter­est­ed in learn­ing how to make.

Vir­tu­al White Ele­phant Party

  • Some peo­ple con­sid­er a “white ele­phant” gift to be some­thing cho­sen from their home that is still in good/new con­di­tion, a cheap pur­chased gift, or a joke gift. Make sure you deter­mine what type you want peo­ple to give so that every­one pre­pares the same.
  • Have your team pre­pare their gift at their home ahead of time and take a pic­ture of their item. Each per­son should email the pre-des­ig­nat­ed “San­ta” the pic­ture so he/she can pre­pare the game.
  • Pre­pare a Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tion with images of gifts and fol­low the instruc­tions on this site to host the party.

Gen­er­al Tips

  • Mail “par­ty sup­plies” two weeks early.
  • Make a par­ty playlist and share it before the par­ty to get peo­ple in the hol­i­day par­ty mood.
  • Con­sid­er mail­ing par­ty food such as fla­vored pop­corn, chips, can­dy, and even a meal-deliv­ery gift card for eat­ing dur­ing the vir­tu­al event.

Even though we are apart this hol­i­day sea­son, there is no need for us to be dis­con­nect­ed. You can still be the “host/ess with the most/est” by prepar­ing the best par­ty for your team. Show them you care by spend­ing the extra time and care to keep your team engaged dur­ing the holidays.