A Guide to Celebrating the Holidays with Your Remote Team
One challenge of leading a remote team is fostering camaraderie and connection between your team members. That’s true at any time of the year – but the holidays can make it even more difficult. It’s easy for remote talent to feel left out during the holiday season, especially if there is an on-site component of your workforce in contrast to the remote portion. And the holidays can already be a difficult time of year for some employees, especially since the pandemic.
You don’t want your remote team members to feel left out. This can foster poor workplace morale and feelings of resentment, possibly even leading to “quiet quitting,” decreased engagement, and higher turnover rates.
Whether you’ve been a remote company for some time or have recently transitioned to a remote or hybrid setting, you might be wondering how to get festive with your remote employees. Keep reading to learn about some tips and ideas for helping remote workers feel connected during the holidays.
A remote staffing agency shares 6 tips to help remote workers feel connected during the holiday celebrations
Helping remote talent to feel connected with the team is hard any time of year – and the holiday season can make it even more difficult. Here are six ideas for your company’s holiday celebrations when you have a remote or hybrid structure:
1.) Remote companies can hold a virtual event
Many employees miss the holiday office parties that used to be common pre-pandemic. But if there’s one thing the pandemic made a normal part of life, it’s virtual events over video platforms like Zoom. And while it’s no substitute for a festive in-person holiday gathering, holding the holiday event virtually can be a great way to ramp up the holiday cheer and make everyone feel included.
Try using Zoom’s breakout room feature to mimic different sections of the party. Participants can move freely between the rooms to chat with different coworkers, just as they would at an in-person event. You can also have fun events going on in certain rooms (remember to designate a few people as photographers so they can snap a few screenshots of the gallery view!). You might even consider making the holiday party family-friendly – it’s not uncommon to see family members and pets in the background of Zoom calls, so invite them in to be extra inclusive.
2.) Organize a gift exchange
It might sound like a gift exchange would be impossible with a team that’s spread out over different regions. But it’s not as tough as it sounds. In fact, virtual Secret Santas and gift exchange events have become quite popular over recent years among remote teams – it’s a great way to connect team members with one another, especially ones that may not have connected otherwise.
Participating employees – you’ll want to make it optional – can share a few suggestions and gift ideas. You should set a dollar limit to ensure everyone gets a gift in a similar price range. Then, connect each participating team member with another so they can exchange gifts using a tool like Google Sheets. The list can be made public so everyone knows who is shopping for whom, or you can keep it private to really play up the surprise. Don’t forget to include participants’ addresses so remote employees know where to mail their gifts.
When it comes time to exchange, you can keep it private between the participants, or host a public exchange where employees take turns opening their gifts and guessing the identities of their Secret Santa. Employees will have a lot of fun seeing what everyone got – and figuring out who had who!
3.) Remote teams can host virtual game days
In the same way that you can host virtual events and holiday parties during this time of year, you can have a fun game day separate from your holiday event. There are all sorts of virtual games including trivia that your team will enjoy. Make it even more festive by asking team members to wear their favorite holiday sweater (ugly or not!) or host a photo contest.
Another idea: cookie making contests or other types of treat contests are always a hit. You can also set up a cookie swap if your team isn’t interested in a Secret Santa or other kinds of gift exchanges. Have your employees sign up to receive a cookie making kit, and then hop on Zoom and bake or decorate together. Compare the results to see who made the most unique cookies.
4.) Create a holiday channel through Slack
One of the simpler things you can do is use your company’s messaging platform to spread the holiday cheer. If your company uses Slack, for example, create a holiday channel. Encourage remote team members to share fun pictures and stories about their family’s holiday traditions. An administrator can put up different polls throughout the holiday season, having team members vote on their favorite holiday pastime or the most popular seasonal dish. You could also play a guessing game; have team members submit photos of themselves as children and have the rest of the team guess who is in the photo.
5.) Encourage remote employees to take part in a mutual fundraiser
What better time of year to give back than the holiday season? Even if your team is 100% remote, you can take part in a mutual fundraiser. Have a company leader pick a charity or food drive to donate to, and encourage the team to donate what they can for the cause. If you have team members who are local to the food drive location, they can even volunteer and help to collect or distribute the items in person. It’s a great way to give back to the community and shine a positive light on your organization at the same time.
6.) Allow flexible work schedules
Part of the benefit of working remotely is the flexibility it offers. Be sure to facilitate that by allowing for flexible work options around the holidays. Remember: Work isn’t everything, and employees want to be able to spend time with their loved ones during the holidays. By building in flexible start and end times, four-day work weeks, and hybrid arrangements, you’re helping your employees to relieve the mounting pressure they might feel this time of year.
Partner with our remote job recruiters to help find skilled remote talent for your organization
In addition to the holiday festivities themselves, a big part of creating and maintaining a great remote office culture involves the people that work for your organization. You need people that fit within your culture and elevate the organization. And finding them can be easier said than done.
Whether your company is fully remote, you’re testing out a hybrid model, or you have a few key players working remotely while the rest of the team is on-site, you need the right people to make it all work properly. That’s where Workway Recruiting comes in.
Our remote staffing agency offers temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire staffing solutions to meet your organization’s needs. Because we have locations across the country in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, our remote job recruiters can source the great people you need, no matter where you’re located. And that means you can foster the culture you need to make your company successful – during the holidays and beyond.