Tips for Safe Holiday Workplace Celebrations

Covid-19 will certainly add a “bah humbug” element to holiday workplace celebrations this year.  With cases and hospitalizations again on the rise and many state governments having implemented or contemplating renewed limits on in-person gatherings, holding a traditional holiday party this year seems unlikely for most companies.

In fact, an article describing a recent survey of businesses reported that only 23% of companies are planning any type of holiday party this year. 54% of companies are planning nothing, while another 23% are undecided about having some type of holiday celebration. Of the 23% of companies planning to celebrate, 74% of them will hold celebrations virtually.  With these statistics in mind, below are a few ideas your company can use to still celebrate the holidays without the traditional in-person gathering. 

  • Offer multiple meeting options – Different employees enjoy different things; so give them a few choices.  Offer video meeting get togethers with different themes.  Offer one that is just a “happy hour and chat”.  Maybe offer another virtual meeting where everyone sings Christmas carols.  Do a small “white elephant” gift exchange, where participating employees open their gifts on a video meeting.
  • Be Creative – Instead of just a video meeting among employees, why not hire a company to conduct a virtual wine tasting, a virtual Christmas cookie class, or a class on making homemade holiday greeting cards.  A no-cost option would be to host a group watch of a holiday movie or a game night (maybe the company offers to buy popcorn for all participants).
  • Other Ways to Celebrate – Video meetings have been a life saver in 2020, but some are getting fatigued by its use.  Instead of a virtual gathering, companies could consider simply giving employees a “holiday bonus” or making a larger employer match to their 401k plan this year.  Another option is to have employees select a charity to which the company will donate on behalf of its employees.
  • Gift Giving Options – Physical and mental fitness have taken a beating in 2020.  Employers might consider paying a portion of employees’ subscription to fitness or meditation software service.  Another option is paying a portion of employees’ subscription to a meal delivery service.  And, of course, the good old-fashioned gift card is always an acceptable option.