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.