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Nov 23, 2022

How to create a hybrid office holiday party

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Some of us are working from home – and maybe enjoying the holiday party from home, too. But how? Here’s our guide to the perfect hybrid office party.

The end-of-year holiday bash is the one time of year everyone can come together in the spirits of togetherness and eggnog.

‘Tis the season for employee-pleasin’, but how do you keep everyone on the same fun page when half your office is working from home? The classic in-person end-of-year company bash doesn’t need to die; it just needs to be updated. Here’s how.

New and improved office party ideas:

  • Bring the party to the people
  • A private club
  • A holiday hamper
  • Secret Santa
  • Live-stream the party
  • A festive online quiz
  • An outdoor party

The end-of-year holiday bash is the one time of year everyone can come together in the spirits of togetherness and eggnog.

‘Tis the season for employee-pleasin’, but how do you keep everyone on the same fun page when half your office is working from home? The classic in-person end-of-year company bash doesn’t need to die; it just needs to be updated. Here’s how.

Bring the party to the people

No, we don’t mean turn up in your remote workers’ backyards with a boom box and a fruitcake.

While the in-office celebration in happening – and perhaps being live-streamed – your remote workers could hang up decorations and unpack some yummy food and bevs – all sent by you, their benevolent management – and turn on the party playlist you’re listening to in-office.   A virtual party

Put everyone in the same boat – a Zoom screen – to ensure the exact same level of Yuletidery is experienced by all employees. In-office workers can enjoy their own private in-person celebration if desired, but getting everyone into a Zoom room could put everyone on an equal footing.

It’s cheaper to decorate, too.

A private club

It's a virtual holiday party, but more elite. Everyone who works remotely (or just wants to party remotely instead of in close quarters) gets invited to a top secret remote-only Zoom room, where the festivities are designed specifically for our remote folk.

Some ideas:

The company could deliver everyone a meal or a small bottle of bubbly so they’re able to celebrate over the same food and drink, if not the same plague-ridden air.

A holiday hamper

Deliver a holiday hamper to each of your employees containing all the festive foods and drinks they’ll need for their holiday celebrations. A panettone, oranges, fancy hot chocolate mix, a beverage you know they’ll like – just remember to ask about allergies or other dietary restrictions.

If you can’t get everyone together for a big party, this is another way to spread cheer; but inside your employees’ homes instead of at the local bowling club. And for those based in the northern hemisphere, it’s a great way to lighten up some of the darkest days of the year.

Secret Santa

A remote Secret Santa could make your remote-working colleagues feel understood.

A website like Elfster can assign everyone a Secret Santee and allow them to upload a wishlist of potential pressies within the chosen budget. The company could provide each staff member with pre-paid courier packages so all your employees need to do is check their Santee’s wishlist, buy something and pop it in the post.

It’s the perfect way to arrange a little seasonal cheer without doing any actual party planning.

Live-stream the party

Send some party hats to the home offices of your remote workers, then send them a link to a live stream of everything they’re missing. If they’re incorrigible people-watchers, they can chat to each other about all the speeches and debauchery they’re seeing. 

A festive online quiz

For the management grinches out there, a fun and festive quiz could the cheapest possible option to bring the holiday season onto employees’ screens.

You could go for a generic seasonal Buzzfeed quiz, have a holiday trivia competition wherein the highest scorers get sent a special prize, or design your own office-specific quiz to make it feel ultra-personalized.

An outdoor party

If your remote workers are WFH because of medical reasons and not because they’re located in a different country, it could be possible to bring everyone together.

Wearing masks where possible and being all vaxxed up is one obvious way to make things easier for our immunocompromised colleagues. Another way is to have the function outdoors.

It’s much safer to gather in open air than to have the whole company crammed inside a hot room. In many parts of the world it’s currently winter, so we understand you might already be getting goosebumps at the thought of this, but consider:

  • Outdoor heaters or fireplaces to keep the temperatures up
  • Mugs of warm eggnog, mulled wine and hot chocolate
  • A massive outdoor company Christmas tree with presents underneath it
  • All wearing Bubble Boy-esque suits to protect yourselves from cold and viruses

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