Virtual Office Holiday Party Tips: Don't Miss the Opportunity for Your Team to Connect

Bringing your team together can be hard when your team is remote. But that doesn't mean you can't find ways to socialize and celebrate. Follow our helpful tips to plan the best virtual holiday party that will boost morale and spread holiday cheer.

The yearly holiday party is an important part of your company culture

It can be easy and comforting for workers to retreat into cliques and develop their own subcultures. Of course, there's nothing wrong with finding a group of like-minded coworkers to confide in but it's also healthy and provides perspective to have everyone in your team feel united.

A holiday party can improve your company culture by providing a fun event where everybody has an opportunity to socialize with others as people and not just as coworkers and bosses. A holiday party is also a great time to recognize people's accomplishments, raffle off gifts and boost morale.

Even if you can't gather in person, you can still find creative ways to hold a virtual holiday party. We've gathered a few fun ideas to help bring your team together even while they're apart.

Planning a virtual office holiday party: where to even begin

Even with a virtual holiday party, some of the core aspects of party planning will remain the same as planning a party in real life. You will still need to organize a guest list, determine a budget and create a theme.

Confirming a headcount is an important first step. Once you know how many people you are hosting you can start making decisions on how much you can spend on gifts and what activities will work best for your group. You can then determine a fun holiday party theme to tie everything together perfectly.

A wine & snack box set with wine, chocolate, popcorn and nuts decorated festively with custom labels in a package
Personalize unique wine & snack boxes for your team with custom bottle labels (Avery 22827), round labels (Avery 22807) and square labels (Avery 22806)

What to keep in mind while planning your holiday party

Hosting an online holiday party will require thoughtful planning if you want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you're in the planning stages.

Choose the right video chat app

If your team already uses a chat app then try to stick to that app if you can. Various chat apps such as Slack, Zoom and Discord provide different benefits such as a more modern look, easier accessibility and higher quality video but very few will beat the ease-of-use of the app that everybody already has at work.

Make it easy to join the party

Make sure to send out clear instructions so that everyone knows how to sign in or create an account and attend. A holiday party is your team's chance to display its inclusivity and efficiency and it will be a bad look if people can't even get into the party.

Share festive treats even without catering

Sadly you won't be able to host a holiday buffet but you can still send festive treat packs. Consider sending wine & snack boxes to everyone that can be enjoyed together over the video call. You can also print your own custom labels with your company branding to make each gift a little more personal.

Reserve a portion of your budget for holiday gifts

Along with festive treats, you can also show your appreciation by setting aside some of your budget for holiday gifts. Services such as our sister company pc/nametag let you create personalized gift packages. While homemade gifts are always appreciated, professionally engraved and customized products are a great way to go the extra mile.

Don't rule out live entertainment!

There are many performers taking their gigs virtual including musicians, escape room organizers, motivational speakers, magicians and more. Hiring a performer can be a great way to let a professional handle some of the entertainment for your party.

 Cookie decoration contest kits with a variety of colorful ingredients lovingly packaged in a festive box.
Organize cookie decorating contest kits with custom-printed shipping labels (Avery 8126) and postcards (Avery 8386).

Virtual activities to make your office holiday party stand out

Nothing brings a team together like some good group activities, especially around the holidays. Here are some fun ideas that can be done virtually that will get your team laughing together.

Cookie decorating contest

Hold a cookie decoration contest and have everyone vote for their favorites during the party. You can package cookie decorating kits with custom shipping labels, a festive design for the inside and instructional cards. Make sure to ship them with enough time ahead of the party so that everyone has a chance to think of some fun ideas and bake their cookies.

Ugly sweater party

Have everyone dig out some of their favorite ugly holiday sweaters and hold a virtual fashion show to vote for some of the best (or the worst) designs.

Karaoke holiday classics

Host a virtual karaoke session with cheerful holiday songs to lift people's sprits.

Raffle a prize for a good cause

Choose a charity and have participants earn one raffle ticket for every $5 they donate. At the end of the evening you can have a drawing for a fabulous prize!

3 seasonal twists on quick & easy team-building activities

You can also build on other remote team-building activities by adding some seasonal flair. Here are three ideas that you can use as inspiration.

Video chat bingo

Create bingo cards with video chat snafus, holiday snacks or festive traditions and send them out to your team. After the party, you can use self-laminating sheets and notary seal labels to send out game winner certificates for the winners.

Share online puzzles

Send your team a weekly link to an online puzzle. Use a free online puzzle site that lets you upload your company logo, photos from past holiday parties, seasonal memes and more.

Have a GIF battle

Ask participants to submit GIFs on a theme such as "Type your name in a GIF search engine and post the first result" or "Describe how your holiday is going with a GIF" or "Search for a GIF from your favorite holiday movie."

 Secret Santa gifts with personalized labels and tags as well as an assortment of custom-printed holiday cards.
Decorate Secret Santa presents with gift tags (Avery 22802) and round labels (Avery 22877). You can also print and share holiday cards with personalized notecards (Avery 8315).

Incorporate holiday gift and card exchanges into your virtual holiday party

It wouldn't be the holidays without presents and there are many wonderful ways to make sure you keep the gift-giving spirit alive during your virtual holiday party.

Save “Secret Santa” gifts to open during your virtual holiday party

Secret Santa gifts are a familiar concept to most and incredibly easy to do while social distancing. Just pick names randomly through an app or online gift exchange generator and have everyone send their gifts to the person they're matched with ahead of time. During the party everyone can open their gifts together on camera and try to guess who sent it to them.

Plan a card exchange and share highlights during the holiday party

Encourage your team to create and send holidays cards to each other with their own designs and images. During the holiday party you can host a competition for various categories such as "Funniest Design" and "Most Creative Concept" and more. Try to choose a good range of categories such as drawing, writing and photography to encourage people with different skills to participate.

Virtual white elephant gift exchange

Adapt your white elephant gift exchange for remote employees by having participants bring a wrapped gift to the video chat. Everyone is still assigned a number and play the game in the traditional way, but when a person's gift is chosen they will unwrap it and show it off on camera to the group.

When it's another person's turn to choose, everyone shows their gifts up to the camera again to make it easier for the chooser to see all of the options. After all of the gifts are sorted and the holiday party is over, ship the gifts out to each person or drop them off at their desks at the office.

More resources for creating a distinctive company culture online and in person

Even after your holiday party ends, there are always more ways you can continue encouraging a fun and welcoming work environment. Here are a few more articles with our tips and ideas to help promote a more distinctive company culture.

Show your appreciation with some of our creative client and employee gift ideas. These DIY gifts are a thoughtful way to give back and strengthen relationships.

Make it easier to welcome new employees during remote onboarding with our best practices. Our efficient tips will help your new hires feel like they're part of your team in no time.

Practice a healthier work-life balance by being more mindful of how much of your time is divided between your personal life and work. A better work-life balance will make for a happier team and better results.

Products Used in This Article

3.5" x 4.75" Removable Labels (22827)
2" Round Glossy White Labels (22807 / 94501)
2" Round Matte White Labels (22877 / 94501)
2.5" Round Glossy White Labels (22830 / 94502)
2" Square Labels (22806 / 94107)
1" x 2-5/8" Address Labels (5160 / 94200)
2" x 4" Shipping Labels (8163 / 94207)
3-1/3" x 4" Shipping Labels (5164 / 94215)
5.5" x 8.5" Shipping Labels (5126 / 94229)
4" x 6" Postcards (5389)
4.25" x 5.5" Note Cards (8315)
2" x 3.5" Printable Tags with Strings (22802)

Templates Used in This Article

Wine & Snack Box Templates

3.5" x 4.75" Label Template
2" Round Label Template
2.5" Round Label Template
2" Square Label Template

Cookie Decorating Contest Templates

4" x 6" Instruction Card Template
3-1/3" x 4" Shipping Label Template
5.5" x 8.5" Shipping Label Template

Card Exchange Templates

4.25" x 5.5" "Holiday Spirits" Card Template
2" x 4" "Holiday Spirits" Label Template
1" x 2-5/8" "Holiday Spirits" Address Label Template
4.25" x 5.5" "Peace, Love & Miracles" Card Template
2" x 4" "Peace, Love & Miracles" Label Template
1" x 2-5/8" "Peace, Love & Miracles" Address Label Template
4.25" x 5.5" "You Light Up My Life" Card Template
2" x 4" "You Light Up My Life" Label Template
1" x 2-5/8" "You Light Up My Life" Address Label Template

Secret Santa Templates

2" x 3.5" "Secret Santa" Tag Template
2" "Secret Santa" Round Label Template