It’s the time of year when we’re usually all preparing for the work’s Christmas do (or are recovering from it!). But sadly, this year, when we all need it more than ever, the usual celebrations aren’t possible. The end-of-year do is more than just an excuse for a party: it’s a way to show thanks to your people for their hard work, dedication and efforts. No matter what your company’s industry, it’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had a big impact on your employees working and personal lives. Whether they’re working from home, on furlough, or working reduced or extra hours, everyone has faced challenges and it’s a huge shame that we can’t relax and celebrate as normal this December.
However, just because you can’t pull out all the stops with a big event, meal out or office party, doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy some festive cheer! This year has been a heavy one, so for our last blog of 2020, we’re looking at some of the amazing ways businesses are virtually getting together and celebrating the end of a long, difficult year.
Dependant on Government guidelines and regional tiers, some micro-businesses may still be able to meet face to face. However, this would have to be for no more than 6 households, outside, socially distanced and drinking only with a substantial meal. You would also need to take into account any travel safety, such as individual taxis.
Luckily, we live in an age where technology makes it so much easier to connect. Weekends, birthdays and even weddings have all been celebrated through video calls this year and can make for a great alternative Christmas do. Whilst the Zoom quiz has been overdone, and many are struggling with Teams fatigue, there are some creative ways to make sure the work’s virtual Christmas is different.
Here are some of our favourite ideas we’ve heard about from our clients…
- Send party packs in advance, with instructions not to open them until the day.
- ‘Ugly’ Christmas jumper competitions.
- A virtual murder mystery with fancy dress, with characters sent out in advance.
- Festive themed bingo or quizzes.
- A Christmas music playlist that can be played over the video call or individually.
- Virtual cocktail (or mocktail) making sessions.
- Send a takeaway meal (or voucher)!
- Virtual staff awards ceremony to celebrate achievements (have fun with it and add some joke awards!).
Gifts to the door:
In-person or virtual parties aren’t the only ways you can celebrate with your team this year. If the above doesn’t suit your business or employee’s needs, what about sending gifts to their door? Hampers, chocolates, flowers or even vouchers are all great ways to show thanks and brighten their day from a safe distance (remember to be aware of any specific dietary, religious or other needs).
Virtual Secret Santa:
Whilst St. Nick can travel for work on Christmas Eve, the traditional office gift swap may be a little more difficult. We’ve heard of businesses using an online name generator instead of picking from a hat, and sending gifts by post. This one requires a bit of extra planning and budgeting, so if your business has done a virtual secret Santa this year let us know how it went!
Donate to Charity:
We all know that it’s been a very hard year for many, and some more than others. If the lack of a usual Christmas do means your business saves a little money, you may wish to donate it to a charitable cause. You could support a cause that means something to your business, be it local, connected to your work or important to yourself or your team. Ask employees if they’d like to nominate a cause, or donate themselves in any way (such as to food banks or toy donations).
At Triple Three, we have deliberately not sent cards this year, but have donated to Breast Cancer Research and The Nightingale Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital and Chelwood Food Bank Plus (a non-funded local food bank who rely on the kindness and generosity of the local community). We have also continued to sponsor local initiatives throughout the year that have been supported and promoted by clients and friends of Triple Three Solutions.
A message from 333:
If you haven’t managed to arrange any celebratory activities for December, don’t worry. Start 2021 as you mean to go on by celebrating 2020s achievements, despite the challenges, and show thanks for everyone’s efforts as you look forward to the year ahead.
Whichever way your business celebrates the end of the year, we hope you all have as wonderful a time as possible and wish you a Happy Holidays & New Year. This year has been a tough one, but Triple Three Solutions is ready to help make 2021 great for you and your business. For any HR Advice, please get in touch. Call us on 0333 050 3300 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.