Here at ViewHR we have had a number of employers speak to us recently about their Christmas Party plans. The Coronavirus pandemic means that the traditional festive mingle may not be suitable for Christmas 2020, but many employers still want to organise something fun to mark the occasion, say thank you to employees, and provide an opportunity for the team to meet up, even if only virtually.
Many of us will have participated in more than one quiz over Zoom or another video calling app during lockdown, and it seems like a lot of Christmas Zoom quizzes are being planned over the coming months. However, if you want to mix things up, here are some other ideas that might make a fun change…
Virtual Escape Room
Virtual escape rooms provide the team-building and problem-solving elements of a real-life escape room, but participants can take part from their computer at home. Companies such as Escape Live provide a range of scenarios such as solving crimes, undertaking a heist, or escaping from prison, with prices starting from £15 per person.
Festive Crafting or Baking
For a slower-paced event, you could try a simple Christmas crafting or baking activity over video call, to make a Christmas ornament or cake. In advance of the event, employees are sent a list of materials or ingredients to have ready – the simpler the better, so that everybody has a chance to get what they need. A coordinator can then demonstrate the steps in over video call whilst everybody else joins in and bakes or makes the ornament at the same time. Decoration ideas are available online from sites such as Pinterest, and BBC Good Food has many easy baking ideas. You can even have your own Bake Off moment and award prizes at the end for the best looking results, but sometimes the most fun happens when things go wrong!
This can be a competition in itself, or combined with other activities. You can also test creativity by saying that costumes must be made from items in people’s homes, rather than purchased. Some employers are specifying a black-tie dress code for their virtual events instead. The good thing about video calling is that your fancy dress outfit only needs to look good on the top half!
At Home Scavenger Hunt
A traditional scavenger hunt typically involves running around outside in teams to find certain items. But with an at-home scavenger hunt, the challenge is to find items around the house and bring them to the video call. Points are allocated for items found and speed. How quickly can you find a coat hanger, a pizza wheel and a toilet roll?
This one is fairly self-explanatory, and not for the faint-hearted! Some people may love it, and others definitely won’t, so it is best to get feedback from your employees on any ideas to see what they would prefer.
Whether your Christmas party is taking place face-to-face or in the virtual world, employees should be reminded in advance that normal HR policies and procedures apply!
Working and socialising from home can mean that team dynamics change, and employers are keen to ensure that communication and collaboration still happen effectively. Festive fun can be a part of this, but if you are an employer and would like support as your team adjusts to virtual working, please do contact a member of the ViewHR team for a discussion.