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25 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Your Remote Workplace

Industry Trends 5 min read

So, your 2020 office holiday celebrations are going to look… a little different this year. But that doesn’t mean they should be any less rewarding! Here are some fun ways to celebrate the holidays with your remote team while working from home. 


1. Zoom caroling

Buddy the Elf put it best: The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Get your team together and karaoke your favorite holiday tunes. YouTube has a variety of holiday lyric videos available to stream across members’ screens. Want to get even more creative? Stop the carol mid-song, and reward whoever can guess the next line!


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2. Online Secret Santa

Not in the office? Online platforms like Elfster and DrawNames make it easy to do Secret Santa no matter where your team is working. This is a great activity that can include the entire team. And who doesn’t love presents?


3. Holiday cards

If you’ve never sent holiday cards before, this is a great year to start. Everyone’s cooped up and lonely — so spread some socially distanced holiday cheer! Add personal touches to cards for your remote team, essential workers, local nonprofits, and even small businesses in your area.


4. Matching charitable donations

Focusing on others has a way of bringing people together. This season especially, help your employees give back by matching donations to charities of their choosing. It boosts morale and giving!


5. High-end gifts

When you get down to it, in-person holiday party costs are astronomical: caterers, decorations, invitations, cocktail bars, live band, and more. This year, consider using your holiday party budget to buy your employees a high-end gift. Think gadgets, like iPromo CEO Leo Friedman has landed on:

“Often, a high-end gift is actually less expensive. While the social aspect will be missed, employees will appreciate the gesture, especially during such a tough year. Employees may appreciate a high-value gift that they will use often … [over] a once-a-year party.”


6. Virtual holiday party

Thanks to Zoom, a holiday party isn’t completely out of the question! Keep your scheduled holiday party date and conduct it virtually. Encourage your employees to come dressed up, bring a guest, and even decorate their virtual background to achieve that perfect holiday vibe.


7. Ugly sweater contest

Who says you can’t host one virtually? Tried-and-true, ugly sweater contests are fun for all. As a bonus, offer funny awards.


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8. Holiday mask competition

If you don’t do a holiday mask competition, is it really 2020? Invite your employees to craft DIY holiday-themed masks — and even better, send them the supplies ahead of time. Amplify the fun by voting on superlatives like Most Spirited, Worst Mask, and Scariest!


9. Virtual cooking class

It’s likely that many team members who usually spend the holidays with family members won’t be able to this year, and will instead be cooking at home. If that’s the case, a virtual cooking class could be a game changer. Invite your team to pop a bottle of bubbly and tune in virtually as you cook “together”!


10. Holiday movie night

Hallmark’s 25 Days of Christmas can now happen company-wide! Pick a day (or several) to screencast a holiday movie to play during lunch hour or after hours. This is a great activity for employees with children at home, as it creates the opportunity to invite them into a workday. 


11. End-of-year superlatives

Are you most likely to be a Grinch this year? End-of-Year superlatives are a great way to round out Q4. Send out a survey accepting nominations for meaningful titles such as Most Resilient, Best Team Player, and Most Encouraging. But don’t forget the fun ones too, like Most Likely to Have a Dog Barking in the Background, Never Not Drinking Coffee, or Most Likely to Be On Mute.


12. Holiday Zoom background contest

Zoom offers a plethora of downloadable Zoom backgrounds from Autumn leaves, to sports teams’ logos, Canva designs, vacation destinations, and more. Invite your colleagues to create a holiday background of their own, then decide on a winner.


13. Holiday Tradition or Not?

This fun game is the holiday version of Two Truths & A Lie! First, invite each player to submit three of their holiday traditions — two true ones, and one not. Then, let the other players guess which is which. In addition to being fun, this game is a great way to get to know your team better, as well as building respect for team members’ traditions that are different from your own.


14. Mixology party

If your team usually looks forward to an open bar at holiday parties, why not try a virtual mixology party instead? We hosted a super fun virtual mixology night at Kazoo! Two of our resident mixologists guided guests through mixing their own drinks at home — with trivia!

life at Kazoo virtual mixology party menu

Learn more about how Kazoo has kept culture going for its employees while working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.


15. Escape 2020 with a virtual escape room

Team-building is never complete without it! Yes, even escape rooms have gone virtual, much to our delight. Virtual escape rooms allow your team to talk through different puzzles and challenges in order to break out of a virtual room, all within a set time. 


16. Gift cards

If you can’t meet up with your favorite colleagues to exchange presents, e-gifts are the next best thing. A majority of retailers and restaurants offer gift cards that can be sent via email, or even text.


17. Cookie decorating class

If you want to get your creative juices flowing, ask your company’s baking enthusiasts (we have a bunch, and we assume you do, too!) if they’d be interested in leading a virtual cooking decorating class! As a bonus, send packets of candy and decorations to everyone ahead of time and see what magic they can whip up.


18. Gingerbread house competition

Calling all bakers, architects, and Great British Bake Off fans! Invite folks to make their own, or send out prepackaged gingerbread kits to your team and encourage everyone to DIY!


19. Holiday lights drive-thru

If you’re looking for a way to see colleagues in person while still maintaining social distance, check to see if your area has any holiday lights that offer a drive-thru option. Meet up to caravan through the light show — and don’t forget the hot cocoa!


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20. Drive-in movie

Here’s a silver lining of 2020: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback! Check to see if there’s a drive-in near you, invite everyone to bring snacks and hot cocoa, and enjoy a holiday movie together safely.


21. Participate in Angel Tree

Bond with your team over giving to a child in need this holiday season! Participate in the Angel Tree program here.


22. Company-wide holiday playlist

Looking to spice up your lunch hour, or need some music for one of your other virtual events? Create a company-wide Spotify playlist and invite everyone to add their favorite holiday tunes!


23. Virtual holiday photo booth

Here’s a great way to snag a company photo! Make sure you can see everyone’s face during a conference call, get ready to screenshot, and say cheese! There ya go — a virtual photo booth.


24. Holiday Bingo

Get together for some Bingo to get into the holiday spirit! Here’s a card to use, or build your own. Don’t forget about the door prizes!


25. The Naughty List

Another holiday version of a well-loved game! This one is a play on “Never Have I Ever.” Make sure to customize to your company with statements such as: never have I ever worn shorts with my blazer, never have I ever lied about skipping a meeting. Last one standing is the winner!


Bringing companies together with Kazoo

Where would we be in 2020 without technology? It’s kept us going this year more than ever, and holiday celebrations are no exception. Get creative with it! The more unique your activity is, the more engaged and excited your employees are going to feel. So start making plans to spread a little extra holiday cheer this year. And if these tips have been helpful, let’s talk.

Because at Kazoo, we’re passionate about bringing together all the tools you need to make work work better for everyone. That’s why the Kazoo Employee Experience Platform brings performance management and recognition and rewards — including Goals, Feedback, Conversations, Recognition, Incentives, and more — into one simple, easy-to-use platform.

If you’re ready to align, connect, and engage your workplace, check out our Kazoo overview. Or, schedule a personalized demo today.

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