2021 Virtual Christmas Party Ideas Your Employees Won't Hate

Sep 23, 2021 · Blog
Two people infront of a Christmas Tree smiling at a handheld iPad

The festive season is fast approaching and you might be starting to wonder how on earth you're going to spread the seasonal joy with your employees now there's a whole heap of them working remotely permanently. Teams spread across the globe with flexible and remote working are all the new rage after the pandemic tipped normal working routines on their head, but it's looking likely that this latest way of working will be lasting for a long time.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in April 2020, almost half of the people in employment worked from home for some time. Now, in 2021, one in five workers in the UK want to work from home all the time. As an employer, the idea of a virtual Christmas party might have crossed your mind...

We know what you’re thinking. A virtual Christmas party sounds, well… pretty damn cringe-worthy. Are we right? If so, we are here to debunk this myth and give you some fun, fresh virtual Christmas party ideas that your staff will actually enjoy. Banish the idea of your teammates dancing awkwardly in front of their webcam or getting so drunk because they can’t bear the stop-start chat that keeps happening over Zoom. It’s time to look forward to your virtual Christmas Party and more importantly, get your workforce excited about it too.

Here is HappyCo.'s list of fun, cringe-free Christmas party ideas.

Cheese and Beer Tasting

Yes, we said cheese and beer, not cheese and wine. This amazing idea is hosted by City Brew Tours. They send your team their own personal pairing box and you even get a live virtual beer guide. This guide will talk your team through the pairings and answer any questions that any of you might have. The pairing boxes are fully customisable and their site states that you can choose to have up to 2-5 beers with gourmet cheeses, artisan chocolates and even custom pint glasses.

Why is it a great virtual Christmas party idea?

It centres your virtual work Christmas party around an event which employees can chat about. It brings your employees closer together by allowing them to all taste the same cheese and beer no matter where they are. Having a virtual tour guide also adds a nice dynamic to your virtual party allowing someone to give fresh ideas and opinions to the group. Whatsmore, your staff will be receiving a complimentary Christmas gift and who doesn’t enjoy receiving free presents in the post? This virtual Christmas party idea is a definite winner for us.

Best Gingerbread House Competition

Everyone loves a bit of healthy competition. Why not spice up your virtual work Christmas party and give your employees a challenge. Host a Gingerbread house competition. Tell your team the marking criteria and select a panel of judges. Each employee can present their gingerbread house to the team and your panel of judges can write down their scores on a piece of card and hold them up to the camera. This adds a bit of fun to the competition as it’s hosted in a ‘dancing on ice’ style format.

Why we love it?

It’s an activity that your employees can get their family or friends to help them complete. It gives your remote employees something to talk about and it’s very interactive. You could even encourage boos or cheers when your panel of judges hold their scores up. It’s wholesome, fun and works amazingly well for a virtual Christmas party idea.

Secret Santa

No Christmas party would be complete without a Secret Santa and just because your team is remote it doesn’t mean it can’t go ahead. If you have Slack you can actually download a secret Santa app which will randomly select and privately message employees telling them who they need to buy their gift for. If you don’t have this app, don’t worry. One of your managers can do a virtual team meet up on Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype and pick names out of a hat telling everyone who they need to buy for. Make sure everyone has access to their colleague’s addresses so that they can get their gift sent to their house.

When you host your virtual Christmas party your team can open their gifts and guess who they’re from. To make it a bit more interesting, set a small budget as people usually get more creative with what they buy when they have a limit on the price. It also takes the pressure off people who are worried about finances.

Why it’s a great virtual party idea?

Your whole workforce gets a small gift and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. It ensures that everyone is included and involved which is crucial when your staff are all miles apart, especially during the Christmas period which can be a time when they feel most alone. This virtual Christmas party idea gets a thumbs up from us.

Treat Boxes

Your staff have worked hard all year and it’s certainly been a tough year, so why not treat them? Send them unique gift boxes filled with different goodies to put a smile on their face. HappyCo. offers a huge selection of different boxes. Contact us about creating your own care package or choose from our 2021 Festive Boxes. These include everything from Christmas inspired food like fudge and spiced relish to festive hot chocolate drinks and mulled wine spice mixes. Other options include Bespoke Boxes for employees who enjoy a little bit of luxury , branded gift boxes to help connect your employees to the whole company and snack boxes for those that like to nibble.

Why they’re a great idea for your virtual Christmas party?

Yes, maybe we’re slightly biased, but these boxes are an easy way to treat your staff without really having to think. Thriving Box Co. do all the thinking for you and your employees end up with a truly unique treat. Your employees can enjoy them whilst you all get together online, bringing them all closer in spirit no matter where they’re joining from.

Awards Ceremony

Get your glad rags out and prepare for a night of glitz and glamour at your very own awards ceremony. Set a black-tie dress code, give your employees an allowance to buy drinks and snacks and hand out the voting cards (online of course). Include awards inspired around your team such as; best dressed, most optimistic, best sense of humour, most likely to skydive, most likely to be late. The funnier the better, but you can also include ones which highlight serious achievements such as; most sales, most contributive to ideas, most dedicated. Get your staff to vote online and then hold the ceremony at your virtual Christmas party.

Why we love it?

It gives your staff a reason to dress up and adds a whole lot of humour to your virtual work Christmas Party. It gives everyone their moment to shine and makes them feel like they are a respected and valued member of the team.

The Go Game (remote experience)

Add some thrill and excitement to your virtual Christmas party with Go Game. This company creates a customised gaming event to match your exact requirements making it more than just a game. They combine their innovative video conferencing interface and include an engaging host to bring your remote team into the mix. Their games include; Buzz In Pub Trivia, Giphy Challenge, Pictionary Drawing, Head-to-Head Social Games, Lipdub, Fun Fact Match, Categories and Live Polling and Voting.

Why they’re a great choice for your virtual office party?

These guys know what it takes to create an outstanding virtual experience which is why they’ve been chosen by the likes of Nike and Google to host their virtual parties. The host will guide the party and pump tunes throughout the event to keep the party spirits up. You won’t need to worry about awkward silences or boredom with this option.

The Escape Game Remote Adventures

This option allows your team to take on a full Escape Room challenge without even leaving their home. A dedicated guide will start in the escape room with a live camera and your team will have to figure out how to get them out. They’ll have 60 minutes to complete the challenge and staff can pick up clues in their digital dashboard along the way. You can have up to 8 players per game and they can accommodate groups of up to 500+.

Why it’s a no brainer for your virtual Christmas party?

Your team can embark on an adventure together and build a connection through a shared mission. It’s incredibly interactive with an online games dashboard where your team can track progress and immerse themselves in the experience. It’s a virtual party with a difference, so give your staff something to look forward to and book an escape room.

Christmas Team Charades

Charades is a festive favourite in most households so why not include it in your virtual Christmas party? To take away any pressure for anyone that doesn’t enjoy being in the spotlight, split your employees into teams of three. Ask them to select a Christmas movie and act out a scene. On the night, get each team to act out their scene and the first team to guess the correct movie wins a point. At the end of the game, tally up which team has scored the most points and they will be announced the winner.

Why we love this virtual party idea?

It gives your teammates a great chance to bond when they work together over video calls to create their movie scene. It instils a sense of healthy competition and no doubt it will make everyone laugh. This charades activity will also get everyone in the festive spirit by reminding them of all their favourite Christmas movies. If you need some inspiration here’s a list of the 50 best Christmas movies of all time.

Virtual Cocktail Making Class

This Virtual Cocktail Masterclass is the perfect way to celebrate the festivities and let of some steam with co-workers and employees alike. The highly interactive class includes all you'd need to make the most indulgent cocktails. With three options to choose from, there's bound to be a cocktail that appeals to your team - and they all sound incredible. You could pick from"

  • The Passion Fruit Martini and Expresso Martini Kit
  • The Mango & Chilli Martini and French (Pineapple and Raspberry) Kit
  • The Lychee & Pomegranate Martini & Blood Orange & Vanilla Martini Kit

Don't fret if there's members of your team who would rather not drink, their mocktail options are just as mouth watering.

  • Tropical Raspberry
  • Passion Fruit & Vanilla

Why do we think this virtual idea will go down a treat?

We think this is a great virtual Christmas party idea because it not only is a fun and engaging way to spend time together and bond as a team while you do something fun, it's also a great opportunity to learn some skills and impress your friends and family during the holidays!

Plus you get a delicious cocktail out of it. What's not to love!

We hope you found our virtual Christmas party tips useful and if we’ve missed any unique ideas, please do let us know!

Employee appreciation and recognition should always go beyond their workload, so make sure you go the extra mile this year and show them you care by organising a fun virtual festive event that will give them joy this Christmas.

Written by Hayley Biggs & Aisha Fatunmbi-Randall

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