How to Make Your Remote Employees Feel Special This Christmas

#Christmas
Oct 21, 2021 · Blog
A light box with the words 'magic time' written on it

Normally there’s a mumble and a grumble when the Christmas stock is in the supermarkets before Halloween, but more people seem to be ready for the festivities this year after a Christmas like no other in 2020! We were eager to share our favourite office Christmas party ideas ahead of the festivities this year, but what about if you haven’t made the adjustment back into the office yet?

 

It’s been almost two years since the world of working was transformed after the pandemic, can you believe it’s been that long? At first, we had no choice but to set up remote working for our employees, with many of them discovering they rather liked it!

 

In 2021, one in five workers in the UK want to work from home all the time.

 

We’ve had to learn to embrace remote working after having to adapt following Covid-19. But what about now, as we start to return to somewhat normality? Across the globe more of us discovered that remote employees were enjoying the freedom and flexibility, can reduce commuting time and costs, could improve their work-life balance amongst several other great benefits for their health and wellbeing. But there’s also tangible, proven benefits for employers too! Yet some companies still seem reluctant when it comes to remote work 🤔

 

Let’s start this post by reminding ourselves of the proven benefits of remote team members for employers:

·     Increased productivity –

In a Global Workspace Survey it was found that 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their company because of greater flexibility.

·     Reduced costs –

This might be an obvious one but could be easy to forget! Companies could save a lot of money with remote employees as they wouldn’t have to spend as much on office space, as well as all the office furniture, equipment, supplies and so on. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that two-thirds of people would prefer to work from home.

·     Better retention –

At a time when job hopping has become far more normal or even routine in the working world, with over 73% of employees revealing they were currently open to new career opportunities in 2020, it could be hard for companies to retain talent. But offering employees the choice to work remotely has been proven to improve retention rates. A survey from Crain’s Future of Work found that 78% of HR professionals cited flexible schedules and remote working as the best non-monetary way to retain employees.

·     Easier recruitment

Given that you could hire employees from all over the world in remote companies, it should come as no surprise that recruitment is a lot easier! As well as a wider talent pool, you’ll find that a lot of employees still want to be remote workers after the pandemic. Zenefits found that 77% of employees consider flexible work arrangements a major consideration when evaluating future job opportunities.

 

Well done if you have taken the plunge and embraced your employees getting to work remotely, we hope you and your teams are enjoying the benefits! You might have also realised that maintaining and strengthening team cohesion with remote employees takes a little bit more creativity, and managing remote teams is sometimes a challenge but it doesn’t look like that will come to an end any time soon. Encouraging employees spread across different towns, cities or even countries requires additional effort.

 

Christmas is fast approaching, and it is the perfect time to bring your team together no matter how far apart you might live and spread some festive cheer!

Hosting an office party to celebrate the festivities can play a huge role in how your employees feel about their overall work experience. It’s a great chance for them to strengthen relationships with their co-workers, boost morale and improve the overall team cohesion ahead of the festive season. Having time to interact with the team outside of office hours can help create a positive work culture, which will have fantastic benefits for employee wellbeing. This can all still be achieved with a virtual Christmas party for your remote workers!

 

One thing to be mindful of when celebrating the festivities with a remote team is being aware of any cultural differences. Still celebrate and share some much-loved holiday traditions with those who would like to participate in a virtual party, but make sure you’re being respectful of team members who come from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. Try to be inclusive of those beliefs as you develop your holiday-themed activities for your virtual Christmas party.

Whether you're saying merry Christmas or celebrating all their hard work ahead of the new year, holiday celebrations are a wonderful way to show your remote workers how much they mean to the company even as a remote team.

Now it’s time to get stuck in with our favourite ways you can make your remote employees feel special at Christmas, so you can all end the year on a high wherever they're based!

 

Share your fondest holiday tradition

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to be mindful of everyone’s beliefs around the holiday period and a great way to show your inclusion is by setting up a simple and engaging discussion where remote teams join on a meeting and share their family’s unique holiday traditions.

This activity might be perfect for new teams just getting to know each other as it allows them to find out more about their new colleagues’. The question creates a safe and friendly environment for members to share stories about their family but also their traditions that come from their beliefs.

Even employees who have worked together for a while might find out something new about each other and could encourage them to work closely together as a team.

 

Have an ugly sweater competition

The National Ugly Sweater Day is on December 17, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own festive ugly sweater event!

Spice up your virtual Christmas party event by introducing some friendly competition. The idea of an ugly-jumper competition can create plenty of fun and laughter in the virtual meeting. You could get each team member to vote for different categories too. Categories could include the brightest, cheesiest, most creative etc. Competitions that make employees feel like they’re in each other’s company are perfect for getting everyone in the holiday spirit. Why not even offer prizes for the winners too?  

  

Host a virtual awards ceremony

Whether this is a formal award ceremony celebrating hard work, achievements and milestones or perhaps a light-hearted opportunity to share some humour amongst the team, award ceremonies are always memorable and are a great way to round off the year.

Virtual award ceremonies are relatively straightforward to set up and they still allow for employees to celebrate their achievements together! There are loads of traditional office employee awards that might not quite work for your virtual Christmas party idea, so we’ve put together this list of fun and unique remote employee rewards for your virtual awards ceremony!

  • Early Bird Award – for the person up and sharing messages to a channel before 9am
  • Night Owl Award – for the person who’s active at all the most random hours throughout the night
  • Hungry Caller Award – for the person who’s always eating during calls
  • Mime Artist Award – for the person who accidentally mutes themselves during calls
  • Pet Parent Award – for the person who shares the most or the best pet pictures

 

Organise a secret Santa

Depending on the size of your company and how far and wide your team members are placed, a secret Santa gift exchange might not be possible. If you’re close enough – go for it!

Secret Santa may be an office Christmas party activity classic but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for your virtual Christmas party! All you need to do is make sure you give your team members in your remote team plenty of time so they can plan, buy and send their secret Santa gifts in time. Gift giving amongst team members is a great way to spread holiday cheer even with a fully remote team. Most of your staff will be eager to express gratitude amongst each other and enjoy celebrating the holiday cheer.

 

Send a gift box straight to their door!

What could be easier than selecting a festive gift box that will be sent straight to their door?!

Gift giving ahead of the holiday is the best way to reward your employees for all their hard work over the last year and they could be a great added bonus ahead of your virtual Christmas party. HappyCo. make it quick and easy for you to share the fun this Christmas, boosting morale and leaving spirits high. All you have to do is select your favourite box from our ready-made festive gift box selection and add any personalised message alongside it if you want! We’ll take care of everything else, from picking, packing and shipping. Just to top it all off, we can deliver your Christmas box anywhere in the world!

Here’s a snippet of some of the incredible products we stock in our bespoke gift boxes:

·     Shibui Gingerbread tea

·     Coco festive artisan chocolate bar

·     Pickering's Gin bauble

·     Hill & Vale mulled wine spice kit

·     Edinburgh Shortbread House festive shortbread stars

·     Gingerbread infused honey

·     Little Parlour Festive pick & mix

·     Wax Jungle festive candle

 

When team members get the chance to connect and spend time with each other outside of their usual working environment, they will strengthen bonds and feel a greater loyalty that will  help improve the overall company culture even if you're based remotely! So time to celebrate Christmas or host a virtual holiday party and see how your team members connect, giving them the best send off for the holiday season!

 


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