Ideas for fun-filled virtual work Christmas parties

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The office party is a legendary tradition whose repercussions often provide entertainment for the rest of the year.

With the dawning of the holiday season, the thought of gossiping about something other than work and watching managers embarrass themselves on the dance floor gets many of us through the daily grind.

While there’s no doubt Christmas is going to be different this year, there’s no reason that should put a halt on the festivities. According to a recent survey by retailer Next, over 45% of us will make more of an effort to celebrate Christmas this year. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few tips on how to push the boat out, and make your virtual work celebrations as merry as possible.

Invest in a restaurant kit

Food is an essential for any Christmas party. While we might not be able to trot down to the local gastro pub this year, we can continue tradition by bringing the feast into our homes. Restaurant kits have been in crazy demand since the first lockdown this year, and many places have adapted their menus for takeout.

There are platforms online which host a number of restaurants and provide offers for work Christmas parties. Have a research of the best deals for restaurant kits, and arrange to order off the menu with your colleagues. Alternatively, you can vote on a group takeaway using Uber Eats or Deliveroo, and dig in together over Zoom.

Go crazy with a cocktail class

A lot of the fun of the office do comes from being able to let our hair down in a less professional environment. It can be difficult to emulate Christmas work drinks without the awkward karaoke, so why not jazz them up a bit with another fun activity your team can take part in together?

Virtual cocktail making classes are a great way to learn a new skill and have some fun with your colleagues. If there’s money in the budget, arrange for a professional to give a lesson over Zoom. Otherwise there are several mixology classes and free tutorials available online – if anyone on your team has any expertise, you can nominate them to lead the video call.

Organise virtual Secret Santa

Not being able to socialise with our work friends every day has been a struggle for many of us working from home. An office-organised Secret Santa is a great way of letting colleagues know we’ve been thinking of them, while also adding a fun element of mystery to the gift-giving tradition.

Online platforms such as Draw Names and Elfster make it super easy to plan a socially distanced Secret Santa. Simply make a group, and have everyone on your team put in their address, so that your Secret Santa can send your gift directly to you. Remember to put some time in the diary so you that can all virtually unwrap your presents together.

Play some Christmas games

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little friendly competition. This year has been a big one for socially distanced games, from virtual quizzes to video games like Among Us. If you’ve been jumping on the gaming bandwagon with your colleagues, why not adapt an office favourite with a festive tone.

Group activities like Bingo or a Scavenger Hunt have been popular this year, due to the ease with which they can take place virtually. They’re also really easy to adapt with a Christmassy theme. Organise your teammates into breakout rooms to allow for focused chatting, or play as a group.

There are several websites which host Christmas party games for you. Platforms such as Together Works and TeamBuilding specialise in group activity packages for offices. Pick one with a fun holiday theme and host a stress-free games night over Zoom.

Though we’ll be doing things a little differently this Christmas, thinking outside the box allows us to uphold one of our favourite traditions.

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