How to include your remote workers in holiday festivities

| December 10, 2018

With remote work on the rise, more and more businesses need to find creative ways to include remote workers in office events. The holidays in particular are a time of celebration and generally include numerous events, not to mention at least one company Christmas party. Your remote employees are still part of the company, so it is important to include them in the festivities.

Here’s how to do it:

Create Online Holiday Contests

Online contests are a great way to get everyone involved in the fun, both in the office and outside of it. You can use apps like Slack or HipChat to create daily contest channels where everyone can post. You can have employees post pics of themselves in their favorite ugly Christmas jumper for a virtual ugly jumper contest or have a Christmas themed online trivia contest. Virtual contests allow everyone to get in on the fun.

Do Your Own “12 Days of Giveaways”

The Ellen show has become infamous around the world for her 12 Days of Giveaways. You can include remote workers in your festivities by doing your own 12 Days and “televising” each day. You can start with smaller gifts and work up to a big “grand prize” but make sure you send your remote workers packages with all 12 Days worth of gifts.

Play Games with Video Chat

From bingo to charades to Pictionary, there are a wide range of games you can play at office parties that can allow remote workers near and far to get in on the action. Just choose carefully and maybe do a test run in advance to make sure the game you choose is really conducive to being played via video chat.

Create a Holiday Playlist

Everyone listens to Christmas music and you might think you have heard all the Christmas songs out there. You might be surprised to find you are wrong. This can be particularly fun if you have remote workers that work in other countries. By having everyone contribute a few songs, you can create a company-wide playlist that might just ring in a few surprises.

Host an Awards Event

Employees near and far love to be appreciated, but remote employees in particular may enjoy knowing that their efforts do not go unnoticed. You can even make this event a serious one or a silly one depending on the type of business you run or the type of culture your business wants to foster. Whatever you do and however you do it, however, just make sure your employees know how much they are valued.

Do a Virtual Gift Exchange

There are a number of ways you can do on online gift exchange. One way is to send each other gifts within a certain budget, another is to exchange gift cards, digital subscriptions or other virtual gifts. If you really want to have some fun, you can send everyone to a local store (remote workers included) and you can group Skype while choosing gifts for each other.

Send Them a Holiday Care Package

Your office workers will most likely enjoy a never ending feast of holiday treats and goodies all throughout the holidays. Some from you and some from each other. But remote workers don’t have coworkers to share goodies and treats with, so send them something special instead. Whether it’s something simple like a fruit basket or something more elaborate like a case of premium wine, make sure they know they are remembered.

Share Pictures and Videos

You can use a cloud storage file sharing system to share all of your favorite pictures and videos. If you decorate your office for the holidays, you can host a video tour or if you have someone who has a particularly impressive ugly Christmas jumper collection, be sure and post pics every day so all your remote employees can enjoy the spectacle.

Create a “Best Holiday Memories” Video

One of the best ways to include everyone is to have each employee record themselves sharing their favorite holiday memories. You can have one person or a team collect and compile all the individual videos into one compilation video to share with everyone.

Treat Remote Employees to Their Own Celebration

As much as you want to try and include remote employees in your celebrations, what they might really appreciate most is the opportunity to celebrate with their own family and friends. You can send them a check or gift card for drinks, dinner or an entire night out on the town with their own closest supporters.

While your remote workers may not be people that you see every day, they are still an important part of the fabric of your company. In addition, unlike office workers, they don’t actually have coworkers to celebrate the holidays with. Make sure and do everything you can to try and include them in your office events.