The year 2020 hasn’t turned out the way any of us had hoped. With the holiday season approaching, the pandemic highlights more than ever the activities and social events we’re going to miss out on this year. However, thanks to modern technology, there are plenty of socially distant work activities that the whole workplace can enjoy this Christmas.
With such a large percentage of the working public saying they’re missing the social aspect of their work while working from home, businesses have been trying everything they can to retain some form of normality and help to maintain and improve colleague relationships.
Christmas work events always play a crucial role in office morale and are frequently the most anticipated events in the work calendar. While large office parties are off the table this year, there are still ways colleagues can enjoy each other’s company while celebrating the holidays, while still complying with government guidelines and keeping safe.
Read on for some of the most popular socially distant work events. These activities take place in the safety and comfort of an individual’s own home, with the simple requirement of a device with a camera, internet connection and video calling software.
The Pub Quiz
When has anybody needed an excuse to go to the pub with colleagues? Well, if any excuse was needed, Christmas time is the perfect reason. However, currently, groups of six or fewer are permitted and most offices have a larger team than this.
Pub quizzes and trivia nights have always been popular social events within both professional and personal lives and it was voted the number one virtual activity to take part in during the height of lockdown.
Gather staff around for a virtual trivia night this Christmas for some great fun. You can do this in a variety of ways. Many local pubs are hosting online events that you can join. There are also options like apps Jackbox or House Party. These apps generate games and questions for you so your team can sit back and enjoy.
Alternatively, you can create your own. Nominate a quiz master to write questions or various members can write one round of questions each. You can even make this personal by creating rounds that focus on the company or industry you are in, but Christmas related rounds also go down well.
Ask these questions over a video call and have participants write their answers down. Score each round and award prizes for the winner, these can be as grand or small as you wish.
Virtual Escape Rooms
Escape rooms have always been a favorite for work events. They encourage staff to work as a team and solve problems together. Escape room providers were one of the first social activity industries to adapt to the pandemic and have quickly mastered how to do this.
Simply choose your provider, like Virtual Escape Game. They don’t need to be local to you, but keep in mind time zones, and book your time and date. These slots go quickly so make sure you plan ahead. Then gather everyone online with the link provided after booking.
You don’t need to plan anything beforehand, but it is always recommended for everyone to have a pen and paper handy.
The host will talk you through the rules and will provide hints and tips along the way if needed. Then it’s time to beat the clock and try to escape before time runs out. If you have a large team, it’s recommended to split everyone into teams and do a few different rooms at the same time.
One of the most popular activities the public turned to occupy themselves at the start of lockdown was cooking and baking (the distinct lack of flour and eggs in the supermarket reflected this greatly!).
Learning how to cook new dishes is fun for everyone, and the bonus of being able to eat something at the end is always satisfying.
Cooking classes are available online at varying skill levels. Check what your team feels comfortable with. You don’t want a novice thrown in at the deep end. Similarly, if everyone has excellent skills already, they will become bored with a simple dish.
Many providers are now offering Christmas related courses, so why not allow your staff to get some inspiration for Christmas day with something new?
Book with a teacher that works for everyone and distribute a list of ingredients to the team in advance, alongside preparation instructions. Sites like Cozy Meal facilitate these events with professional chefs and provide you with all the information you need to successfully host.
Next, simple login at the chosen time and cook along together with a professional. In the end, you can all sit down for a virtual team dinner together.
Murder Mystery Nights
Murder mystery nights have always been a great way to laugh with everyone. Packages are available online for a relatively cheap price and come with many different themes to suit all tastes.
You can host this at any time that suits you. Simply distribute the right scripts and information to each member of staff that corresponds with their character. There is no need to memorize lines, as all information can be referred to during the night.
Costumes and props aren’t essential but highly recommended for the full experience. Then it’s time to bring out everyone’s inner actor to work out who the murderer is. Prizes for the right guesses, best performance and best costume make the night even more fun.
While Christmas 2020 may not be what you had hoped, we can all adapt and make it as enjoyable as possible with a fun Christmas work event that won’t be canceled no matter how the government guidelines change!