Think you can skip a holiday party with your distributed team? Think again.
Remote workers reportedly admit that they feel less connected to their colleagues. That’s why festive get-togethers — which offer people a chance to forge deeper bonds and build camaraderie — are even more important.
Your holiday celebration doesn’t need to suffer just because you’re apart. With these six templates, you can host a remote get-together that’s just as jubilant as any in-person gathering.
1. Play a few festive games
It’s not a party without games, and this Holiday Team Building Activity template from JB Ha has four different offerings on a single board.
Split into two teams and engage in a little friendly competition with a holiday memory game, jigsaw puzzle, crossword, and a lightning round of true or false.
Amp up the competitive spirit by coming up with an enticing reward for the winning team, like company swag or a gift card for a week’s worth of coffee.
2. Build your holiday bucket lists
It’s a notoriously busy time of year, which makes it easy for people to get so wrapped up in the things they have to do that they forget about the things they want to do.
This Christmas Bucket List template by Natalia Kotova gives your team a chance to think about the activities and traditions they want to make time for before year’s end.
Split your team into small groups to discuss the activities they’re eager to do over the holidays. They can also look in Santa’s bag and pull out some inspiration (like sledding or hosting a cookie swap).
At the end of the activity, every team member will have a personalized bucket list for the holiday season — along with more knowledge about each other’s values and interests.
3. Gain a deeper understanding
Remote work makes it more challenging for people to get to know each other on a personal or intimate level, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You just need to be intentional about building that familiarity and understanding.
This What Shapes Us Icebreaker template, created by Dorothy Mankey, gives your remote team a chance to do just that. Each team member selects a person on the board, adds their name, and then uses icons and images to share their unique interests and personalities.
It’s quick (it only takes five or 10 minutes) and can be used at any time throughout the year. But, you can put a festive spin on it by asking people to share information specifically about their own holiday celebrations and traditions.
4. Host a pizza party
You can’t have a holiday party without food. This Remote DIY Pizza Party template from Jessie Fox is a way to allow your team members to enjoy the cheerfulness of dining together even if they’re apart.
On the board, everybody selects a blank pizza, adds their name, and then builds their dream pizza creation by selecting their perfect toppings. Team members also need to flex their creative muscles by naming their masterpieces.
If you want to add even more fun (and deliciousness), consider sending a little money or a gift card to team members so they can each order a pizza for your party. Then they can use the board to share what they’re actually eating on their own pizzas.
5. Share shoutouts and gratitude
This time of year is just as much about gratitude as it is about joy. Using a portion of your holiday get-together to express thankfulness and offer kudos will make your team feel valued and celebrated.
The Holiday Tree and Ornament Decoration template from Jessie Fox is a space to express your gratitude while sticking with the festive theme.
On the board, team members create their own ornaments while also listing something they’re thankful for this year. Once the ornaments are added to the tree, it’s time for presents. Team members should add at least one shoutout or well-wish to every other team member’s gift pile.
6. Look forward to next year
While you’ll want to take plenty of time to celebrate all that your team has accomplished last year, it can be equally energizing to look forward to what’s next.
With this Team New Year’s Resolutions template from Daria Rudnick, your team has space to look back and plan for the future.
You’ll start with a quick check-in activity and then a team gratitude exercise to recognize each other. After that, look at the year ahead by working together to determine personal and team resolutions, as well as how people can best support each other as they pursue those ambitions.
Celebrate the season (and each other)
Your holiday party shouldn’t feel like an obligation. Done right, it’s a chance for your entire team to share in the holiday cheer while also feeling appreciated and more connected to one another.
It’s more than possible to achieve that level of kinship and merriment with a remote holiday celebration. Put the above templates to work and you’ll host a party that’s all about togetherness — even if you aren’t actually together.