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One More Remote Holiday Season: Ideas to Keep Teams Engaged

It’s hard to believe, but we’re approaching the holiday season, with days getting gradually colder and shorter. From the look of things now, it seems it’s going to be another remote holiday season! What does that mean for you and your organization? Today we’re going to look into the festive side of things. How can you keep employees engaged and in a good mood with another round of zoom parties? Let’s dive into it!

Remote Holiday Season: Ideas from Gift Baskets Overseas to Keep Teams Engaged

Remote Holiday Season: What Does It Mean for Team Morale

When businesses first started moving corporate activities online, there was a lot of uncertainty. Would remote teams be as effective as they were on-site? Would communication be clear and productive with no face-to-face component? However, soon another reason to worry added itself to the list: team morale and happiness.

Now, there are multiple studies from leading research institutions that suggest people can feel less engaged and purposeful at work without regular human-to-human interaction. Even pre-COVID, Harvard Business School raised the concern of remote employees feeling “shunned and left out.” However, a survey of more than 800 companies conducted by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, showed that the productivity stayed the same or even grew when teams moved to remote settings after the pandemic hit.

The time around the holidays is exactly when a lack of connection and personal touch shows the most. People usually bond and connect more during such times, and a remote holiday season seems to make it more stressful than ever.

How To Help Teams Bond During A Remote Holiday Season

Considering how stressed out people are already from the current situation, the more joyful and festive you can make time around the holidays for your employees, the better. How do you do it? Look into your corporate schedule: Is there an annual holiday party coming? A holiday party is an excellent place to start!

Virtual Party with a Physical Twist

Zoom fatigue is a real thing. Planning the entire program around video might be a bit daunting for your team members. However, adding a surprise element of physical presence can do the trick for you. For example:

  • — send a snack and champagne basket for them to open and enjoy together during the virtual party;
  • — deliver apparel or other items needed for fun activities during the call;
  • send certificates for activities ahead of time so that people can share their experience during the social mixer part of the call.

However, an annual party is not the only holiday activity you can use to cheer people up. Let’s explore a couple more possibilities for bonding with colleagues.

Surprising Activity: Try New Things Together

Recently, one of our business clients sent Gift Baskets Overseas corporate team an unusual request. They wanted us to help them organize… A virtual baking class for hundreds of their employees around the world! Instead of a traditional gift basket, their hampers included flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla beans, and other exciting ingredients to bake pastry together. You can put your own twist on the idea with any recipe.

Activities like these have social, creative, and team-building components to them. It’s no wonder we got similar requests from other clients as well. You and your team not up for a culinary challenge? Try some other ideas:

  • — book club;
  • — watching a movie together;
  • — try a new craft like paint-by-numbers, sculpting, or crochet;
  • — playing games (charades, scrabble, guessing games, and even video games can all work!)

Some traditionally in-person activities such as Octoberfest can also be celebrated at home. How about sending them that perfect beer basket?

Help Them Relax and Recharge on Their Own

I want to mention Zoom fatigue again. No matter how good your intentions are, your teammates just might not be up to yet another video conference call. If you feel this is the case, help them recharge on their own: send them spa gifts, a massage or fitness certificate, and help organize a retreat if they need it.

Remote Holiday Season Tips for Teams: Help Them Relax and Recharge on Their Own

Remote Holiday Season: Organizer’s Tips

It’s difficult to predict how the seasonal logistics will play out this fall and winter. Start preparations early to plan and organize your holiday activities in a timely manner, especially if you manage international teams. The corporate gift experts at Gift Baskets Overseas recommend clients finalize their gift ordering as early as October.

There are several other things you need to keep in mind when organizing a corporate holiday event. If it includes sending treats and beverages, you need to know about your recipients’ dietary restrictions, religious traditions, and personal preferences. Last year we published a blog titled What Can Go Wrong With Corporate Gifts and How to Avoid It? It’s a great read to refresh yourself on potential pitfalls in corporate gift etiquette. Make sure to give it a quick read, too!

What Else Can You Do to Prepare for a Remote Holiday Season?

Good luck with your planning!