November 02, 2021

7 Virtual Holiday Team Building Activities for Managers

Sam Caucci

Every workplace has its own unique holiday traditions for celebrating yearly accomplishments and bringing team members together. But 2020 is everything but usual, so our usual holiday traditions are going to  be virtual this year.

Holidays are about coming together and strengthening our sense of community, and that can be difficult when we can’t be together in person. We can’t host our usual end-of-year holiday party or meet at our favorite local restaurant to swap gifts and stories with our coworkers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find unique ways to celebrate the holidays virtually with our remote team rthis year.

Finding creative ways to uplift and celebrate our team remotely is especially important in 2020. You can still celebrate and have an awesome end of year get together. It just takes being more creative…or reading our list below. We got you.

We get that end-of-year budgets might not be what they were in 2019, but that doesn’t mean you skip out on celebrating your people this year. You can be creative without breaking the bank, it just takes some extra thought.

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So here are seven virtual holiday team building activities that can inspire managers to use their end-of-year budgets to power up their workers and plan for virtual holiday team building activities.

1. VIRTUAL TEAMSGIVING

Not in person? No problem.

One thing our team is doing this year to celebrate with one another is hosting a virtual Teamsgiving! We know most team-building activities fail miserably, even when we’re together in person, and creating effective team building activities virtually is even harder. That’s why we all have to be more creative this year.

And even though we can’t pass the turkey or mashed potatoes around the table like we usually do—or the meatballs, pierogi and Kibbeh, which is how we do it at 1Huddle—there are still creative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving together.

At a usual Thanksgiving get together, everyone brings a different dish. But if you’re celebrating virtually this year, why not shake things up? You can send your team a survey and ask everyone what their favorite Thanksgiving side dish is. Then, send everyone the ingredients and recipe to make the side dish that gets the most votes. That way, your team can enjoy the same dish ‘together’ while having the satisfaction of making something themselves that is uniquely their own. Plus, you won’t have to worry about diet restrictions and preferences when everyone has the freedom to make their own Teamsgiving dish.

To make your celebration even more fun, you and your team can play create a contest on 1Huddle’s three most popular Thanksgiving games:

  • The History of Thanksgiving
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • The First Thanksgiving

2. USE 1HUDDLE TO RUN A VIRTUAL CONTEST ON ‘WHO’S THE COMPANY GURU?’

You can run a competition over anything with 1Huddle, and end-of-year competitions are a fun way to keep your team engaged while creating a healthy sense of competition among coworkers.

Managers can create a ‘Who’s the Company Guru?’ competition on your Q4 wins and Q1 goals for the new year. If you’re looking to mix things up, you can even create a contest that has a mix of light-hearted virtual holiday games along with other content that’s relevant to your organization’s goals.

Award winners with gift cards to local businesses or work from home swag that your employees will actually use while teleworking. Some of our favorite virtual holiday party ideas are funky subscription boxes like The Plant Club, which will send you a new houseplant every month, or sign your team up for Book of the Month and host a monthly virtual book club. 

As a bonus, you can play 1Huddle’s games over the books once you’re finished to see who actually paid attention to this month’s read. And if your team doesn’t have a lot of extra time to read, buy your workers a year-long Audible subscription so they can still enjoy this year’s best novels while commuting or multitasking.

If you’re looking for a one-time gift to send your team this holiday season, give them something to make every workday more comfortable. Try sending your team a pair of blue light glasses to help decrease the negative effects of staring at a computer screen most of the day or gift your workers a massage from Hand & Stone massage and facial spa so your workers come back from the holidays feeling refreshed and pain free.

Or if you’re shopping a little last minute this year, gift cards are always a great option. We recommend choosing small businesses in your area that have been struggling during the pandemic. That way, your workers get a great gift and you give back my supporting the businesses that need it most.

3. BUY YOUR REMOTE EMPLOYEES A STANDING DESK

Sitting at work is so 2019.

Standing desks are awesome. They are all the craze, employees love’em, but they are expensive! They have been proven to keep people more focused and energized throughout the day, and they also reduce chronic back pain and improve poor desk posture.

For most of us, sitting at the same desk or workspace every day quickly becomes tiring and makes you less productive and motivated. Standing desks are a way to mix up the monotony of working from home while improving employees’ health and fitness.

And if you’re shopping on a budget, don’t worry. There are mobile standing desks for under $40 that let you move freely throughout the home or the office without breaking the bank.

4.USE 1HUDDLE TO RUN A WEEK-LONG TRIVIA COMPETITION ON ‘THE BEST HOLIDAY MOVIES ON NETFLIX THIS YEAR’

For the holidays, 1Huddle has launched games on all your favorite holiday movies. Play with your team by running a week-long contest over the best holiday films on Netflix this year. These competitions have quickly become one of our customer’s 2020 favorites.

Why? Because they’re fun, engaging, and fill three organizational needs:

  • They bring your team together. Let’s be real, after nine months of virtual team lunches and happy hours, finding things to talk about over weekly Zoom calls can be tough. But when every team member is watching the same Netflix show, you always have something fun and relatable to discuss with one another.
  • They bring a healthy sense of competition to your team. Finding ways to engage in healthy competition among team members isn’t easy, but challenging your colleagues to a competition over this month’s most popular series is a great way to build camaraderie and create friendly competition between coworkers. 
    It also gives workers the unique ability to show their boss who’s boss during a team when impressing managers has become more difficult. You may not be able to show your supervisor the great work you’re doing in the office every day, but when they see your name regularly topping 1Huddle’s leaderboard, they’ll know where you rank.
  • They make workers earn their end of year prize. Getting company swag and gifts in the mail at the end of year is always fun, but the most rewarding gifts are the ones we earn. And if you feel like every member of your team deserves a gift after this challenging year, set a point threshold that players have to meet in order to receive their gift. You can challenge everyone on your team to earn 10,000 points on 1Huddle before you mail them their office gift!

5. MAKE A DONATION TO CHARITY ON BEHALF OF YOUR TEAM

Strengthening your company’s social impact is important year-round, and the holiday season is the perfect time to make sure your company is helping those in need. Choose a local nonprofit focused on supporting your community’s youth or vulnerable populations and make a donation on behalf of your team.

You can also bring your team together to fundraise around a cause you’re passionate about. Our CEO Sam Caucci is participating in a sleep out for Covenant House New Jersey, a local nonprofit that supports homeless youth in our community. The entire 1Huddle team got together to help Sam reach his $5,000 fundraising goal, and it has been a great way for us to make an impact and give back to our community while bringing our team closer together.

If your budget is especially tight this year and you don’t have the means to make a donation or fundraise, check out volunteermatch.org. VolunteerMatch is the largest network in the nonprofit world, and the site makes it easy to find opportunities to make a difference in your community.

All you have to do is type in the name of your city, and VolunteerMatch will show you the best volunteer opportunities in your area by category. Some categories you can choose from include Advocacy & Human Rights, Children & Youth, Arts & Culture, Computers & Technology, Animals, and Education & Literacy.

Volunteering with your team (whether it’s in person or virtually) is a great way to give back to your community while strengthening the bond between team members.

Looking for more nonprofits you can donate to or volunteer with this holiday season? Here’s a list of who we work with at 1Huddle:

  • School Justice Project: SJP uses special education law to ensure that older, court-involved students with disabilities can access a quality education.
  • Covenant House New Jersey: For more than four decades, Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway and trafficked young people by offering housing and support services to young people in need.
  • New Jersey Reentry Corporation: NJRC helps citizens returning from jail or prison gain employment in New Jersey.
  • All Stars Project of New Jersey: ASP is a nonprofit that transforms the lives of low-income youth and communities using the developmental power of performance in after school development.

6. USE 1HUDDLE TO TURN YOUR NEXT ALL TEAM VIDEO MEETING INTO A GAME

We’ve all gotten a bit disconnected during COVID. Using 1Huddle’s multiplayer mode, you can create a game out of your next team meeting.

Set up a video conference with your team and launch one of 1Huddle’s multiplayer games. This allows you to create teams, screen share your board, and compete against each other in real time. It’s basically Jeopardy, but with multiple choice questions and roleplays. Combine our multiplayer game with a virtual happy hour, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. 

We also recommend awarding prizes to the team members who get first, second and third place in the game. This will incentivize your team to stay engaged and competitive while learning more about each other. And by the time everyone finishes the game, you’ll be surprised by how well you’ve gotten to know your teammates.

7. OUR 7TH RECOMMENDATION IS…

We talked a lot about making people earn their holiday gift in this article. So if you want to know our 7th recommendation for how you can celebrate your team, you’re going to have to earn it by  answering a 1Huddle question from our game “It’s the Manager.”

What percent of employees are engaged at work?

  1. 5%
  2. 15%
  3. 45%
  4. 70%

Do you know the answer?

Email us at marketing@1huddle.co or DM us on Instagram or Twitter @1huddle. If you guess correctly, we will reveal the title of our 7th and final recommendation on how to treat your workers this holiday season.

Ready to Level Up Your Workforce?

1Huddle can help you and your team stay ahead of the learning curve. We offer cloud-based employee gamification software. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime and at the push of a button. You can use our game platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your own workforce? Leave your information on the Talk To Us Page and schedule a call.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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