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How to Celebrate the Holidays with a Remote Team

holidayIt’s the holiday season, and for those who work in a traditional office setting, that means the beloved (or despised) Office Holiday Party is right around the corner. The infamous celebration is an opportunity for co-workers to put down their pens, shed that business attire, and spend a little time socializing about things that don’t include budget reports or sales projections. That kind of one-on-one interaction is excellent for building unity among a team. But if your team is made up of remote workers, celebrating together is a much tougher obstacle to overcome.

This is a challenge that The Yeomen face every year. Our team is located all across the globe, spanning many countries and continents. For us, there is no option of an annual holiday party or winter get-together. But that doesn’t mean that the holidays can’t be festive around the virtual office. There are plenty of ways that remote teams can celebrate together and enjoy the kinship that comes with one-on-one interaction. Here are a few tips on how to give the holiday season a bit of presence for remote workers.

Make it about the Season, not a Single Day:
For many companies, the holiday party is the time to celebrate; beyond that, it’s business as usual. Don’t let that be the case with your remote team. Make sure that the holidays are part of your daily work routine. It could be as small as a simple greeting to your colleagues, or a fun collage of holiday emoticons. Little gestures such as these make every day feel festive, and that goes a long way when you’re working remotely.

Establish Holiday Communications:
Talking about the holidays is a big must for a remote team. Make sure you share your traditions and passions for the season with your team. A good way to do this is to establish a specific time or place for these kinds to conversations. If you’re using a communication system such as Slack, then set up a channel specifically designed for holiday stuff. This will keep the spirit going throughout the season.

Establish Traditions:
The holidays are a time of traditions, and that should be no different for a remote team. Fun holiday activities that employees can look forward to will always make the holidays more enjoyable. You could host a “best bad Christmas sweater” photo competition, or a Christmas GIF-Off. There are plenty of options out there for holiday interaction, even if you’re separated by some distance.

Cards and Gifts:
So the office Secret Santa has a bit of a bad reputation, but when you’re working remotely, it can actually be extremely exciting. Receiving a small gift in the mail from another part of the world offers the opportunity to experience something unique (not just a Starbucks’ Gift Card). Cards from other places are also a chance to experience how other places experience the holidays.

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