The Festive Season can be a stressful time for most offices, and even more so for remote workers. During the ‘golden quarter’, team members tend to spread themselves thin trying to keep up with their regular tasks, combined with the craziness of the festivities.
During this time, it’s especially crucial to encourage teamwork and build morale. Management can do this by sending Christmas bonuses, openly thanking employees for their hard work, and doing team-building exercises – and for those who work online, a Remote Secret Santa is an excellent idea!
How To Do Secret Santa as a Remote Office
With everyone far apart and courier costs high, a remote Secret Santa may seem challenging.
If you really think about it, however, it presents a really good opportunity to get creative, and explore gifts beyond cliche Christmas mugs and scented soaps.
While you can opt for physical gifts, there’s so much potential in virtual or non-physical gifts:
- You’ll save on courier fees
- Your options are much broader
- You can get something that really resonates with your colleague
- Your gift will be unique, and all the more special for it.
The second part of Secret Santa is, of course, the event itself. While a traditional office party can’t be beaten, it is still possible to pull off a fun virtual event for your office. And you don’t have to resort to a regular Zoom meeting!
Here are our steps to throwing a virtual Secret Santa that doesn’t feel like a Monday morning meeting:
- First, you’ll have to get everyone to pick names out of a hat. Since virtual hats are hard to come by, we’ve got some other options for you.
Someone can assign the names manually – but that isn’t fair to the one assigning them.
Luckily, there’s a (free) site called Sneaky Santa that allows you to draw names, create wishlists, and send anonymous messages to the person you picked. Sounds like a fun way to get into the spirit of things, right?
- Secondly, you’ll have to agree on a budget. The best way is to have everyone send in how much they’d be willing to spend, and to work out a good median.
- Now, it’s time to buy gifts. If you opt to go off of wishlists, they’ll be available on Sneaky Santa, Amazon, or another Secret Santa website called Elfster.
If you’re still stumped for ideas, stay tuned for our list of creative and unique present ideas!
- Once you’ve picked a date for the event, it’s time to set it up.
If you want to go with a video call, we’ve got some ideas to spice things up. We’d recommend picking a theme (how about a dress up party?) and playing some Christmas games. There’s even a virtual Christmas cracker app complete with cheesy jokes and selfie props!
If you want to go a step further, there is a way to celebrate Christmas in the Metaverse. You can choose from a range of virtual venues, such as a rooftop or a lounge. It’ll be just like the real thing (but much more impressive).
5. Finally, enjoy a fun bonding experience with your coworkers. Exchange gifts, drink champagne (virtual or not), play games, and spend some much-needed downtime with your team.
5 VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR REMOTE COLLEAGUES
Stuck on what to get your Secret Santa? We’ve got some fun, never-been-done-before virtual gifts ideas that your colleagues will love.
1. An online subscription
Say the person you picked is always talking about how they’d love to learn new languages. Well, how about a Duolingo subscription? Or for the bookworm, how about an Audible subscription?
2. An online class
One of the best gifts is one that teaches you something! Maybe an online cooking class, hosted by a professional chef? Or for the colleague that’s always stressed out, a 4-week online yoga & meditation course to help them get some TLC.
3. An Amazon gift card
Look, maybe the name you picked is someone you really don’t know that well, or who is notoriously hard to please. There’s no shame in giving them a gift card – in fact, some people would prefer this!
4. An NFT
What better gift than one that increases in value? An NFT is the fun, modern equivalent of getting someone a painting – with more potential to grow in value. There are tons of affordable ones available to purchase, and so much variety that you’ll definitely find the perfect fit for your colleague.
5. A donation in their name
For your philanthropist colleagues, and the ones that have everything; a donation to a charity you know they’ll want to support. What kind of dog owner wouldn’t want to help out an animal shelter during the holidays?
Team bonding is essential in any work environment. The benefit of working in a physical office is that this bonding can happen organically, and build up slowly every day. There are office besties, shared lunch breaks, and harmless office gossip.
Remote teams don’t have the same benefit, so colleagues must find other ways to bond. Weekly video conferences are a help, but they are only effective when everyone is invested in them. This is where office events come in: a designated time to chat, to celebrate, and to bond.
What better time to do this than the holiday season?