March 10, 2023 by Andrea Rajic
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Bet your calendar is full of weekly team meetings, status updates, project discussions, and brainstorming sessions. But does your remote team also make room for fun?
We’ve already talked about how making the workplace fun can have a positive impact on the entire team’s performance. Now, a super effective way to have fun with your team members is to organize virtual parties and have a good time. Nothing says team bonding, laughter, enjoying fun activities, and celebrating successes together.
We’re sharing 14 celebration and party ideas and other fun team events to shake up your usual virtual meeting schedule and boost morale in your team.
Do your teammates enjoy good wine? A virtual wine tasting can be a fun activity for your team to get together and relax while learning something new.
Decide on a theme for the tasting, like a particular region or type of wine. Ask your team members to prepare the drinks ahead and or coordinate with a local wine store to provide a discount or delivery service and have the wine delivered to your coworkers’ homes.
On the day of the tasting, set up a video call using a platform like Zoom or Google Meet. Begin the tasting by introducing each drink and providing some background information on its origin and flavor profile. Encourage team members to share their thoughts and impressions as they taste the drinks.
Consider adding some fun elements to the tasting, such as a trivia game show. Also, you could run a slideshow of short videos or photos of the world’s most popular locations where the wine you chose is made.
An additional tip: Be mindful when suggesting this activity—some of your team members might not drink alcohol.
What’s a better reason to celebrate than your coworker’s birthday or work anniversary? These are excellent dates to show your appreciation for your team members.
To make sure everything goes smoothly, especially if you’re planning a surprise, schedule the celebration ahead and send out invitations in advance, including the date, time, and any instructions for joining the video call.
Decorate the virtual space using virtual backgrounds or add decorations to the video call apps to create a festive atmosphere. You can also encourage team members to wear party hats or other festive accessories.
Just like with an in-person celebration, plan some fun activities for the virtual celebration. You could play virtual games, host a quiz, or have a talent show where team members showcase their skills. Don’t forget to take time to also share memories and appreciation for the team member being celebrated. Team members can take turns expressing their gratitude or sharing their favorite memory with the honoree.
You can also send a virtual gift or card to the person celebrating their birthday or anniversary. Depending on the situation, you may also want to send a physical gift card or a care package to your team member’s home. This can add an extra personal touch to the celebration and make your team member feel appreciated.
End the celebration with music and games—sing karaoke together, play online board games, solve a virtual murder mystery, or try a virtual escape room to boost teamwork even more. Create a fun playlist beforehand, one that will include your coworker’s favorite songs!
Organize a virtual TED Talk-style event where everyone can give short presentations on a topic of their choice to celebrate the progress you’ve made and share what you’ve learned along the way.
There are several virtual event platforms available that you can use for this purpose, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. Make sure you choose a platform that can accommodate all the members of your team and allows for easy sharing of screens and presentations.
It can be helpful to set a theme for the event to give your team some direction and to ensure that the presentations are cohesive. The theme can be broad or specific, depending on your team’s interests and goals.
Invite participants and let them know the theme and the time frame for their presentation. Encourage them to be creative and to share something that is meaningful or important to them while providing guidelines to ensure that the presentations are engaging and professional. Remind them to use ice breakers if they get nervous!
Organize a virtual awards ceremony where team members can nominate and vote on colleagues for different categories, such as Most Valuable Player, Most Creative Thinker, or Best Team Player.
Before the event, determine the categories. You can choose categories that are relevant to your team’s work and goals, such as best customer service, most innovative ideas, or highest sales performance. You can also include fun categories that are specific to your company culture, such as the best work-from-home setup or the most creative Zoom background.
Once you’ve determined the categories, you need to decide on the format for the ceremony. You can choose to have a formal ceremony with speeches and presentations, or you can keep it more casual and lighthearted. You can also choose to have the awards announced individually or all at once.
Ask team members to nominate themselves or their colleagues for each category. Encourage everyone to provide specific examples of why they are nominating someone for a particular award.
Now, it’s time to choose the winners. You can have a panel of judges make the decisions or let the entire team vote on the winners.
After the ceremony, give everyone a chance to celebrate together. You can have a virtual happy hour or game night or simply encourage team members to chat and congratulate each other.
Take a look at how our team at Gable organized an Oscars night with a very, very glamorous dress code!
Create a virtual recognition wall where team members can post messages of appreciation and recognition for their colleagues. This can be a great way to celebrate team success and show gratitude for the hard work of each team member while making up for the lack of connection that remote work imposes.
Trello, Assembly, Figma, and Bonusly are just a few platforms you can use to build a recognition wall. Choose a platform that is easy to use and allows for collaboration.
Once you have chosen a platform, create a “wall” where team members can post their accomplishments. Include categories for different types of achievements, such as completed projects, team milestones, or individual achievements.
Invite all members of your remote team to contribute to the wall. To keep it organized and professional, establish some guidelines for team members to follow. For example, you could ask them to include a brief description of the accomplishment, the date it was achieved, and any relevant metrics or data. You could also ask them to include a photo or image to accompany their post.
As team members post their accomplishments, be sure to monitor the wall and update it regularly. This will help to keep it fresh and engaging for everyone on the team. You can also use the wall as a way to track progress toward team goals and objectives.
Finally, organize a virtual gathering to share your thoughts about this wall and give each other shout-outs for all the amazing results you achieved.
Some team members will inevitably part ways with your company. To wish them luck in their future professional endeavors, you can organize a virtual farewell party to celebrate the departing team member’s contributions and wish them well. You can use video conferencing tools to host the party and include activities like games, speeches, and toasts.
Ask team members to prepare speeches to share during the virtual party. They can share their favorite memories, achievements, or qualities of the departing team member. You can also ask the departing team member to say a few words about their time on the team and express their gratitude to their colleagues.
Create a video tribute that highlights the departing team member’s achievements and contributions to the team. You can ask team members to share messages, videos, or photos of their favorite moments with the departing team member and compile them into a montage.
You can also create a virtual memory book or scrapbook where team members can share their favorite memories, stories, and photos of the departing team member. This can be a touching and heartfelt way to celebrate their time with the team.
Host a virtual countdown to the new year, complete with a champagne or sparkling cider toast. You can use video conferencing tools to gather the team and countdown to midnight together.
Of course, no matter how much you appreciate your team, it’s likely that you’ll want to spend New Year’s eve with your friends and family. That’s why you should pick a different date for your end-of-the-year party, ideally sometime in December, before your coworkers are off on holiday.
Have each team member share their gratitude for the past year and their hopes for the new year. You can use video conferencing tools to host the ceremony and have each person share their thoughts.
You can also include a virtual goal-setting session where team members can set individual and team goals for the new year. This can be a great way to start the new year on a positive note and set the team up for success.
Bonus tip: If your team had a Secret Santa activity, now it’s time to reveal your identities. The holiday party is a suitable occasion to find out who sent you the goodies!
A virtual cooking class is a delicious and fun way to boost employee engagement and have everyone on the team enjoy an activity together.
Designate a team member to lead the activity. Have them share the recipe they’ve chosen on Slack before the event, so everyone can go buy the required ingredients. You can ask team members to suggest recipes, or you can choose a theme or cuisine that everyone is interested in. Just make sure it’s a recipe or menu suitable for your team’s cooking skills and dietary preferences. And the availability of ingredients!
Set up the video chat and begin the cooking class: guide your team members through the recipe step-by-step and encourage them to share their progress along the way. Once the recipe is complete, take a few minutes to enjoy the finished product together.
To spice the event up, encourage team members to dress up as their favorite food or dish and share their favorite recipes or cooking tips. You can also host a virtual cooking competition or a virtual taste test game.
Organize a virtual charity event: a virtual charity run, an auction, or a virtual charity donation drive. This is a great way to engage your team and make a positive impact on your community. By taking the time to plan and execute this activity, you can create a sense of purpose and connection within your team and make a real difference in the lives of others.
Choose a charity and cause that aligns with your team's values and interests. You can research international charities or ask team members to suggest organizations they are passionate about. Set a fundraising goal to determine how much you want to raise for your chosen charity. You can set up a crowdfunding page or use a platform like GoFundMe or JustGiving to collect donations.
Decide on the format and activities for your virtual charity event. You can organize a virtual walkathon, a trivia night, a silent auction, or a talent show, depending on your team's interests and skills. Make sure to promote the event and encourage team members to participate.
You can offer incentives or prizes for the team member who raises the most money or for the team member who comes up with the most creative fundraising idea.
After the event, thank all the donors and team members for their efforts and celebrate the success of the fundraising campaign. Share stories and photos from the charity to show the impact of the donations.
Hosting a virtual beach party with a tropical theme is an excellent way to celebrate with your team and bring a little bit of fun and excitement to your team, making them feel both relaxed and energized.
Start by decorating the virtual space with beach-like details: use a tropical background or virtual beach scene. You could also add decorations like beach umbrellas, beach balls, and palm trees to the background. Prepare a tropical-themed music playlist to boost the mood.
Have your team members dress up in their best beach attire, such as Hawaiian shirts, sunglasses, and flower leis. You could even have a virtual contest for the best-dressed team member.
Play beach-themed online games, virtual beach volleyball, or trivia related to tropical locations. You can also have a virtual scavenger hunt where team members find items related to the beach and tropical locations in their homes.
Don’t forget to complete the tropical atmosphere with refreshments: send virtual or real tropical refreshments like mocktails, pineapple smoothies, or coconut water to your team members before the event. You could also share recipes for tropical dishes and encourage team members to make them at home and enjoy them during the party.
Host a virtual Halloween party. Most people love Halloween, whether they’re in the US or not. It’s a great opportunity to let your inner child play and enjoy the candy!
Dress up in your favorite (and scariest) costumes. Consider having a contest—choose the most creative or realistic costume and award the team member who wore it. Play Halloween-themed games like virtual pumpkin carving or a Halloween trivia quiz.
Create a spooky atmosphere by playing Halloween-themed music or organize a horror movie night—there are platforms on which you can watch it simultaneously.
Are there gamers on your team? They’ll certainly enjoy a virtual game night, especially if you include costumes inspired by your favorite virtual games or organize a competition!
Just imagine playing Dungeons and Dragons with your teammates, just like Sheldon and his friends on Big Bang Theory. The only difference is you don’t have to be all in the same room to have a fun game night.
If you aren’t passionate gamers, here are a few game alternatives for this fun event:
Organize a virtual music festival to celebrate the different backgrounds your team members come from and enjoy a fun evening together.
You can start by having each team member present the traditional music (and dance) of their home country. They can share interesting stories and play the most popular traditional songs in their language.
Then, you can move on to pop culture and other modern music genres and have a trivia quiz to see how much you know about today’s music icons. The person who demonstrates the most knowledge should receive an award!
You can also create a team playlist where everyone will add their favorite songs so you all have a fun mashup of all kinds of music to enhance your work-from-home experience.
Singing karaoke and “performing” for the rest of the team isn’t off the table either, even if you don’t have impressive musical skills!
Whether you’re into fashion or not, recreating a fashion week show can be a fun thing to do together. You can use the event to show off your personal styles or talk about traditional clothes for different occasions in your country.
Start the “show” before the event itself by sending out a fun and creative invitation to your team members. This will set the tone for the gathering and encourage team members to be creative with their outfits.
Use apps and video conferencing tools to create a virtual runway where team members can showcase their outfits. They can be creative with their backgrounds and music choices as much as they like. You can vote to choose the best outfit once everyone’s had a chance to show theirs.
Prepare a quiz with questions about fashion history, designers, and trends. You can use a platform like Kahoot to make it more interactive and organize an award ceremony to reward the person who knows the most about fashion.
To end the show, organize a virtual shopping party where team members can browse online shops and share their favorite finds or create cool outfits for different occasions together.
Happy employees are also more productive. People who share fun moments build stronger relationships, and stronger teams generate better results. Remote employees who have fun together and celebrate each other are less stressed and have a better employee experience.
Need more reasons? These are surely compelling enough. But what if you want to turn virtual team-building activities into on-site ones?
When you get tired of online parties and feel like meeting your team in person, Gable is here to support you. From coworking spaces to venues for corporate events, we help distributed teams source, book, and manage flexible office spaces and build strong company cultures no matter where they are.
Find out how Gable works and where you can find a space for your next special occasion or team meeting.
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