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As December nears an end, employees unwind from the frenzy of the holiday season and gear up for the year to come. While traditional offices often share sweets, chats, and warm wishes during remaining calendar days, telecommuting teams have less opportunity to connect with colleagues, reflect on recent performance, and celebrate the year’s successes. Savvy managers know that this occasion is a great chance to gather the crew and spend some quality online time together.
Of course, challenges are there but celebrating New Years with remote teams is a great way to thank employees for the past year’s hard work, start the new year on a positive note, encourage team bonding, and use up any remaining end-of-year budget.
Here are a few ways to ring in the new year remotely with virtual teams, and you can find more on this list.
Many companies send dispersed employees gifts for Christmas, but New Year's offers another opportunity to treat teammates. Since New Year's is non-denominational, the occasion is more inclusive than some other holidays. Plus, an unexpected present brightens up your staff’s work week.
Some suggestions for items to include in New Year’s care packages:
Including a hand-written message is a nice touch that makes the package seem more personal and lets your employees know you are thinking about them. Or you can choose a gift from these.
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Writing new year’s resolutions is one of the most essential holiday traditions. As a fresh year begins, folks start projects or commit to goals to better themselves. Companies aim to improve year after year too and encourage employees to constantly grow, meaning that resolutions align with corporate culture.
Sharing virtual new year's resolutions is one of the easiest ways to observe the occasion with your teams.
Here are a few fun suggestions of ways to share new year's resolutions online:
Declaring resolutions is a fun team bonding activity, but staff can support each other in their goals on an ongoing basis too. Consider creating and sharing a progress tracker, such as a weekly check-in or a cloud-based spreadsheet so that teammates can cheer each other on and hold each other accountable for healthier habits.
Chances are your distributed team lives in different time zones, meaning the new year arrives at different times. However, this fact should not prevent you from kicking off a countdown.
Either choose a time zone to celebrate, or initiate a random countdown at any time during the day. Simply hop on a video call, count backwards from ten, and wish each other happy new years. Noisemakers and music add to the excitement.
Posting a countdown clock builds a further sense of anticipation. If your team consists of geographically distant members or if your organization has locations in many countries, then display a countdown clock for each time zone. Then, employees can see when midnight strikes in colleagues’ countries and send wishes for a happy new year.
One of the best ways to thank employees for the past year’s efforts and motivate staff to strive in the new year is to offer a bonus. The perks can be separate from standard holiday bonuses and do not need to be monetary.
For instance, you might gift colleagues a professional development stipend to use towards learning in the new year, an e-gift card, a complimentary dessert, meal, or drink, or a small present such as a wireless charger or a laptop case. Bonuses trump the list of any kind of encouragement on part of remote team building activities.
The bonus functions as a token of appreciation. When managers offer such bonuses directly, the gesture appears like more of a sincere sentiment towards the team rather than an across-the-board perk for the entire company.
Virtual parties are a great way to gather distant groups for face-to-face contact, even if interaction only happens on screen. Since New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest party nights of the year, the holiday is a great occasion to host an online celebration. Your party does not have to be at midnight on the 31st. Feel free to host the gathering during the day, or anytime the week before. Simply send invitations to your team, gather on virtual meeting software like Zoom or WebEx, and enjoy each other’s company.
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During the party, engage in online activities such as icebreaker questions, trivia, cocktail-making, web karaoke, or party games. Also, using the chat box or breakout rooms enables guests to mingle and have more intimate conversations.
The holiday season and end of quarter four is hectic. Celebrating the new year together as a team gives remote groups the chance to show gratitude, bond, socialize, re-energize, and gear up for the new year. New year’s festivities can make your team feel more appreciated, closer to colleagues, and excited for the coming quarter, which is especially important in virtual offices since distanced workers can feel disconnected if not properly engaged.
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