Work From Home Company Culture Ideas to Boost Morale During The Holidays
Updated: November 16, 2020
Blue Compass has always taken pride in our company culture - we laugh together, we connect, we support local causes and we enjoy each other’s company. So when the coronavirus outbreak pushed many of us to work remotely, we didn’t want to lose our fun work culture even though we couldn’t be together physically. Back in March, the Blue Compass team took the bull by the horns and decided to make our own list of “work from home” ideas that encourage fun without losing sight of our clients’ goals and while still ramping up productivity.
Now, it’s the end of the year and much of our team is still working remotely, so we were inspired to take our original “work from home” ideas and add a fun holiday spin to them!
Top 10 Fun Virtual Office Culture Ideas
1. Celebrate Silly National Holidays
You know those silly “National Holiday” calendars? The near daily celebrations of things people love like donuts, beer or house plants? Celebrate those! We’ve celebrated many since going remote. We started with “National Puppy Day” and had a great time sharing photos of our furry “Woof From Home” co-workers! Since we are a pet-friendly office at Blue Compass and introductions with others usually involve their animals’ names and ages, this was a great opportunity to share how our furry office friends were doing while we are at home working.
Some of the national holidays might seem silly at first, but once the idea is brought up, many of your co-workers will have fun sharing their opinions on the holiday at hand. For example, “National Waffle Day” also got a lot of love from our team. A couple of our team members were even inspired to make waffles for lunch after our morning chat about our favorite toppings and ingredients.
Holiday Spin: Share Traditional Holidays Together!
Obviously, this time of year we’re also celebrating the major holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa – the list goes on. Our office uses this time of year to show our gratitude for one another. For Thanksgiving, we enjoy getting together on a video chat and hearing each team member say what they’re most thankful for about working at Blue Compass, or what they appreciate about our co-workers. For Christmas, don’t let working from home stop you from enjoying office holiday traditions, such as a virtual Secret Santa. Simply draw names using a gift exchange generator and send presents. Wait to open the gifts together at a virtual Christmas party. Whether it’s going all in on a holiday tradition or simply getting to see and talk to your fellow team members, meeting virtually will brighten the holiday spirit and boost morale.
2. Office BINGO
We are so fond of our Blue Compass office, that willing participants could make their own BINGO cards (5x5 squares) filled with any person, place or thing you could find in the office on any given day. Each day, a designated person sends an email with a particular office item. If someone has that on their card, they cross it off. First one to earn 5 squares in a row, gets BINGO bragging rights in the office (or through email). You can choose anything from your office, to things associated with the work you do or even your favorite movies - whatever will be most fun for your team.
Work From Home Holiday Version: Holiday Traditions BINGO
Create a holiday themed BINGO card for your office this holiday season! It’s a great way to get team members involved in a fun and friendly competition. Your squares could include holiday decorating, watching classic movies like Home Alone or Elf, online shopping, elf on the shelf, lighting menorah candles or anything else that’s holiday related. It’s a fun opportunity to get creative and brighten your team’s holiday season. You never know, if people really enjoy the BINGO game, it may continue and become a permanent holiday tradition for your team.
3. Virtual Happy Hour or Lunch
Happy hour is an essential part of any fun, upbeat company. In-person happy hours are a thing of the past (and the future). Let’s live in the present - virtual happy hours are THE hot trend of 2020! Pick a day and invite everyone to grab a drink that makes them happy. At 3:30, host a call and hydrate together! You can also incorporate a theme or bring snacks to add to the excitement. Who said social distancing isn’t fun?
Virtual Holiday Idea: Share a Seasonal Meal or Cocktail Together
This holiday season, plan to eat your Thanksgiving leftovers together, even try a new seasonal recipe or a new fall- or winter-themed cocktail and share your favorites during a virtual chat. We can still find ways to bring everyone together during the holidays even when many of us will be stuck celebrating at home.
4. Question of the Day
Are there random things you’ve always wondered about your co-workers but never think to ask? Now’s the chance! With “Question of the Day,” a designated person poses a question each day for others to answer. Here are some examples: “What’s the best vacation you have ever taken?” or “What’s one gadget or item that you are dreaming of purchasing right now?” or “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?” You’ll be surprised at the answers, and it gives everyone an opportunity to get to know each other a little better!
Work From Home Holiday Version: Ask About Holiday Traditions & Memories
Want to put a holiday spin on it for a fun Christmas game this year? Ask questions like: “What was your favorite holiday memory or tradition as a kid?” or “What's the best present you've ever received or given?” or “What's the silliest white elephant gift you've seen?” or “Have you ever gotten coal in your stocking?”
5. Show and Tell with Team Members
Pet shows? House tours? Of course! You can do both when you’re taking a few moments for a break with your co-workers. It’s like water cooler chat time (are these still a thing or is that only in movies?), except you give tours of your house, or show them the latest trick your dog has been working on. Either way, it’s sure to spark a few questions and interests about the way you live.
BONUS: Show and Tell with team members’ kids! Working From Home gives us the fun opportunity to include families, especially those with kids that need a new form of entertainment every now and then. We may or may not have seen some pretty awesome Avengers masks recently!
Virtual Holiday Spin: Share Your Favorite Seasonal Items
Tell your co-workers about which holiday recipes you're most excited about, or share your favorite gift after the holidays are over. You can even have yourself a comfy day and show off your holiday-theme matching pajama set or ugly sweater. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a few moments break with your favorite co-workers and share how you celebrate the holidays.
6. What to Binge Watch Next
Create a forum for people to add their new favorite shows or old go-tos they’d recommend. To add to the fun, have watch parties after the work day is over, or watch on your own time and chat about it the next day. Oftentimes, this is a normal workplace conversation, and it doesn’t have to stop just because we don’t see each other in person every day anymore.
Work From Home Holiday Idea: Discuss Classic Holiday Movies
For the holidays this year, create a poll on whether people like or dislike the cheesy holiday love stories, or rank your favorite silly holiday movies like Home Alone, Elf, The Grinch or Christmas Vacation. During team lunches or discussions, encourage everyone to share how many holiday movies they've binged, or ask some of the favorites on their list.
7. Put Your Home Office on Display
Now’s your chance to be creative and set up your home office. What type of office setting have you set up for yourself? Did you set up dual screens on your kitchen table, or are you more of a couch lounger while NPR plays in the background? Now’s the time to share! Start an email thread with pictures of your “office” set-up and have others share theirs. Some team members’ setups will amaze you, while others will be happy to provide a laugh with their make-shift space.
Virtual Holiday Version: Show Off Your Holiday Decor
Convert this into a fun holiday game by having willing team members share displays of their holiday decorations! So many people are sad they can’t have friends over to see their fun decor after taking the time to put it up. This is a great way to spread the holiday cheer virtually.
8. Quote List
Blue Compass team members have kept track of our funny office quotes for years - no one is safe in our very open space. Usually for us, funny quotes get announced out loud for everyone to share a laugh. That can still happen now - it just needs to be done through an online chat! Sometimes they’re even funnier when given out of context. Everyone could use a little laugh. Share away!
Work From Home Holiday Spin: Reminisce on Past Holiday Office Parties
You and your team members can share photos of past holiday office parties and have each other caption the moments. As a bonus, come up with a small prize for the best or funniest captions. Everyone could use a laugh, and this is the perfect way to take each other’s minds off of having to celebrate from home.
Lots of people are working from home with their kids or pets as their new “co-workers”. Share some funny stories about what your kids or pets have been doing, except instead of saying “my kid” or “my pet,” replace with “my co-worker” or “my intern.” This is sure to produce some laughs, it certainly has for us! Here are some funny examples from Blue Compass team members: “My intern keeps falling asleep on the floor.” “My co-workers demand snack-time every hour and are throwing toys at each other.” “My intern won’t stop crawling on my desk.”
Virtual Holiday Version: Share Seasonal Stories
’Tis the season, so turn this into a holiday game by sharing a fun holiday memory with the team on your next virtual meeting - bonus points if the funny story happened at a past holiday office party. Whether it’s giving or receiving an avocado as a Christmas present, or a co-worker enjoying last year’s eggnog a little too much, this is great way to get everyone in on the fun. For any recently hired team members, this is a chance for them to get to know their new co-workers a little better and join in on funny inside jokes that get tossed around the office from time to time.
10. Meditation Mondays
We understand that this is a stressful time for many people. Each person is dealing with their own stressors, from jobs being in limbo, trying to homeschool kids while working full-time from home, our loved ones getting sick, to isolation or lack of social interaction. Remember to take time for yourself! There are tons of great meditations online. Every Monday, send out a 5-10 minute meditation video for team members to listen to when they need a few minutes to relax.
Work From Home Holiday Idea: Holiday Music Mondays
Want to turn this into a holiday festivity? Every Monday, designate an office DJ to share their favorite holiday song, and start your week off with some musical cheer. There is nothing like music to put a smile on someone’s face and a little energy in their day, especially when it’s holiday music! It’s also a great way to learn new songs, and find out what your co-workers enjoy listening to this time of year. Try it out this holiday season, and see how fun it is to jam out with your team members.
Make This Holiday Season Bright During Your Work From Home Quarantine
Culture comes from the people that make up the organization. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to stay connected to the people that make your job fun. No matter how you connect, it’s important to do so. Eventually we’ll be back to our regular schedules and we’ll look back on this time with gratitude for those we continued to connect with, even during this time of quarantine.