How To Have a Successful Worksgiving With Remote Employees

Including remote employees in work Thanksgiving celebrations isn’t as difficult as it may seem (and could boost morale!).

By Lynsey Riffle

Work Thanksgiving

It’s no secret that in recent years, the increasing number of remote workers has risen exponentially. As we enter this new wave of learning, we are no doubt faced with some unique challenges to navigate along the way. Holiday parties serve as a celebration of company milestones, recognition, and the opportunity to create a sense of community within your organization. But how do we share that same feeling of inclusion with our remote employees?

Sending out a quick company-wide zoom link won’t cut it this holiday season. Follow these tips and tricks to make this year’s Worksgiving one of inclusion and remembrance. 

Include Remote Employees in the Party Planning Process

Today’s technology makes it relatively easy for everyone in the workplace to collaborate and share ideas. Brainstorm different themes, activities, prizes, and other interactive ways to create an inclusive environment for both remote and in-office employees. Send out a company-wide email to pitch ideas/activities and ask who might want to lead them. This allows everyone to contribute and share their preferences. Remember, not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Make sure to welcome diversity by considering different traditions to create an inviting space for everyone. 

Ask employees what they liked/disliked from previous celebrations. Feedback is always likely to curate a better experience moving forward. Keep in mind the different time zones of remote employees. Try your best to be considerate of scheduling conflicts and work around office hours. 

Connect In-Person and Remote Employees Through a Gift Exchange 

Gift exchanges are a great addition to any holiday celebration and help encourage employee participation across the board. Randomly assign coworkers a person for the exchange. This is a deliberate way of connecting people from outside departments. You might be thinking, I don’t know this person’s likes or interests. How do I shop for someone I don’t know personally? Consider sending out a questionnaire for employees to list 2-3 of their interests. This will lend guidance to everyone who might be struggling in the gift giving department.

Remember to set a monetary cap that everyone is comfortable with. This will keep things light and enjoyable for all participants. Give plenty of notice and make sure addresses are up to date. Delays in shipping can occur, especially with remote employees across seas. 

Join the excitement of watching everyone open their gifts through a video conference with the whole team. Get to know your recipient better and build a work culture that you’re proud to be a part of.

Encourage Dressing Up

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Look good, feel good.’ Studies have shown the relationship between clothing and mood play a bigger role on the psyche than we might think. Just because this year’s holiday party is taking place in the comfort of your living room doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through clothing. Themed dress codes are an easy way to boost energy and morale. Consider implementing an ugly sweater contest. This is a sure way to spark discussion, even through the lens of a video call.

Formal or not, wear what makes you feel your best self and who knows, it might even be a conversation starter!

Get creative and share food remotely

What’s a Worksgiving without the company of delectable food and drinks? How do we share this experience with remote employees? 

Just because you don’t have the luxury of sitting side by side at a dining table doesn’t mean it’s  impossible to incorporate something palate pleasing to enjoy with others. Consider adopting a recipe from a fellow colleague to share. Maybe someone will introduce a tasty pumpkin pie recipe. Try your hand in baking and host a breakout session where participants can enjoy their pie in the company of others.

Create Employee Spotlights

Employee recognition is a huge part of a healthy work environment. Company celebrations are a great way to highlight growth and commemorate accomplishments. I think we’ve all sat through a PowerPoint presentation that has nearly put us to sleep a time or two. Don’t let that be the case this holiday season. Remote workers are relying on engaging content to keep their attention. 

Many of us remember the ‘Most Likely to’ awards in high school that promoted individualism and boosted some egos. Consider implementing something similar, while recognizing important milestones along the way. This keeps the ambience upbeat and showcases personalities in an entertaining manner. Keep the content appropriate and focus on positive character traits. Consider highlighting one or two people from each department. This will lessen the chances of repeatedly recognizing the same people and help foster a more inclusive environment.

Build Community and Culture 

Wrap up this year’s worksgiving with a sense of community and belonging. At eShow, we’re here to make your next holiday celebration one to remember. We offer a full suite of options for live, virtual, and hybrid events. Our team of experts will help you curate the perfect package for your needs. Contact us today to request a demo and learn more about how we can help take your event planning to a whole new level.


This is a sponsored message from one of Association Forum’s advertisers. The opinions expressed in this advertisement do not constitute endorsement by Association Forum.

About the Author

Lynsey Riffle is Director of Marketing and Communications at eShow Event Management Solutions.

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