2020 was not just any year – it was a tough one as we all know. With that said, most leaders are more eager than ever to thank their people and shower them with all the spoils – and an ‘office’ party is always a great way to do it.

We can all find a good excuse to throw a party come end of year, but let’s be honest, 2020 needs none! It was difficult, tiresome, and marking its end would do everyone good. 

… Only, it’s impossible to throw an office party in 2020… of course!

End of year office parties are great for culture and reinforces the unity and camaraderie, while bidding farewell to the past and welcoming the future. And my, do we all need that. But 2020 has taught us all to become innovators – to find new ways of doing the things we’ve always done. 

So how do we do an ‘office’ party in 2020? The only solution is going virtual, of course. I know what you’re thinking – you cannot possibly ‘party’ through a screen. But in true 2020 style, even the virtual party looks a little different. Here are some tips:

Host a virtual game/s

There are so many awesome virtual games that are perfect for end of year parties – except they tend to work better if the company or team is small. If you go with this idea and your company is bigger than 10-15 people, we suggest you break teams up. P.S. to make things really fun and festive, make rules for players that ‘lose’ or get something wrong – it’s up to you how far you’d like to push that!

Charades: A prompt will be pulled from a hat – e.g a type of sport. Whoever’s turn it is to go, will have to act out the sport (using only body movements) in hopes that someone will guess it correctly. The hat can be filled with many different prompts like types of sports, names of films, a name of a celebrity – literally anything! 

Yuletide Pictionary: This is traditional pictionary played in a modern way. Players need to screen-share and select the whiteboard feature to draw the prompt they’ve pulled from the hat. They have 60 seconds to draw the word while players guess. Some cool seasonal prompts include: reindeer, mistletoe, or ginger bread man.

Heads Up!: Heads Up! Is a virtual game that members would need to download in order to play. Players get a choice of card categories to choose from, e.g. movies, celebrities or brand names. At the start of a round, the person whos turn it is to go, will hold a phone to their forehead which displays the answer. The answer will be shown to the audience but not the phone-holder. The audience needs to act out or give clues to the phone holder in line with the word on display. The phone holder has 30 seconds to guess correctly. (Zoom allows users to hide their own reflected video display so that the player cannot see what written on their forehead).

Hire a comedian 

We all need some good belly laughs, so why not hire a well-known comedian, or atleast a real funny guy or girl, to take your virtual stage. What’s great about this idea, is that players won’t feel pressured to participate, but can sit back, relax and be entertained in one of the most pleasurable ways. Even better if the familiar face pops up on the virtual screen and your team are totally surprised! 

Hire a sought-after motivational personality

If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, but really motivational and meaningful, hiring a sought-after motivational personality to share their story and inspire your people is pretty special. For example, look for someone who has faced crippling adversity, but has come out stronger and/or more successful than ever. Or a businesswomen/man that’s overcome all odds and has great tips and insights to share. Whatever the story may be, make sure it aligns with where your people are at right now, and where they’d like to be in the future. Everyone could do with some words of wisdom and a little encouragement before entering into a new year!

A virtual cocktail party with a professional mixologist 

When it comes to virtual office parties, there needs to be a fun element to it otherwise it’s just … awkward. Take a cocktail party for example – it just doesn’t work virtually. But it can work if you add a fun, learning element to it. Like getting a virtual bartender or mixologist to teach everyone a few great cocktails, and then competing against the best looking cocktail, the best-described (in terms of taste), and seeing who can make it the fastest. (Plus many other drinking games). Remember to share the recipes with the team beforehand so that everyone can source the ingredients. You should also make certain that everyone in the company or team drinks alcohol, otherwise you may want to opt for a cook-off instead – even then, make sure it’s diet friendly!