‘Tis the season to be merry–and six feet apart. Got a crushed velvet face mask in red? Perfect Christmas morning accessory! Deck the halls with hand sanitizer and contactless cranberry sauce served in individual ramekins.
If you’re looking to get your team into the spirit this season, we’ve got holiday team building games and activities, virtual team building games and activities that are sure to spread cheer, not germs, as you and your employees play it safe as you prepare for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and more.
Get Every Employee Smiling with Socially-Distanced Holiday Team Building Activities
If your employees are onsite, you’re no doubt taking precautions to keep them and your customers safe. These team building ideas invite holiday fun in a safety-first environment:
Safety-First Scavenger Hunt
In this holiday-specific, socially distanced version of the high-stakes game you recall as a kid, things are a little slower. No tears, and no one gets hurt. In fact, no one gets touched at all. No tackling random employees in a frantic run to the break room to grab the three-year-old old mustard jar from the fridge. No, no, no. This scavenger hunt is kinder. Gentler.
How to Play:
- This team-building game starts with every team member masked up and six feet apart (or 60 feet, whatever your preference!).
- The M.C. names a series of items, all of which must be found on each employee’s person. No moving. No sharing. No running to a desk or corner store. Use items like a hair clip, lip balm, sunblock, a pen, a pencil, a receipt, a silver dollar.
- The person or team who produces the most items wins. The gift is up to you, but we recommend a large gift basket filled with misleading sized boxes, all containing different online gift cards. It is 2020, after all.
Holiday Gift Basket a la Stone Soup
- Every employee adds 10 of their favorite holiday treat, decoration, or other seasonal favorite to a drop-off spot at work. Have them include their name or opt for anonymous gifting (and guessing!).
- Holiday baskets are assembled by you, Human Resources, or others who are in charge of making sure your team has fun, pandemic or not! Each filled basket will contain 10 “gifts” representing the special preferences of their colleagues. For a business with more than 10 employees, assign baskets for each group of 10 employees.
- Distribute baskets right before the holidays for your employees to “unbox” while socially distanced at work, or safely at home.
Name that Holiday Super Star
Hey, Rudolph! Is that the Grinch hiding behind that green face mask? Mrs. Santa in the corner? Chances are slim that your holiday gathering will include packed dance floors, musical chairs, or giddy revelers crammed into the photo booth singing Christmas carols. But there’s still fun to be had and bonding to happen.
How to Play:
- Have each team member dress up as their favorite holiday character and hold a socially distanced parade through your workplace where team members can show off their costume talents.
- To make things more interesting, require that costumes be made from what’s already in their possession. (This makes the guessing part extra fun.)
- Each employee votes on who did it best. And the winner gets? NOT a plane ticket or a stadium concert front row seat. A gift card to their favorite food delivery service, of course!
Holiday Baking Is Bonding, Even Six Feet Apart
This holiday team building activity involves social distance and individual effort–the perfect combo for Christmas 2020.
How to Play:
- Arrange tables at a park or parking lot.
- Set every socially distanced seat at the table with a make-your-own gingerbread house kit. Make sure it’s a no-bake option!
- When the party AKA friendly competition starts, have the team unbox and design their creation.
- A vote at the end determines the winner. The prize? We recommend a full meal at a fabulous favorite restaurant, delivered to their doorstep, with all the fixin’s, including dessert!
Stay Connected This Season with Virtual Team-Building Games & Ideas
Below are virtual-friendly versions of the holiday team-building hits above!
“Not Leaving This House Come Hell or High Water” Scavenger Hunt
This is a Zoom(r)-friendly version of the high-stakes game you recall as a kid, but during this virtual team-building game, your employees may trip over their own furniture and house pets in a mad dash to locate the items your master of ceremonies calls out.
How to Play:
- Include timely items like hand sanitizer, White Claw(r) (it’s a pandemic; we’ve all stocked up).
- The person who produces the most items wins.
- The gift is up to you, but we recommend a generous assortment of online gift cards. It is 2020, after all.
Zoom-Style Holiday Gift Basket
- For this virtual team-building idea, every employee emails the organizer the name and a link to one of their favorite holiday treats, decorations, or other seasonal favorites.
- Holiday baskets are assembled by you, Human Resources, or others who are in charge of making sure your team’s virtual, seasonal fun is maximized.
- Each filled basket will contain 10 “gifts” representing the special preferences of their colleagues. For a business with more than 10 employees, assign baskets for each group of 10 employees. You can make the gifts anonymous or include the associated employee name.
- Distribute baskets right before the holidays. Set up a team “unboxing” via video meeting, during which each team member explains what makes their contribution a holiday hit.
Face It, This Virtual Christmas Costume Party’s Gonna Be Fun
In addition to keeping everyone safe, this online-only virtual team-building holiday game may be preferred by the introverted employees within your team, and isn’t it about time they got a holiday festivity custom made for a less chaotic crowd?
How to Play:
- Have each team member dress up (head only, wigs and makeup count) as their favorite holiday character. Require that costumes be made from what’s already in their closet, garage, or under their kid’s bed.
- Begin a team online meeting where all employees have their video off–audio only. When each employee’s name is called they turn their video on and the race is on to be the first participant to guess their character first. Employees submit their guesses via the online chat function.
- After all team members have had a chance to showcase their holiday character costume, the employee with the most and fastest-delivered correct answers wins.
- The winner gets a socially distanced gift card to their favorite food delivery service, of course!
Holiday Baking Is Bonding (Zoom Style, That Is)
- Send every employee a gingerbread house kit (the no-bake variety).
- Arrange an after-work hours gingerbread house contest where everyone unboxes and designs their creation at the same time.
- Be sure your employees feel free to couple this activity with cocktails. (Bonus for custom wine glasses or tumblers with your company name!)
- A vote determines the winner.
- The prize? We recommend home delivery of a full meal at a fabulous local restaurant.
Don’t Let a Single Employee Leave 2020 Without a Personalized Holiday Gift from You
It’s been a year. Send your employees into the holidays and the new year with good cheer, good health, and something customized with your special message. Check out our custom holiday gifts, including personalized pens, gift sets, custom tumblers, PPE, and more.
A few of our favorite employee gifts for the holidays:
Team Building, Beyond the Holly and the Merry
- For more virtual team building ideas any time of year, check out our infographic on the Best Virtual Team Building Activities for the latest and greatest activities and games.
- Something to look forward to in 2021: National Have Fun at Work Day comes roaring in at the end of January, and we’ve got tips to help you make it a success.
Let us know how you spread holiday cheer among your team this season. We’re on Instagram and Facebook, and Zooming through the holidays as a strong team committed to our small business customers.