How to host a virtual office party to celebrate teamwork

Thomas Paris
July 20, 2022
How to host a virtual office party to celebrate teamwork

You don’t always need a reason to host a virtual office party, but one of our favorite reasons is to reward your employees for their amazing work. Hosting an event focused around teamwork, company values, and standing for something is a great way to recognize everyone’s hard work and keep your team united in the right direction. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through our best advice on how to host a virtual office party all about teamwork and company culture. We’ll explore how to plan your event, how to weave your company culture in, and how to reward your employees for everything they’ve done well. 

How to plan a virtual office party that encourages and rewards teamwork

Like any virtual event, you’re going to need to put your party planning hat on to make your virtual work party a success. Here’s how to approach planning a virtual office party where celebrating your culture and success is the focus. 

1. Decide why you’re hosting a virtual office party

Before you can plan your event, you first need to understand why you’re hosting one. Sure, you can host a virtual office party whenever you want — but it’s so much more impactful if there’s meaning behind it. 

Maybe you want to host an end of year celebration event for your team, or a one-off virtual party to congratulate them for getting through a really tough project. You might also decide to host an event to celebrate something that ties into your company values — like your remote team hitting a charitable target, contributing to a community project, or making a real difference to the industry. 

Whatever the reason, it’ll help you plan a virtual office party that truly makes people feel appreciated. 

2. Find a date and time that works best

It’s not a virtual office party if nobody can make it. Plan your event for a date and time that suits your invitees — after all, they’re the reason you’re hosting it. 

With a remote team, finding a date and time that suits everyone can be tough. Poll your team members using a virtual poll tool to find out their preferences and do your best to put together an event plan that keeps these in mind. You won’t be able to meet everyone’s needs, but try your hardest. 

Have some flexibility in mind as you plan your event date and time — especially if your team is spread across different time zones. Be mindful about occasions too, as you’ll want your office Christmas party during the festive season, and a motivational event as you head into the New Year.

3. Plan your agenda

Once you have a date sorted, you can start working on your agenda. This is where you can really get creative and plan something amazing that your team members won’t want to miss. 

Think about your reasons for hosting this virtual office party and make sure your virtual games, activities, and sessions tie into this. If you’re celebrating teamwork, it makes sense to include some team building activities. If you’re also welcoming new team members due to growth, make sure there’s an icebreaker to settle them in. 

Here’s where you can also consider how long your event will last. You might want to host a short Zoom call over lunch to celebrate a successful project, or an all day remote team retreat to really set the tone for the year ahead. Use your goals to help guide you towards planning an agenda that makes sense and creates plenty of space for conversation, laughter, and celebration.

4. Spread the word about your virtual office party

You’ve put so much work into planning an unmissable virtual office party — now you need to make sure that people show up. Use online invitations or good old fashioned email to let your employees know there’s a party on the horizon. 

It’s always fun to tell your team members about an upcoming event, especially if it’s in their honor. With such an upbeat reason to celebrate, you can have a little more fun with your invitations and messaging. Use some bright and colorful online invitations to break the news, or take control of your next all hands stand up meeting to surprise everyone. 

However you choose to share the news, make sure there’s a digital paper trail, too. This means nobody misses out, and it’s a helpful reminder for those that could make the announcement. Send a calendar invite too, and be sure to send a reminder email or message when it’s almost time for your event to happen.

How to bring your company culture to life at your virtual office party

One of the reasons to host your teamwork focused event is to celebrate your company culture. It’s your people that make a difference and bring you together, and they help create that community spirit and culture that makes you successful. Here’s how to reflect that in your virtual office party. 

Make it collaborative

Teamwork is what it’s all about, right? If that’s the case, bring collaboration to different elements of your virtual office party.

Get some of your team members involved in the planning process. Not only does this give you extra support, but it’s a great way to embrace employee engagement. It also helps you uncover fresh ideas, consider challenges, and make sure that everyone feels represented. Seek help in finding the perfect virtual team building activities, event catering options, activities, and themes. 

You’ll also want plenty of collaboration at your virtual celebration event. If you’re hosting a dance party as part of a relaxed virtual office gathering, let your team members control the playlist. Get people into teams for a trivia quiz, or ask them to work together to try and make it out of a virtual escape room. It’s easy to reinforce teamwork and collaboration if your event centers around it. 

Don’t be tempted to overplan

One place where lots of event planners go wrong is overplanning. Sometimes you get swept up trying to schedule in so many activities and sessions that it becomes hard to engage with. Instead, take the opposite approach and leave space for your company culture to naturally emerge through both activities and chilled relaxation time. 

Most events need some structure to guide them along, so don’t ditch your agenda completely. Have someone give everyone a warm welcome, and plan some activities and games to get your team members engaged. Give your event a schedule, but don’t feel like you must account for every minute with something concrete. 

One of the best parts of any team building event is actually the conversations that emerge as you’re trying to problem solve, or the chat you have with someone over coffee or lunch. Your event can meet its purpose to promote your company culture by creating space and downtime for your team members to get together, talk, and share ideas. That’s just as valuable as trying to engage them through a series of planned activities.

Celebrate what makes your company and people amazing

Your virtual office party is the ideal opportunity to showcase just what makes your company and your approach to things brilliant. Take a moment to celebrate what it means to be part of your community — even if it’s unconventional. 

If your company culture is built on your fun lust for life, go wild with an afternoon of party games, karaoke sessions, charades, and a talent show. For teams that are all about strategy and knowledge, host a virtual murder mystery event or go on a scavenger hunt to scout out the most unusual treasures you can find. If you’re a crafty bunch, host a DIY challenge or a crafting session with an online tutor. For super supportive teams, plan a thoughtful gift exchange for your virtual holiday event. 

The goal here is to let your people and their interests shine through. It’s your people that make your culture what it is, so be inspired by their contributions as you plan activities and fun games for your virtual office party. 

Share great food and drinks together

It might be tough to head to your local restaurant for a celebratory dinner after you scored a big project, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good food together remotely. Sharing a meal or even a few drinks is an easy way to bring people together and celebrate hard work, collaboration, and what makes your team amazing. 

Use a tool like Hoppier to bring a hybrid catering experience to your virtual office party. You can send your employees a virtual credit card ahead of the event, so they can order a delivery from a local place to enjoy as part of your event. This works great for snacks and coffee for a lunchtime event, a takeout meal for an all-day virtual team retreat, or drinks for a virtual happy hour. 

With some delicious goodies to enjoy while they listen to your presentation, your team members are much more likely to engage. They don’t need to worry about making coffee or heading out for lunch — instead they can focus on what’s happening right in front of them.

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5 ways to honor your employees’ hard work at your event 

If the theme of your event is to celebrate your team members’ successes and great work, you’ll need to find a thoughtful way to do that. Here are our best tips on how to honor your employees at your culture and teamwork focused virtual office party.

1. Ask them how they’d like to be honored

Everyone likes to be rewarded in different ways, so to truly create the best experience it’s best to ask your employees what they’d like most. This helps avoid those uncomfortable moments where someone doesn’t want to speak up and shout about their success, and instead makes them feel appreciated in a way that works for them. 

Ask your remote team members what makes them feel valued and appreciated. They might say they’d love the opportunity to catch a live stream of a band playing with their team members. For others, a virtual gift card that they can spend on a treat sounds perfect. 

This is a great approach to take for any virtual team event, but it’s especially helpful for holiday themed events. Knowing what your team members appreciate helps you decide whether to plan a dress up party for Halloween, or a virtual Christmas party that’s all about those classic holiday movies.

2. Create a presentation that showcases your successes

A really simple yet impactful way to celebrate your team’s success is to display it in a presentation. We’re all used to this as a medium for delivering news, ideas, and concepts, and it works just as well to celebrate good news too. 

Put together a short yet sweet virtual presentation that highlights all the hard work your team has done — either for a project or over the whole year. Cover not just any financial rewards your company saw from it, but any wider impacts too. It’s always great to hear that a project you worked on has made a real difference to a client or community. 

Use your presentation as an opportunity to mention people’s individual contributions too. It’s easy to feel like a cog in a machine, especially at a large company. Calling someone out by name and recognizing their personal contribution is a lovely way to honor their time and expertise. 

3. Invite your team members to talk about their projects

It’s one thing for a company leader to talk about success, but it’s so much more exciting to hear from someone that worked on the ground on that project. Passion and interest goes a long way, so invite your team members to talk about a project that they really enjoyed working on. 

This works so well for an end of year event, or a company retreat where you reflect on what success has looked like in the past. You could also introduce it as a part of a regular monthly team meeting to connect people across different teams and projects. 

4. Announce an investment or reward for your employees

If your event theme is all about celebrating success and recognizing that, it’s the perfect opportunity to announce a reward or investment in your employees. There’s no bigger recognition than something that’ll actually have a meaningful impact on their lives. 

Think about what would be valued by your team — or even better, ask them for their thoughts and ideas. Popular ways to invest in your team could be through a monthly stipend, a wellness or education budget, or access to training and professional development opportunities. When it comes to rewards, a bonus payment, virtual gift, gift card, or virtual experience is always popular. 

We love the idea of surprising your team members with something like this at a New Year meeting. It’s the ideal time of year to bring in a benefit, reward, or incentive to motivate your people to continue their hard work into the year ahead. 

5. Present your employees with a virtual gift card

Hosting a party in your employees’ honor is a lovely way to say thank you to them, but you could also go a step further and present them with a gift card. It’s a simple yet effective way to show gratitude for their hard work and give them the freedom of choice over their reward. 

We’ve mentioned using Hoppier cards to help with your virtual event catering, but they’re also a super way to reward your remote workers with a gift balance that they can spend on something special. Send them an email with a virtual gift card during your virtual holiday party, team retreat, or virtual happy hour for an extra surprise.  

Your team members can use their virtual gift card to treat themselves to an entertainment subscription, new clothes, or dinner out with their loved one. You could also create a theme around your virtual gift cards and tailor the vendors and suggestions around an idea — like treating your employees to a virtual experience like a live music show, comedy show, or theater show. 

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Hoppier: a streamlined approach to employee recognition

Not only does a Hoppier virtual card give your team members a fun way to spend their reward on something they care about, but it’s an easier way to manage your corporate gifting experience. 

With Hoppier, you don’t need to worry about finding the perfect gift and mailing it out to remote team members across multiple states or countries. Instead, you can create an account and set up an employee recognition or employee gifting program in minutes. There are lots of customization options available — from your virtual card colors and logo, right through to your spending balance and vendor list. This gives you a lot of creativity to create a themed experience for your virtual holiday party, end of year celebration, or quirky virtual office retreat.

There are lots of customization options available — from your virtual card colors and logo, right through to your spending balance and vendor list. This gives you a lot of creativity to create a themed experience for your virtual holiday party, end of year celebration, or quirky virtual office retreat. 

Hoppier makes it easier than ever to reward your employees for all the hard work they put in. You can create a program and email them a card in moments, which makes it great not only for celebrations, but for thanking employees for their contributions during a project. It’s a simple yet effective way to bring more employee recognition to your company. 

Create an engaging virtual office party to honor your team

Hosting a virtual office party to recognize your team’s efforts is a great way to bring them together and let them know just how much you appreciate what they do. It’s also a useful opportunity to celebrate or reinforce your company culture, using some of the ideas in this guide. 

Even with the best ideas and the right motivation behind it, your virtual event might still miss the mark. To help your event run smoothly and get the kind of engagement you want, tune into our on-demand webinar on how to overcome the challenges of running a virtual event. It’ll take you through ideas, tips, and strategies from seasoned virtual event pros.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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