Getting festive with your distributed team

Your organization’s had a great year. Congratulations! And now that the year’s drawing to a close, your team deserves to get together, relax, and celebrate all the hard work you’ve done. It’s time for your annual holiday party! But if you’re like us at Advomatic, your team is spread out across the country. So how to celebrate? 

Last year, we did it wrong. We had a little gathering in our New York headquarters with cookies and beer, and we had our remote staff join in on a Google Hangout. Sound awkward? It was. 

But not this year! This year, we’re planning ahead, and we’re going to do it right. Here are some ideas we’re batting around, and you should too.

Secret Santa

Decide on a price range for gifts. Everyone picks a name out of a hat (or this Secret Santa Generator) and shops online for a present to have delivered to that person’s address. Open them all together on a Google Hangout and reveal the Santas. 

Online games

Play Pictionary using Scoot and Doodle. Or try Face Arcade or Donut Horns to control the action with your head over a Hangout.*

Create a holiday playlist together

Use a shared playlist on Spotify to create the ultimate holiday soundtrack. Start it at the same time while you work to have everyone listening to the same music all day. 

Watch a movie together

Like that scene in When Harry Met Sally. Except pick a ridiculous movie that you’ll all enjoy commenting on. If you like your holiday parties boozy, make it a drinking game. 

BYOB virtual happy hour

We actually do this once a month anyway. Everyone brings their own drink to the hangout. Work talk is banned.

Ugly sweater contest

Over Google Hangout or Sqwiggle. Here’s our team on Sqwiggle on Halloween


This is a great ice breaker for hangouts. We’ve done this on our virtual happy hours by bringing a picture or item to share. Holiday theme your show-and-tell by bringing in a favorite ornament, holiday tradition, or picture from a past holiday. 

 How is your distributed team getting festive this year? Let us know in the comments!

*h/t This Quora post