Maybe All Company Holiday Parties Should Be Virtual

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) ran an article this month discussing the pros and cons of in-person holiday office parties this year. 

“While last year’s parties were almost exclusively virtual, declining coronavirus cases, rising vaccination rates and the arrival of COVID-19 booster shots are allowing for more in-person experiences this time around, especially at smaller employers. However, to keep employees safe, some organizations are keeping their events completely virtual, while others are inventing new ways to mark the season.” reads the leade of the article.

The SHRM article shares several perspectives. Some employers very much value the party is employee morale and engagement. In contrast, others were opting to have no event or a virtual gathering in the name of safety. 

When it comes to virtual holiday party ideas, the internet has no shortage. From a Virtual Yuletide Showdown with scavenger hunt-style challenges to A Very Merry Mystery virtual whodunnit game. 

And choosing a virtual event isn’t just about safety. For some companies, virtual events are a highly desirable option, and not just for holiday parties. 

“As it turns out, adopting a virtual event strategy can actually produce a number of unexpected benefits — benefits that will surely outlast the pandemic. Of course, virtual events will always be more accessible than in-person events, but the marketers we spoke to had other lessons to share as well. Here’s how forward-thinking marketers learned to love virtual events and reaped benefits that will follow them for years to come.” says CMS wire.

Arkadin says “Getting to an event means travelling, and often hotel, food, drink, and entertainment budgets. Whether it’s Barcelona, Las Vegas, London, or Singapore, if the event is not close to your visitor’s home location, they face additional expenses beyond the ticket price. In fact, even free events, may not be affordable, due to these extra costs. Going virtual can remove the financial hurdle.”

And some employees prefer virtual events. 

“Some workers may really enjoy offices, but distributed teams like the one behind WordPress prove offices aren’t needed for successful companies or engaged employees. What is viewed as the best experience will vary from person to person. I have no idea if office workers will mostly head back to the office or not. But the only efficient meetings I’ve had in my life have been virtual, and bad meetings are bad for employees.” said Internet News Flash