Games to play during your virtual holiday work party

Media Credit: Kate Carpenter | Staff Photographer

Don't miss out on Secret Santa this holiday season – use Elfster to anonymously assign pairings and remain safe from COVID-19.

For many college students with internships and jobs, the annual company holiday party is an excuse to get a bit tipsy. The same expectations apply to a Zoom work party.

You may not be able to mingle at an open bar this year, but you can still bring the party to life with the right games. Here are some holiday games and events you and your coworkers can enjoy virtually to spice up this season.

Virtual secret Santa

You don’t have to miss out on Secret Santa this year. Download Elfster to anonymously assign secret Santa pairings to everyone participating in the virtual party. You can either send your assigned person a gift digitally or if you plan ahead, have one shipped to their place before the party. Or, if you live close by, sneakily drop it off yourself and tell them to open it on the video call.

Home scavenger hunt

The premise of the home scavenger hunt is simple: select three “judges” who create a list of different items employees must find within their home, like their favorite ugly holiday sweater, their most embarrassing childhood photo or their most expensive ornament. The judges can then join a breakout room to decide which employee presented the best item. 

The “naughty list”

This take on the classic game “never-have-I-ever” could serve as an icebreaker for teams who have been working virtually all year. Create a list of juicy holiday-themed action statements that would put you on the “naughty list,” like “sitting on Santa’s lap as an adult” or “making out under the mistletoe.” Then at the party, tell all employees to put up 10 fingers – each time they have done something on the “naughty list,” the employee can put a finger down. Whoever has the most fingers up at the end of the game wins. 

Guess who

You’ll need to create two randomized lists of your employees, which you could do using this free site. Run both randomizers: the employee chosen from the first list will then have two minutes to describe or imitate the employee chosen from the second list. If no employee is able to guess who the person is describing before times run out, then that person must take a shot.

Holiday trivia

With online quiz platforms like Kahoot, trivia is now one of the most digital-friendly activities that you can organize. Make a list of questions that tests the holiday-knowledge of your coworkers, many of which have already been created. Plug these into Kahoot, then tell employees to answer from their phone or computer.  

Kitchen face-off

While this requires coordination and preparation, this activity modeled-off the Food Network’s popular “Chopped” competition will put your coworker’s culinary and creativity skills to the test. Pick a few employees and send them a package with mystery ingredients before your evening of shenanigans. During the party, give the participants an hour to then cook a holiday-themed meal or dessert. At the end of the hour, tell the competitors to present their creations to their coworkers and vote on the most innovative or best looking plate. The judges may not be able to taste the final products, so they’ll just have to critique the looks of the dish. 

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