3 ways to celebrate the holidays with your remote team

3 ways to celebrate the holidays with your remote team

3 ways to celebrate the holidays with your remote team

With so many ways to connect online, companies have endless opportunities for virtual celebrations during the holiday season. Here are some of our favorites!

remote team
1. Host a Virtual Holiday Party

With free dinner, cocktails, and a chance to dress up and hobnob with coworkers, swanky office holiday parties are often the highlight of the season for employees and an important part of a company’s culture. But just because you can’t have an in-person fete right now doesn’t mean you have to nix the company holiday celebration!

You can host a virtual holiday party on any video conferencing platform (like Houseparty or Google Hangouts), but Zoom has some features that can really up the fun factor. For instance, you can utilize Zoom Breakout Rooms as different “rooms” of the party, and party-goers can move from room to room to chat with coworkers. Even better, you can make each room a theme with a specific team-building game or contest to keep employees engaged.

You can ask attendees to dress up, but keep in mind that a fun dress code (think ugly holiday sweaters or silly seasonal ties) will probably be more appealing to your employees than something formal.

2. Organize a Holiday Gift Exchange

Being a remote company doesn’t mean you can’t encourage the exchanging of inter-office holiday gifts—you’ll just have to do it remotely! A virtual “Secret Santa” gift exchange enables employees to get to know each other a little more and embrace the holidays as they shop online for others on the team.
One important thing to consider: Mandatory gift exchanges may make employees feel stressed rather than spirited, so it’s wise to make any office gift exchange optional. That way, no one feels pressured to spend money (or time) they don’t have buying or shipping gifts for coworkers.

3. Create a Holiday Channel

In the day-to-day of remote work, when you don’t ever see your remote team face to face, it’s easy to forget that they all have lives and families outside of their jobs. When it comes down to it, the holidays are about spending time with (or appreciating, if we can’t see them in person) those we love, so celebrating what your employees do when they’re not working can help to make remote work more of a “human” experience.

If you don’t already have one, start a holiday channel on Slack or whichever messaging platform your company uses. Encourage employees to share holiday pictures, fun anecdotes, family traditions, recipes, music playlists, or holiday activity ideas. You’ll be surprised how many people are eager to share their favorite holiday experiences with their teammates.

Still don’t have your remote work team?

When we work visually in different parts of the world, these things make the difference in teamwork. Do you want to know more about how to hire remote people from other countries?  Contact us

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Limit ‘Groupthink’

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that happens within a group of people who all conform to the same way of thinking. The intention is generally good, but the results can be damaging.

By working with a diverse range of people you’re a lot less likely to fall into groupthink, and you’re a lot more likely to learn new things.

For example, learning about other cultures helps us understand different perspectives within the world. It can also help dispel negative stereotypes or personal biases about different groups.

By working with a diverse team, you have more of an opportunity to learn. Diverse teams are also proven to solve problems faster, which is a win-win for employee and employer.

Increase your creativity

Being around, and accepting, people from different backgrounds will make you more open-minded and get your creativity flowing. In a more recent study by Forbes it was reported that diverse teams are 66% more creative. Why is this? If your team has an inclusive culture, it’s likely that you and your team feel comfortable sharing ideas and experiences. It’s also been shown that being exposed to different cultures and different types of people can influence our creativity.

Learn new skills

Professional development and continuous learning are great but they often require a significant time commitment or investment. A cheap and enjoyable alternative is to start paying attention to the people you spend your days with. Invite someone out for coffee and get to know more about their role. Schedule a meeting with a colleague whose work you admire. Ask about their career journey and how they’ve strengthened their skills.

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Today, thanks to remote work, teams can be very diverse. Are you interested in hiring employees from another part of the world in a legal way? Contact us! We do that job for you:  Contact us 

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The importance of staying safe.

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1. Use unique meeting codes for every online event and strong passwords.

While having the same meeting ID for consecutive meetings is convenient, it is equally convenient for malicious actors, who once they get a hold of an ID can enter the meeting uninvited. Never reuse the same meeting ID, especially for critical meetings.
Ensure your video conferencing application sets up unique video IDs as default, or you know how to set up unique meeting codes yourself.
While strong passwords may add some bother for participants, it adds an extra layer of needed protection, particularly for critical meetings. Ensure these passwords are at least 10 characters, include upper-case and lower-case letters, and include numbers and symbols.

2. Use a waiting room

A waiting room gives the host control over who enters the meeting. It doesn’t matter if they have the password, all attendees must be admitted by the host before joining. This adds another layer of protection from unapproved individuals attending.

3. Avoid posting meeting links on social media

Avoid posting links to your meetings on social media – even if they’re events open to the public. Once shared on social media you do not know who has access to the link, and this could lead to malicious actors entering the meeting. If you feel the link must be shared via social media, apply required registration so you can verify potential participants.

4. During public events, treat the chatroom with caution

For online events, ensure participants understand to approach the chat with caution, as malicious actors posing as regular attendees may use chat features to share dangerous links or attachments. If necessary, you may even be able to disable the chat feature until the end of the video conference or during a Q/A session, so that participants do not unknowingly click on a malicious file.

5. Don’t allow default screen sharing

In smaller work meetings with colleagues you are familiar with, default screen sharing is appropriate. As a general rule, it is better to ensure screen sharing for participants isn’t set to “on” by default.
The host of the meeting should be able to control who and when screen sharing occurs in order to efficiently manage the meeting and ensure the meeting isn’t interrupted by uninvited content.

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Remote work continues to rise while a full return to the office may never happen.

Companies are facing the harsh reality that people would rather resign and find a more flexible job than give up their remote work lifestyle. Experts call the migration to remote jobs the most significant shift in the workplace since World War II.

The benefits of remote working

According to a study by Robert Walters, over 45% of employees claim that they are more productive when working from home while almost 80% of employers believe that the quality of work has improved. So if you’re still tied to an office desk, maybe it’s time for a change.

Here are some more benefits of remote working

Productivity: Employees that work remotely have shown to be 35-40% more productive when compared to those working in an office

Performance: Studies show that employees who have autonomy and flexibility over their work-life produce 40% fewer mistakes leading to better performance overall

Engagement: Remote working contributes to a 41% reduction in absenteeism among employees which ultimately gets more work done

Retention: Over 50% of employees would consider a job change if more flexibility is offered, while companies that offer remote work have seen an average of 12% decrease in employee turnover

Profitability: Employers can save up to $11,000 per year per employee when remote work is permitted which in turn increases company profit.

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Update your LinkedIn profile

It’s important that your work and education experience is not only up-to-date but outlined in a way that would bring context for a hiring manager from overseas who may not be familiar with the university you attended or companies you’ve worked for. Is your university highly ranked or respected? Say so. Is your company a market leader in your country? Say so. And make sure to include any awards, accolades, or impressive results that will signal you’re a rockstar.

Highlight your remote work experience

Companies want to hire people that are even more productive at home than in the office. Talk about your productivity journey working from home during the pandemic. Emphasize your wins and accomplishments, such as launching a successful project virtually, implementing an asynchronous workflow, or onboarding new team members through Slack and Zoom.

Look further from home

An increasing number of remote positions are location agnostic – meaning you don’t need to live near the office in order to apply. Make sure you read the job description carefully. Some remote jobs are fully remote whereas others are hybrid positions, meaning you work remotely part of the time and on-site for the balance. While most remote-first companies have now implemented asynchronous workflows that make it easier to collaborate across timezones, always ensure that you clearly understand the expectations around working hours, especially if you’re not in the same timezone as your manager. Nobody likes a 2 am meeting!

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Airbnb told its 6,000 employees that they would have the option to permanently work remotely and also told its U.S. employees that they could move to anywhere in the country without a reduction to their compensation.

Although remote work grew remarkably, the announcement generated a lot to talk about in the world of work and led many companies to ask themselves if it is feasible to hire people from anywhere in the world.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced on Twitter “Five key features” of its new work policy, which goes further than several other tech giants in its flexibility for employees:

1. You can work from home or the office—whatever works best for you.

2. You can move anywhere in the country, like from San Francisco to Nashville, and your compensation won’t change

3. You have the flexibility to live and work in 170 countries for up to 90 days a year in each location.

4. We’ll meet up regularly for team gatherings. Most employees will connect in person every quarter for about a week at a time (some more frequently).

5. To pull this off, we’ll operate off of a multi-year roadmap with two major product releases a year, which will keep us working in a highly coordinated way.

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