Holiday Parties and Dress Codes: Strengthening Your Remote Team’s Morale

A person in a red sweater holding a wine bottle and wine glasses in their hand attending an online holiday party with coworkers, meant to show how to strengthen your remote team's morale.Holiday parties are a great way for staff members to enjoy one another’s company without the underlying pressures of the workplace. They’re a much-appreciated reprieve from the year-ending deadlines and a celebration of achieving goals. Most importantly, they’re a morale boost. With COVID taking an ax to this year’s calendar, business owners need to find more creative ways to lift spirits, and that means changing with the times and one’s interpretation of office culture. Reimagining this year’s holiday party and even dress codes can have a profound impact on your remote team’s morale.

Don’t Allow Distance to Stifle Your Commitment to Morale

Your involvement and communication with your team shouldn’t suffer now that you’re no longer seeing them face-to-face. Your staff needs to be reminded of why they chose to work for your company, as an uninspiring company culture is a surefire way to lose valued members of your team. Some simple ways you can boost morale include:

  • Assist in Accessing Resources: Beyond ensuring your team has the equipment and software necessary to work from home, make sure they have access to wellness resources, such as the mental health services available through Mental Health America.
  • Evolve Your Flexibility: Pre-COVID approaches to flexibility are no longer enough. During the pandemic, consider being lenient with those who need to reschedule PTO, and post-COVID, think about potentially permanently revising your team’s remote working requirements.
  • Celebrate Milestones and Accomplishments: Though COVID has been a struggle for most companies, surviving this long is a testament unto itself. Put aside some time during meetings to commend individual or business wins or share a positive customer review.

Of course, there are many more ways to increase your company’s morale, but as we’re in the midst of the holidays, it’s best we look at the most immediate solution: reimagining your holiday party.

Reinventing the 2020’s Holiday Party

With COVID infection rates at an all-time high this holiday season, in-person parties are out of the question. But there are plenty of other ways to spread cheer. If you’re intent on spending some quality time with your team, get creative by having a virtual happy-hour, gifting your team wine for a virtual wine tasting, or hosting a pasta-making course featuring ingredients from local businesses. However, recognize people need their free time after work to destress, so think about entertaining your team during work hours. Or, if you can’t forfeit the time, make the after-hours virtual party optional.

Otherwise, if you’re worried about simply canceling or postponing the holiday party at the risk of being labeled a Scrooge, your team will understand the circumstances. They’re facing the same reality as you. Just because you’ve thrown parties before, doesn’t mean you have to keep the streak alive amidst a global pandemic. There are other ways you can thank your team, such as expressing your gratitude verbally or via small gifts and paid time off or by actively promoting self-care.

Reconsidering Your Company Dress Policy

While it’s hard to predict when a teammate might come knocking with a video call, it’s important to allow your staff to be comfortable while working from home. In fact, according to a study by Talent International, a higher percentage of staff are more productive when given the freedom over their choice of clothing – 61% to be precise. Of course, dressing appropriately for a client-facing meeting is to be expected, but if you ask yourself why you have a dress code to begin with, often the top answer is to impress workplace visitors. With no risk of drop-ins, casual dress attire should suffice for remote staff, or at the very least, turn a blind eye if you catch someone pulling a video-call mullet (wearing a dress shirt or blouse in-frame along with PJ bottoms or yoga pants).

Engagement, flexibility, and understanding are key elements to boosting your remote team’s morale. 2020 has been a year that’s tested our relationships, both personal and professional, and maintaining a sense of camaraderie as a leader takes communication. At Vision Advertising, we recognize the value of pivoting your strategies to do what’s best for your business and team. We’re here for you if you need guidance or if the holidays are overwhelming your marketing efforts. To discover how we can help you find success so you have more time to manage your team, contact us today.

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About the author : Alex Geyer

Alex wears many hats, and not just because he’s bald. A writer by background, Alex writes “content” for Vision – anything from social media statuses to blogs to website copy and beyond. In addition, as Senior Brand Strategist, he builds and maintains all search engine advertising for Vision, manages multiple client projects, and herds many meetings. In his free time, he starts and stops writing novels, reads a copious amount of fiction, plays video games, and an enthusiastic chef at home. He’s trying to become a better plant daddy.

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