Working from home is awesome. You get a one minute commute. You can work in pyjamas. And you avoid distraction from cubicle colleagues.It’s painless and productive.
But while those cubicle colleagues can be a distraction, their social connection is positive. And their absence can leave you feeling lonely. Especially at Christmas.
Social interaction does much more than give you the warm fuzzy feeling. Connecting with others adds real business value. How?
- Social interaction creates a more collaborative environment;
- It increases work satisfaction;
- It reduces work stress and tension; and
- It generates positive emotions that fuel creativity.
Working at home and connecting with colleagues are beneficial, but they conflict with each other. Instead of choosing either or, let’s find a way you can eat your cake and have it too. Specifically, how can you celebrate Christmas as a virtual team or as a solopreneur?
Celebrate Christmas: 5 Ideas for Virtual Teams and Solopreneurs
#1: Throw a virtual party for your virtual team
LessAccounting.com, as reported by Entrepreneur, celebrates Christmas together with the whole team. Sounds easy right? It is until you realise they are a virtual team that lives in six different time zones.
So how did they have a party when they live multiple plane flights from each other? The virtual team had a virtual Christmas party. In other words, they hung out on Skype. This hangout on Skype wasn’t like any normal Skype meeting. The company gave each employee a $20 budget to buy food and drink to bring to their Skype party.
To add some fun to the virtual Christmas experience each person was allocated towards a gift. Here’s the kicker—they put the person receiving the gift on mute while the rest of the team shopped for it online!
Do you have a virtual team? If so, consider throwing a Skype party where you can eat, drink, chat and go online shopping.
If you’re a solopreneur you aren’t excluded from the fun of a virtual party. Take the initiative and organise a party with other solopreneurs you know, or even a few much-loved clients.
Your virtual party will leave you all feeling more connected, motivated and excited for Christmas!
#2: Meet the online team offline—inspired by WordPress!
Many of you reading this are bloggers yourselves. So why not take inspiration from Automaticc? They’re the company that created and runs the internet’s largest blogging platform—Wordpress. WordPress powers this site, over a quarter of the internet, and if you’ve been taking Lise’s advice it runs your site too.
Automaticc are a completely virtual team and live all over the world. Yet once a year they meet up for a week in person to celebrate their achievements and get to know each other.
You can borrow this idea for your own team and meet up somewhere for a lunch or weekend to celebrate the past year.
If you’re a solopreneur, celebrate the Christmas season offline with other freelancers and small biz owners.
#3: Throw an online-only kris kringle
Working from home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun of an office kris kringle. You can have an online kris kringle!
Instead of walking around the office and having people pick a name out of the hat, you can use this online secret Santa organiser. All you have to do is add the names and email addresses of the participants and they will be notified of who they’re buying for.
Simply set a limit on spending, such as $20, and then search for gifts online, such as entrepreneur specific gifts, fun kris kringle gifts or gifts for freelancers.
#4: Share fun Christmas memes, cards, and videos
What better way to spread the Christmas spirit than with the funniest Christmas memes, cards, and videos on the internet? If you’re using a management tool like Trello, you can leave it as a task for your team to complete. Best work-task ever!
Here are some fun posts you can share:
(Btw, if you’re not using Trello, then you need to immediately read Lise’s book Outsourced Freelancing Success: 101+ Tools, Apps & Programs to Run a Successful Freelancing Business!.)
#5: Exchange gifts with strangers
You can join with a bunch of internet strangers and exchange gifts. On RedditGifts there will be a 2016 secret Santa gift exchange. You can sign up for it here in December.
Here’s how it works. You sign up and buy a gift for someone, and somebody else buys a gift for you. It’s a big circle of gift giving. Simple.
Everyone from Bill Gates to Jimmy Fallon has participated in gift exchanges. For more info check out this TED talk from RedditGifts founder Dan McComas.
Whether you’re part of a virtual team or are a solopreneur, a gift exchange will bring you a fun surprise this Christmas.
Whether you’re part of a virtual team or a solopreneur, you can harness your entrepreneurial spirit to celebrate Christmas. These five ideas leave you (and your workmates) feeling more connected this Christmas.
Olli is the chief storyteller at yellowoctopus.com.au, a site dedicated to gifts, gadgets and Kris Kringle presents.
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