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From virtual office get-togethers to holiday vacation prep: ‘Tis the season to use Zoom

Check out some of the ways you can use Zoom to bring some holiday cheer to your co-workers!

4 min read

Updated on December 09, 2022

Published on December 20, 2023

Virtual Holiday Party

It’s that time of year: holiday gatherings are in full swing and you’re getting ready to enjoy a break from work. But planning a virtual or hybrid holiday party can prove to be a challenge, and the stress of preparing for vacation has you frazzled. 

Your trusty Zoom platform is here to help you out and connect you with all your friends (and colleagues) so you can relax and enjoy the end of the year. 

Here are just some of the ways you can use Zoom to bring some cheer this holiday season: 

Gather in-person and remote participants together with a virtual party

Just because your team is distributed or remote doesn’t mean the holiday party has to stop. You can host an amazing holiday party over Zoom by creating an event that offers a range of activities for your coworkers in different breakout rooms, including gift-wrapping sessions, cocktail classes, karaoke, trivia, or just a place to hang out and chat while enjoying a glass of eggnog. 

Find time on everyone’s calendar with Zoom Scheduler

One of the hardest parts of planning a holiday party is finding a time that works for everyone. Zoom Scheduler is a scheduling tool that makes it easier to book meetings with multiple people. It allows you to share your availability with attendees, who can then choose their preferred time.

Add fun and games with Zoom App Marketplace

Need some help to get the party going? Check the Zoom App Marketplace for additional inspiration. There, our partners offer hundreds of applications that directly integrate into the Zoom client and your daily workflow. Besides apps for work, the App Marketplace has apps for games as well. Want to play a game of bingo, trivia, or find out which one of your friends and colleagues is a werewolf? There are apps for that. 

Zoom-curated Essential Apps are a great place to start. They come free with your Zoom One Pro, Business, or Business Plus plan for the first year and include apps like Kahoot! and Funtivity for team-building activities.

Pro tip: The best game nights need a little bit of prep. That doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Why not ask all of your teammates to send some trivia questions before the event and use them to get to know each other better? Don’t forget to check with your account admin beforehand so everyone can install the apps.

Share some tunes

Did you know that you can share music in Zoom Meetings or Webinars? Bring some holiday cheer to your virtual team by adding some tunes or jingles to the waiting room. Sharing is simple, just use the Music app for Zoom. You can also play the sound on your computer and click the screen sharing button in your meetings toolbar. You’ll find the ability to share computer audio in the advanced tab.

Pro tip: Keep it simple and clean. Let your co-workers contribute and send some recommendations for the Christmas playlist. But don’t overdo it — you still want to be able to talk to each other.

White Elephant gift exchange

White Elephant Gift Exchange

Keep the gift-giving tradition going with a virtual white elephant gift exchange! Have the team send their gift (via webpage links) to the organizer, and that person can randomize names and gifts to start the game. The organizer can then order or ship gifts directly to each person once it’s over. We recommend having a theme for the gifting, such as “Gifts that always bring a smile to your face for less than $10.”

Pro tip: Get super creative – and interactive – by making virtual backgrounds of each gift to show which items people have chosen (or stolen)! Once a person has a gift, send them the corresponding virtual background so everyone on the call knows which gift they have.

Do some culinary team-building

Cooking Class

Schedule a meeting that’s not a meeting at all but a team-building activity. We highly recommend a group cooking class with a professional chef! Share the recipe with the team in advance and allow them to expense the ingredients to create a fun (and delicious) culinary experience that everyone can enjoy. 

Pro tip: Be sure to pin or spotlight the chef’s video. Other participants might be blending, cutting, and chopping away, and you don’t want their videos to constantly interrupt what the professional is showing you. 

Prepare to take a break during the holidays

If you have some vacation planned this season, making the right preparations can help you to fully unplug and enjoy your time away from work. Zoom can help keep your colleagues informed while you’re gone and provide you with the tools you need to catch up on what you missed when you return.

Set your out-of-office message

Your status message in your Zoom client is a great way to give people visibility into when you’ll be out of the office. Set your upcoming vacation dates and let colleagues know who they can reach out to in your absence. This information will show up when a person hovers over your profile picture or sends you a Team Chat message.

Record virtual holiday greetings and PTO instructions

So you’ll be gone during the holidays but want to send your work bestie a special holiday greeting? Use Zoom Clips, our video recording tool, to create a short video message. This is also a great way to share instructions with the lucky person who’ll be covering your workload while you’re gone. Simply record your screen and do a quick demo or go through your to-do list so your colleague can easily refer to the clip whenever they need to.

Ease the back-to-work transition with AI Companion

Coming back to work after a vacation isn’t always fun, but AI Companion makes it easier. If you missed any important meetings while you were away, ask the host to forward the meeting summary so you can get up to speed quickly. 

If you need to dig into the conversation in more detail, watching the full recording can take up a lot of time. AI Companion’s smart recordings are broken down into chapters, organized by topic, and include action items, so you can quickly find the information you need.

 

Happy holidays!

From all of us at Zoom, we wish you the happiest holiday season full of fun gatherings (virtual or in-person!) and special moments.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in December 2022 and updated in December 2023 to include new tips with the latest Zoom products and features.

 

 

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