Coworkers enjoying a Thanksgiving meal.
HR

5 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving Virtually

Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to be grateful for everyone and everything we have in our lives. It’s an important time to reflect on your year, spend time with family, friends, and coworkers, and give back to the greater community. While Thanksgiving is typically celebrated at home, there are still ways to bring the giving spirit to the workplace—even if your employees are still working from home.

From charity drives to virtual cooking classes, this time of year is about showing your employees your appreciation, thanking your clients, and giving back to the local community. 

Here are 5 ways your company can celebrate Thanksgiving virtually:

1. Host a Virtual Potluck

Before COVID-19, many companies hosted potlucks where each employee would bring a dish into the office. Thankfully with Zoom or Google Meet, your employees can still gather for a potluck virtually. Encourage each employee to make a dish their family enjoys for Thanksgiving and share the recipe with the group. 

To put even more of a twist on your virtual potluck, you can think outside the box. Consider setting a rule that employees can have anything but Thanksgiving food. Or in the spirit of giving, treat your employees by ordering them food and having it delivered right to their home.

2. Get in the Giving Spirit

To get everyone in the giving spirit at Namely, we are hosting a contest where employees who are appreciated on our newsfeed during the month of November will be entered into a raffle to win money to donate to a charity of their choice. Our HR team sees this as a great way to combine charitable giving with our employee recognition strategy. 

You can also empower employees to give back during the holidays through using a charitable gifting platform, like Bright Funds. Not only does your business get to give back to the community, but your employees get to feel they are making a difference and helping those in need.

3. Send Thank You Cards

In the age of digital communication, a physical note in the mail can leave a great impression on employees during the holidays. Show your gratitude for employees by sending them personalized thank you cards in the mail to their home addresses. Whether they’re hand made or designed online, your employees will feel appreciated and understand that they are valued members of the team.

4. Organize a Virtual Cooking Class

Even though employees may not be able to gather in person, you can still bring everyone together by hosting a virtual cooking class. You can partner with an online cooking workshop where an assigned chef will guide your team through the recipe, share insights and anecdotes, and encourage interaction and questions. This gives employees a chance to showcase their creativity and bond with each other outside of their work duties. At the end, everyone can virtually sit down and enjoy their delicious home-cooked meal together.

5. Give Employees Time Off

Thanksgiving can be an especially busy time of year, with increased personal obligations and expectations to meet during the holiday season. If you’re not already doing so, consider giving your employees extra time off, such as the day after Thanksgiving or time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. You can let them work flexible hours or even have them sign off early on a Friday to get a head start on the weekend. This will ensure your employees come back from the holidays feeling refreshed, happy, and ready for the workweek.


Since it was declared National Gratitude Month in 2015, people around the world have used the month of November to reflect on what they’re grateful for. To learn more about how you can celebrate Gratitude Month virtually, check out our blog post.

Group Wateringflowers

See how Namely's flexible solution will help you streamline your HR processes by having your people, payroll, and benefits info all in on place.

Get a demo

Get the latest news from Namely about HR, Payroll, and Benefits.

CTA Image Rocket
CTA Image Mobile