Coworkers enjoying a Thanksgiving meal.

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 remotely.

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, host a contest that encourages your employees to appreciate one another. Whether it’s via Slack or on your company's newsfeed, put the names of all employees who post an appreciation for a colleague during the month of November into a raffle. The winners can win money to donate to a charity of their choice.

You can also empower your employees to give back during the holidays by using a charitable gifting platform, like Bright Funds. This not only helps your business give back to the community, but also gives your employees the opportunity to make a difference and help 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 your 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 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 and appreciated.

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.

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