Online Holiday Party 2020 - A Community Healthcare Team's Version

Written by Mubashshir Zakir Updated 3 years ago

Some Background on Swift...

Swift Health is a community-based health services company. We offer services such as occupational therapy and active rehab. Even before COVID-19, we have always been a "locally remote" team that worked across the lower mainland in B.C.

To start, I would like to thank our Social Coordinator and Occupational Therapist Mays Sleiman, as well as our Clinical Director Nushabah Zakir to help organize our Online Holiday Party.

Team culture, self-worth, autonomy, and a sense of community has always been important to us.

Team culture, self-worth, autonomy, and a sense of community has always been important to us. As a locally remote team, meeting in-person made building a team culture a lot easier. The Swift Team tries to have in-person meetups regularly and since Covid -- the meetups had to move online. Our holiday parties have always been in-person, but now this also had to shift online too.

What are the challenges of an online holiday party

  • How do we make it something to look forward to?
  • How do we allow for 20+ participants to all be able to chat with one another?
  • How do we make it feel like a company holiday party?

The Plan and Execution


To start our Holiday party, everyone introduced themselves by using the 'spotlight feature' in Microsoft Teams. If the person was taking part in our gift exchange, they also opened their gift at this time. We allocated fifteen minutes for this and boy were we wrong. It actually took 45 minutes. For some of the team, their food had already arrived and for others, it was still arriving. So we decided to encourage the team to eat their food while it was still warm.

While in previous years we held an ugly sweater competition, this year we were not planning on doing one as we wanted our team to "dress up" -- assuming everyone understood that to mean wear fancy clothes. Note to future self: be even more clear with our directions -- don't assume if you don't need to. Some of us thought it meant to wear their best ugly Christmas sweater.

There was only one thing to do... we held an ugly sweater competition after dinner...

Aneil Uppal - 2020 Ugly Sweater Competition Winner
Aneil Uppal - 2020 Ugly Sweater Competition Winner.
From the looks of it, we should give him the best bar of the year as well.


We announced our various award winners, including our two primary awards. Kinesiologist of the Year and Occupational Therapist of the Year.

...and the winners are...

Occupational Therapist of the Year Cherry Au 2020 Swift Health

Cherry Au
OT of the Year

[testimonial_view id="5" category="cherry-au"]
2020 Kinesiologist of the year dominic tang Swift Health

Dominic Tang
Kinesiologist of the Year

[testimonial_view id="5" category="dominic-tang"]


The plan was to use Microsoft Teams breakout rooms feature since this feature can manually or automatically split your team into smaller groups. This provides the feeling of being at a dinner table and it gives everyone a chance to speak. We also selected table leaders prior to the party, as we felt they could keep conversations going in case people felt shy.

The feature does not work for some versions of Microsoft Teams and for a few, we decided to use the main room as the "dinner table" instead. Since many of us already had dinner at this point, this did not last long. However, it was still important for people to connect with one another.

Ending the night

Our social coordinator and occupational therapist Mays Sleiman used My Free Bingo Cards to design a game for the team to play. The winner was Morgan Marshall, congratulations to her!

Pictures from the holiday party

Want Your Picture In Next Years Gallery?

Yes, this is a shameless plug.
You should consider joining our team. We are always looking for the right team members.

Other Posts You May Like