How These 14 Companies Celebrate The Holidays
We asked startups, Fortune 500s, and remote-reliant teams to share how they keep the holiday spirit alive at work.
Yesterday, we celebrated our third annual Secret Snowflake at PowerToFly! We wanted to know what other companies do to keep the holiday spirit alive at work, so we asked our partner companies to share one or two of things they do to celebrate. From spending quality time together in person (even when their teams are spread across multiple locations!) and giving back to their communities, to taking time to rest and recover for the new year (a couple of them even shut down between Christmas and New Years), their answers did not disappoint.
Read on to get an inside look at the many creative ways these companies celebrate the holiday season and kick off the new year!
Greenhouse — A New York City New Year.
Greenhouse SF Party
"At Greenhouse, we like to end the year on a high note and start the new year off right. To close out the year and celebrate our successes, each of our office hubs hosts their own holiday party and our distributed employees are given the opportunity to choose their own Greenhouse-sponsored activity. We love seeing each employee show their own personality through the photos that are posted on Slack the next day. As a distributed workforce with teammates all over the United States and Dublin, we don't always get to meet face to face. So, we like to ring in the new year together by bringing the entire Greenhouse family to our headquarters in New York City for Kickoff Week. During this week, we get to meet our fellow teammates in person, show off our unique knowledge at Trivia and karaoke night, and bond on both a company and team level."
[Learn more about Greenhouse.]
Quip — Cookies and camaraderie.
"This year, Quip held our fifth annual Holiday Cookie Cook-off. Quip employees brought in cookies to share with their coworkers and compete in categories including Most Millennial Cookie, Best Non-Cookie Cookie, and Grand Champion Cookie. More important than the baking and the voting, everyone at the company looks forward to eating all of the amazing cookies, and socializing with coworkers across the company."
[Learn more about Quip.]
Blockstack — White elephant and wacky socks.
"At Blockstack, we held a 'Fuzzy Socks White Elephant End of the Year Party' this year for both HQ and remote team members. We provide the fuzzy and patterned socks so that everyone who joined (team member and their families/partners) can wear them and feel included as part of the celebration, whether in person or remote. We played White Elephant with gifts provided by the company, so that we can swap gifts around. For remote folks, we ran a spreadsheet with fun descriptions of the gifts to intrigue remote folks to choose the present."
[Learn more about Blockstack.]
Braintree — Letters to Santa.
"At Braintree, every year we look forward to participating in Chicago Sun Times' Letters to Santa program. Every child deserves to get gifts for the holidays, so this is our chance to help make that a reality. We receive letters from local elementary schools, and Treeps sign up to help purchase gifts between $25-$30, ensuring every child has a happy holiday! This year we saw participation from over 180 employees, who provided nearly 350 gifts for local students."
[Learn more about Braintree.]
Dell — Random acts of kindness.
"At Dell, we close for the week of Christmas to give everyone time to relax and recharge before the new year. We also keep the holiday spirit alive through different team activities. This year, one of our teams is having an acts of kindness contest. Participants contributed $10-$20. Now they have until January 3rd to complete ten acts of kindness (e.g. giving up a parking space at the mall, or your place on line at the cashier, or any other). At the end, each participant will submit their top act of kindness and the team will vote on the #1 act. The winner gets to select the cause that the entry money is donated to."
[Learn more about Dell.]
T. Rowe Price — A "Holiday Giving Campaign."
"T. Rowe Price hosts an annual Holiday Giving Campaign, and every year, associates go above and beyond to make an impact. More than a dozen nonprofits around the world are supported each year by the firm's 7,000 associates. Giving and serving in the community are important aspects of T. Rowe Price's culture, and the Holiday Giving Campaign is a longstanding tradition that has grown along with the firm. Through donations and volunteerism, T. Rowe Price's associates make a difference in their local communities all year long—but the holiday season especially sparks a spirit of generosity and camaraderie. To learn more about T. Rowe Price's culture of giving read out latest report at, TRowePrice.com/CRReport."
[Learn more about T. Rowe Price.]
CarGurus — A top-secret, surprise private performance.
"Among many holiday traditions at CarGurus, such as donation drives, individual team celebrations, and Secret Snowflakes, we like to celebrate the start of the new year with a company-wide party! Last year we invited all 900 employees, along with a plus one, to the House of Blues, for a private surprise performance by Snoop Dogg! This year, we will keep up with our tradition by having our subsidiary company PistonHeads join us to partake in the holiday festivities. The live performance is still under wraps, but we cannot wait to share who it is. Follow us on our Instagram culture page, @cargurusculture, to see all of the fun that is about to come during the rest of the holiday season!"
[Learn more about CarGurus.]
Procore — A "Week of Giving."
"Towards the end of the year, each Procore office gets to celebrate, reflect, and give back in ways that are unique and special to our offices. But celebrating isn't all we do—our Austin office, for example, participates in a "Week of Giving" where we give back to the local community through donation drives, volunteering at local charities, and writing gratitude cards for children at SAFE, a human service agency in Austin serving the survivors of child abuse."
[Learn more about Procore.]
Vrbo — Unique themed parties + festive sweaters!
Vrbo's 2019 Haunted Holiday Soiree that was on Friday the 13th!
"Each Vrbo office around the globe is uniquely decorated and has its own holiday celebrations, but our One Team value is what brings us all together to reflect back on the year we've accomplished together. We gather in our most festive sweaters for a holiday version of our monthly companywide meeting with leadership, 'Table Talks,' to recognize achievements and discuss what we can look forward to in the new year. In Austin, we hosted the Latinos in Tech End-of Year Fiesta, which brought together 10+ tech companies to celebrate the city's strong and growing Latinos in Tech community. An Austin employee favorite is our holiday party that we've hosted Downtown at Moody Theatre for the past three years!"
[Learn more about Vrbo.]
VideoAmp — Contributing to the community.
"At VideoAmp, we celebrate the holidays and get into the Holiday Spirit by giving back! A few years ago, VideoAmp was a tiny company with roughly 17 employees, and one thing we all shared together was a commitment to people. "VideoAmp Gives Back" started off simple. At first, we worked with organizations that allowed us to volunteer, like the Salvation Army. Eventually decided to do everything in house during the holiday season: from lunch kits, hygiene products, and toy drives to sponsoring families' Christmases. All these events were recommendations from our employees, and as our company grew bigger (we went from 70ish in 2018 to over 200 employees in 2019), so did VideoAmp Gives Back!"
[Learn more about VideoAmp.]
Scout RFP — A sophisticated San Francisco soirée.
"To celebrate the holiday season, Scout RFP hosts a Holiday Party every year at a venue in San Francisco, where we are headquartered. Our employees who are remote or work in another office fly in, and everyone is invited to bring a plus one. We rent out a private section of the venue and have food and drink available to all our guests. It's so fun to see all of our coworkers outside of a work setting, dressed in cocktail attire, and with their plus ones."
[Learn more about Scout RFP.]
Intuit — A holiday market in support of small businesses.
Every December, Intuit puts on a Holiday Small Business Market, where local businesses and vendors are invited to Intuit campuses to showcase their creations and (hopefully) spark unique and creative gift ideas for Intuit employees. The event encourages support of local businesses, a sentiment in line with Intuit's mission of powering prosperity. Many of the local vendors are also small business customers of Intuit's QuickBooks product. Intuit also has a Toys for Tots drive in partnership with the Marine Corps and our team at Intuit Boise also partnered with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to write letters from Santa. For every letter written, Macy's will donate $2 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The team hand-wrote 378 letters!
[Learn more about Intuit.]
SeatGeek — Giving, giving, giving.
"Here at SeatGeek, the holidays are all about giving. We have an employee-run group internally called GiveGeek that organizes charitable events and donation opportunities for the company. This holiday season, GiveGeek has partnered with a few different organizations to create 3 unique opportunities for employees to give back to the community. From purchasing gifts for under-resourced children, to writing cards for local seniors and partnering with a local food drive, GiveGeek helps create opportunities for SeatGeek employees to make a positive difference in the community."
[Learn more about SeatGeek.]
Nextdoor — An end-of-year shutdown.
"At Nextdoor, we're scaling quickly and have offices/team members in over 10 locations around the world. In addition to some amazing Holiday parties, we're grateful to have been given the opportunity to implement an end-of-year shutdown and our offices will be closed until the first day back in the office on January 2nd. This allows our team members an opportunity to step away from all of the hard work we've put in at Nextdoor and reconnect with our community of friends and family."
[Learn more about Nextdoor.]
Growing Your Career in Technical Support: 4 Tips for Getting Hired at Elastic from Support Director Heidi Sager
Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.
Working at Relativity—the global tech company that equips legal and compliance professionals with a powerful data-organizing and discovery platform—looked different in 2020. The highly collaborative environment of their Chicago headquarters transitioned to a virtual setting, and just like companies around the country, Relativity adapted their goals and major projects to a completely remote environment.
Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> October 25-27, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual and in person in Austin, Texas as of now</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://conferences.shrm.org/inclusion" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>The Society for Human Resource Management's biggest conference of the year saw 1,200 DEI leaders participate last year; SHRM hopes to see even more come to learn, be inspired, and to walk away with a playbook of implementable strategies to create truly inclusive workplace cultures.</p>
AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
A Conversation with Vouch's Lead Designer Carrie Phillips