Honoring your retiring coworker’s career success with a grand, final party doesn’t have to be yesterday’s news. With careful planning and a bit of creativity, you can pull off an exciting, heartfelt celebration online.
Follow these tips for throwing a virtual retirement party to guarantee an easy, stress-free, and meaningful commemoration.
Virtual celebrations can be held over services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and more.
Spotlight Important Guests
Spotlighting the retiree is a given. Commend your coworker’s achievements. If you can, focus on the entirety of their career, from their high school or college graduation to their first job and, finally, to their retirement.
The celebration is virtual, which offers you a rare opportunity to invite individuals from your coworker’s past, like previous collaborators, coworkers, and bosses. You can use email templates like these Retirement Invitations to send an invite.
If you have other recently retired coworkers, ask them to give a shoutout and provide the guest of honor with helpful—or tongue in cheek—advice about retirement.
Making online tributes, movies, or slideshows are other great ways to celebrate your coworker’s career.
Play Some Virtual Party Games
Another tip for throwing a virtual retirement party is to simply have fun!
Some games, like beanbag tosses or foosball competitions, are hard to play virtually; however, there are other fun games you can partake in as a group.
Try simple, verbal games, like Two Truths and a Lie, or visual games, like Charades. Virtual versions of Pictionary, Uno, Cards Against Humanity, and Monopoly are free-to-use online. There are even virtual escape rooms you can try out.
Mail Your Gifts
If your gifts are virtual, a basic email will suffice. For physical gifts, go the old-fashioned way—head to the post.
First, you’ll need to determine what you’re sending. You and your coworkers might contribute to one larger gift, like an expensive piece of jewelry or weekend getaway, or maybe you’ll each send smaller personalized gifts.
Your gifts could be sentimental—like a scrapbook, photo collage, or video—or food-based, in the form of a custom-made cake. If you’re feeling stuck, check out these retirement gift ideas for everyone.
Unless you’re sending something perishable, ask your coworker to hold off on opening their gifts until the day of the party.
Stay in Touch
It’s a farewell party, sure, but that doesn’t have to mean this is your final goodbye. Exchange contact information with your retiring coworker and keep in touch.
If you had a particularly strong friendship with this person, it doesn’t have to end when their employment does. Don’t be afraid to plan outings together. Head out for a drink, enjoy a day at the beach, or invite them to one of your upcoming parties—whether you do so virtually or in person.