Atlantic Canada — Millions of bosses across the globe are seeing the benefits of hosting holiday parties over video conferencing services such as Zoom instead of traditional in-person gatherings.
“It’s a great way to save money, stay safe, and get into the festive spirit,” said Halifax-based CFO Lola Ogilvie. “From a financial standpoint it certainly makes sense. We can say the Christmas bonus cheques are in the mail — spoiler alert, they’re not — and the employee must provide their own food and drinks. We don’t even have to rent a venue! It’s no-cost fun that, if we play our cards right, could turn into a productive work meeting by hour two.”
Moncton-headquartered CEO Aaron Bradford said he expects employees to be in the office on a day-to-day basis, despite the coronavirus risk.
“I’m a visual guy,” he related, standing much closer than the safe two metres from our reporter. “I like to see feet on the ground and asses in chairs. How else can you be sure your workers are really, you know, working, unless you babysit them?
“So, I think people should show up if they want to demonstrate their dedication to the company. That said, for safety reasons and due to COVID, our Christmas party will be over Zoom. It’s just the responsible thing to do.”
Employees across the Maritimes are already in cringe-mode anticipating the mandatory fun to come.
“We have work Zoom calls nonstop, and now our ‘party’ is over Zoom as well?” said St. John’s-based marketing co-ordinator Melinda Davies. “So basically a full evening of what should be my free time is sitting in front of my computer, watching screens glitch out, accidentally talking over people and saying, ‘Oh, sorry, what was that?’ for hours. I might have to order a cardboard cutout of myself and just put it in my chair so I can go watch TV and relax. Honestly, no one would notice.”
“I hate Zoom,” said Jeff Peterson, a software engineer from Charlottetown, echoing the sentiment of everyone who has ever used Zoom. “If I wanted to watch myself get drunk on screen I would party with my friends and have them send me the embarrassing cellphone videos the next day. Like they already do.”
Peterson said he’s had a tough year, and the Zoom Christmas party makes it even more of a challenge.
“It’s been one blow to my mental and physical health after another, and now this? Hopefully the world just ends. Take me now, Lord!”