Veronica Brundle - Apr 14 2022, 11:16:00 AM
As a leader at a virtual company, you’re probably always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with your employees. It’s certainly not easy keeping a remote team engaged. However, it’s important to try because employee engagement is essential to a thriving and enjoyable workplace.
One of the easiest (and arguably most fun!) ways to encourage engagement in the workplace is with a virtual happy hour. A virtual happy hour allows for organic conversations so remote team members can relax and get more comfortable with one another.
However, if you don't plan them correctly, they can also be chaotic and unorganized. Since the main goal of virtual engagement events is to foster connections in a virtual workforce, you’ll want to make sure everything is planned accordingly, runs smoothly, and is enjoyable for all involved.
If you aren’t sure where to get started, we’re here to help.
We put together a list of the 20 best tips for virtual happy hours so you can sit back, pour yourself a drink, and join in on the fun.
If you plan a virtual happy hour on a busy day, everyone may feel stressed or overwhelmed. To ensure everyone comes ready to unwind and have some fun, make sure it’s a day that works for everyone. While you can’t please everyone, generally a Thursday or Friday is the best choice. You could always send out a poll to your team to see what date they think would be best.
There is always at least one new member of the team that’s joining the happy hour. The best thing you can do is make them feel as comfortable as possible. Consider planning some icebreaker jokes to start the happy hour out on the right track.
It may seem silly, but a schedule can help things run smoothly. You don’t even need to share your agenda with the team but rather use it to guide the conversations. You'll want to consider when you’d fit in introductions, games, breakout sessions, icebreakers, and anything else you want to plan for.
What goes well with virtual cocktails? Virtual trivia, of course. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of work to plan when there’s Online Trivia. Together, your team members will plan three rounds of trivia and get to engage with their coworkers on a whole new level.
It’s easy to forget people have been sitting at their desks all day working. If you plan a virtual happy hour that’s too long, people could get antsy or tired. One hour is usually the sweet spot for virtual happy hours.
If you have a large team, it can be hard to keep everyone engaged and happy on Zoom. Breakout rooms can be a great tool to get everyone connected and help them meet new faces they might not have had a conversation with before.
Whether you’re planning a virtual happy hour for fun or celebrating something, everyone loves receiving a surprise in the mail. If you send them a bottle of wine or craft beer, it shows you care about their contribution and enjoy working with them.
Whether it’s a holiday or a crazy hat party, don’t be shy about planning a theme. It can help keep spirits high and everyone excited.
Every good happy hour event has snacks to complement the drinks. Consider sending your team members a goodie bag full of treats they can enjoy throughout the experience.
If you don’t think breakout groups will work well for your happy hour event, you can always consider doing happy hours among different teams at the company to help create connections with coworkers who might not interact otherwise.
Let’s be honest, silence can be awkward. The best way to prevent silence is by having a list of thought-provoking questions, like this-or-that questions, on hand. It never hurts to come prepared!
No one likes Mondays; however, when margaritas are involved, it’s a different story. If it’s a slow time at work, go out on a limb and plan a virtual happy hour event on a Monday (as long as it makes sense for your team members, of course).
All those all-hands and stand-ups you attend could instantly be more fun if they were a happy hour, especially if burnout is an issue at your workplace. Try turning your next all-hands meeting into a happy hour event to see if it helps lighten the mood.
Bingo is a fun, interactive game that pairs well with a boozy happy hour event. Take your bingo happy hour to the next level and plan a Bingo Event. The questions will focus on your team members so everyone will need to know their team pretty well if they want to win.
If your team isn’t big on drinking, you may not want to go with a virtual happy hour event. Instead, consider a chocolate-tasting experience. This is a great way to meet your team in the middle and allows the main focus to not be on alcohol.
If you have a group full of oenophiles, you might want to consider planning a wine-tasting happy hour. Best of all, everything is planned for you, including the bottles of wine for each team member.
Is your team full of creative individuals who love to channel their inner artists? Then a Paint and Sip virtual happy hour might be what they need. For this virtual experience, everyone will receive everything they need to create a beautiful painting and sip delicious wine.
If the conversations are flowing naturally, that’s great! Keep those icebreakers or questions in your back pocket for another time. The goal of a virtual happy hour is to help foster authentic conversations among team members and help them connect on a deeper level while enjoying a good drink.
Anyone who has been sitting at a desk all day will likely appreciate an opportunity to stretch their legs. One of our favorite ways to do this is with Yoga. All your team members will need is a drink and a yoga mat to join in on the fun.
At the end of the day, it’s important to ensure the events you plan are fun for your team. Don’t let the little things get in the way of a rewarding experience with your teammates. In fact, let Elevent take care of all the planning from conception to execution so you can relax and join in on the fun!
Explore our wide range of virtual events to see if you find anything that can be complemented with a virtual cocktail. If you’re ready to play your event, reach out to our team to see how it works today.
Originally published at Apr 14 2022, 11:16:00 AM. Updated on Aug 31 2022.