Thanks to the Internet, making and maintaining strong bonds with other people have become a little more accessible nowadays. Friend groups and families in different parts of the globe can now communicate whenever and wherever. Businesses have also used this improved connectivity to their benefit, especially those with team members working from faraway places.
Keeping up camaraderie and good relations is an essential element of productivity. Even when separated by distance, bringing everyone together is still possible when done online. But virtual happy hours aren’t always fun for each person involved.
If you’re assigned to plan your company’s next online get-together, check out these ideas that everyone invited will surely enjoy:
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1. Virtual Escape Room
Escape room games have recently become a popular activity for groups. It’s an exciting challenge that will test everyone’s wits and teamwork to solve puzzles and ‘escape’ from being trapped in a room. However, not everyone can go to a physical location to play.
Fortunately, many escape room games are now available online and are free to play. These games are perfect for an exhilarating corporate virtual happy hour. People in an escape room activity rarely get bored participating since they compete against time. Some might even want to challenge their teammates and solve as many puzzles as possible to finish the game.
Playing in a virtual escape room may not have as much pressure as being in a physical location. After all, none of you are ‘trapped’ in a locked room. But the challenging aspect of the game keeps all players involved on their toes. Hence, the likelihood of anyone feeling disinterested prematurely lessens. And afterward, you can all celebrate your ‘escape’ together with a shot of your favorite alcohol.
2. Guessing Games
Another virtual happy hour activity that will keep participants awake is the good old-fashioned guessing game. Charades are a great way to make everyone utilize their webcams and act out some words or phrases for others to guess. Your more bashful team members may refuse to play along, but with some encouragement, you could get them to join in. The fact that they’re also technically not playing in person could give them more confidence.
Virtual guessing games are not limited to charades. You can play Pictionary with your team members even when separated by distance. Popular websites like Skrbbl.io and Gartic.io are multiplayer-friendly and test everyone’s digital art skills. You also have options to change words and phrases to guess and draw in different colors. This game is quite addictive, so expect people to look forward to more rounds.
3. Costume Party
Costume parties are fun to attend when you’re a child but are pretty hilarious when you’re an adult. Inviting team members to come to a virtual meeting in costume lightens the mood as soon as the call begins. It shows that there’s no business involved for the next few hours and gets everyone ready to enjoy.
Since you all will be limited to seeing each other only from the bust upward, making a decent costume that’s capturable via a webcam is challenging. If you’re pressed for time, plan a funny hat party instead. However, you can also encourage participants to dress up and try their hand at creating unique last-minute costumes.
Wearing something fun and colorful other than regular casual attire gives a more festive mood to any event, even an online one. If you hold annual virtual costume parties, your team members may anticipate the next one and challenge themselves to make or wear better costumes every year.
4. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
People in a happy hour event done virtually don’t have to stay seated the whole time. They can still get some exercise for a few minutes by playing an online scavenger hunt. Often, participants join in the call while in their rooms. So, they’ll be able to collect most of the items and win the game.
Make the hunt more exciting by separating everyone into groups. People will start working together to tick off every item on the list faster. Naturally, this game has a time limit, so everyone must collect all the objects before time runs out.
You can also increase the stakes by adding bonus points or removing them for multiple collections of one item. Teams will have to cooperate by assigning only some objects for one person to find or collect as many of the same things as possible.
5. Trivia Games
Deep down, people are generally competitive and enjoy a good game that tests their knowledge. Get these people to willingly join a virtual happy hour by planning a trivia night. Having a mind-stimulating game during an appreciation party to recognize your remote team offers everyone the chance to get to know one another. They’ll also have some fun at the same time.
Classic games like Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit now have online versions, so you can play these anytime with colleagues if you have an Internet connection. Divide everyone into small groups to put team effort into play. Members can put their heads together and answer as many questions correctly as possible.
You can even make the games more thrilling by presenting actual prizes you can deliver to the winners’ homes afterward. The players will have something to look forward to and give their all to win.
Your company’s virtual happy hour doesn’t have to be boring. It’s not always about the drinks or the food either. People tend to drift off in online meetings if it’s all talk and no fun, so you must plan some stimulating activities for them to participate in.
You have several options to make these meetings more worthwhile for everyone invited. Incorporate some games and funny costumes into your informal conferences, so there are more reasons to raise your glass.