As companies worldwide continue to adapt to remote work, creating a sense of community and connection with your team can be challenging. But building a strong, cohesive team is more important now than ever, and one way to do this is through virtual team-building activities.
A remote happy hour is a great way to bring team members together, have some fun, and get to know each other on a personal level. Whether you're a company that has recently switched to a remote work model or is hiring new team members working remotely, these activities can help foster a sense of belonging and improve team cohesion.
So, what are some ideas for remote happy hours? These ideas range from Virtual trivia night, Virtual cocktail or cooking class, Movie or TV show watch party, Virtual game night to Virtual happy hour, and many more. All of these are appropriately discussed below.
Remote Happy Hour Ideas to Build Strong Teams
Remote happy hours are a great way to kick off a new employee's first week or month on the job. They can also be a fun way for teams to bond and connect more personally. Here are a few remote happy hour ideas to consider for your team's onboarding activities:
1. Virtual coffee or tea break
This is a simple and low-key way for your team to come together and chat over coffee or tea.
Gather your team on a video call to set up a virtual coffee or tea break and encourage everyone to bring their favorite drink and snack. You can then just chat and catch up with each other, getting to know each other personally.
This activity is a great way to create a sense of community and connection with your team, and it's a nice break from the daily grind of work. Plus, it's fun to learn about each other's tastes and preferences in coffee and tea.
A virtual coffee or tea break is a simple and enjoyable way to bring your team together for a remote happy hour. Give it a try and see how it goes!
2. Virtual team lunch
Another idea for a remote happy hour is a virtual team lunch. This is a great way for your team to come together, enjoy a meal, and catch up with each other.
To set up a virtual team lunch, gather your team on a video call and encourage everyone to bring their lunch. You can then just chat and catch up while eating your meals.
This activity is a great way to create a sense of community and connection with your team, and it's a nice break from the daily grind of work. Plus, it's fun to learn about each other's lunch preferences and possibly even discover new meal ideas.
If you want to make the virtual team lunch more interactive, you could also try a potluck-style lunch where each team member brings a dish to share with the group. This can be a fun way to try new foods and recipes.
This is a simple and enjoyable way to bring your team together for a remote happy hour. Give it a try and see how it goes!
3. Virtual trivia or game night
Virtual trivia or game nights can be fun and interactive to bring people together for a remote happy hour. Here are some tips for hosting a successful virtual trivia or game night:
- Choose a platform: Many platforms allow you to host virtual trivia or game nights, such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. Choose one that is easy to use and has features like screen sharing, which will help display trivia questions or game boards.
- Invite participants: Send invitations to your coworkers, friends, or family to join the virtual trivia or game night. Include the date, time, and link to the virtual meeting.
- Prepare trivia questions or games: Depending on your preference, you can create your trivia questions or use a premade game. You can also try playing games like charades, Pictionary, or 20 Questions.
- Set up the virtual meeting: Test your microphone and camera before the event to ensure everything works properly. You can also use screen sharing to display the trivia questions or game boards.
- Encourage participation: Encourage participants to join in and have fun. You can also consider offering prizes or rewards for the winners.
Virtual trivia or game nights can be a great way to bring people together and have a fun and interactive happy hour. Just make sure to choose a platform that works well for your group and have a few trivia questions or games prepared in advance.
4. Virtual book club or movie night
A virtual book club or movie night can be fun and engaging to connect with colleagues or friends remotely during happy hour.
To host a virtual book club, you can choose a book everyone can read and discuss during the happy hour. You can use a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Google Meet to host the discussion. Set a date and time that works for everyone and send out reminders beforehand. During the happy hour, you can discuss the book, share your thoughts and opinions, and ask each other questions. You can also use breakout rooms or smaller group discussions to allow for more intimate conversations.
To host a virtual movie night, you can choose a movie that everyone can watch beforehand and discuss during the happy hour. You can use a streaming platform, such as Netflix Party or Hulu Party, to watch the movie together and chat about it in real-time. Set a date and time that works for everyone and send out reminders beforehand. During the happy hour, you can discuss the movie, share your thoughts and opinions, and ask each other questions. You can also use breakout rooms or smaller group discussions to allow for more intimate conversations.
A virtual book club or movie night can be a fun and social way to connect with others remotely during happy hour. It allows you to bond with your colleagues or friends over a shared activity and discuss it in a relaxed and informal setting.
5. Virtual wine or cocktail tasting
Virtual wine or cocktail tastings can be a great way to incorporate fun and socialization into a remote onboarding program. Here are some ideas for how to use virtual wine or cocktail tastings as a remote onboarding activity:
Choose a theme: Just as with a regular virtual wine or cocktail tasting, you can choose a specific type of wine or cocktail to focus on, such as red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, or cocktails made with a particular type of spirit.
Invite new hires: Invite all new hires to participate in the virtual tasting as part of their onboarding experience. Include the invitation's date, time, and any specific instructions or details about the event.
Set up the virtual platform: Choose a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet to host the virtual tasting. Make sure to send out the link and any necessary login information to all the participants in advance.
Prepare the beverages: Have each participant purchase or bring their selection of wines or cocktails to taste. You can also consider setting up a group order or providing a list of suggested options for participants to purchase.
Set the mood: Create a fun and relaxed atmosphere by setting the stage with virtual backgrounds, music, or other decorative elements. Encourage participants to dress up or wear particular clothing to add to the atmosphere.
Lead the tasting: As the host, you can lead the tasting by briefly introducing the theme and explaining the different beverages that will be tasted. Encourage new hires to share their thoughts and observations as they taste each beverage.
Have fun and relax: The most important thing is to have fun and relax with the new hires. Encourage participants to share stories and experiences, and take breaks as needed to chat and catch up with one another. This can help to build camaraderie and create a more positive onboarding experience for the new hires.
The key to a successful remote happy hour is to create an inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere where team members can relax and get to know each other better. Whether you're having a virtual coffee break or a wine tasting, the goal is to create a sense of community and connection among team members.
As someone working remotely for the past few years, I know firsthand the importance of building and maintaining a sense of community and connection with my team. When I first started working remotely, I was worried that I would feel isolated and disconnected from my coworkers. But through regular virtual team-building activities, such as remote happy hours, I've fostered relationships with my colleagues and feel more connected to the team.
One of my favorite remote happy hour ideas is virtual trivia night. We use a platform like Kahoot to host a trivia game with customized categories based on our team's interests. It's always a lot of fun and a great way to bond with my coworkers. We also like to mix it up by hosting a virtual cocktail or cooking classes, movie or TV show watch parties, and virtual game nights.
But perhaps the most simple and enjoyable remote happy hour activity is just gathering on a video call with some drinks and snacks and chatting with each other. It's a low-key way to catch up and get to know each other personally.
Overall, remote happy hours have been a great way for my team to stay connected and build relationships, even when we're not in the same physical location. Suppose you're looking for ways to engage and connect with your remote team. In that case, I highly recommend giving these activities a try. Your team will thank you for it!