Let's face the facts: many of your employees miss the days when work was where they could gather with colleagues and shoot the breeze. But thanks to the rise of remote work, that comfort has been replaced by Zoom calls and virtual happy hours.
We know how important it is for teams to stay connected—so if you're looking for ways to have fun while social distancing, look no further! We compiled a list of 14 creative ideas for your next virtual company happy hour – guaranteed to make your team feel like they're back in the office again!
So gather up your crew and get ready for some laughs as you enjoy these great virtual activities.
14 Creative Happy Hour Ideas for HR Managers
1. Virtual Cooking Class
One of the most popular hobbies people have taken up during quarantine is cooking! With our extra time at home, it can be fun to step up our culinary game and get crafty in the kitchen.
That said, why not turn this hobby into something fun you can do with your team? Check out Cozymeal and their virtual cooking classes! From the comfort and safety of your own home, your colleagues can channel their inner Top Chef.
As for the ingredients, Cozymeal offers a link when booking so that your team can deliver their materials right to their door! And don't worry - they are highly accommodating to dietary restrictions.
2. Virtual Cocktail Lesson
Here's a fun and safe alternative to traditional happy hours: Learn how to make gorgeous cocktails as a group! If your team members are under 21, a nice mocktail will work just as well.
A cocktail game show is like a pub quiz, but better—you're also the bartender! You and your team can play cocktail trivia games with chances to win prizes while experts show off their mixology skills and entertain everyone. This exciting alternative to traditional happy hours will help boost employee morale.
Like the virtual cooking class, this idea would require some preparation. That's why we love WFHomie's pre-planned Virtual Cocktail Game Show.
Trivia is a classic team-building game and an excellent choice for your next virtual happy hour! There are tons of free online trivia generators, such as Random Trivia Generator. However, you can choose to invest in something like JackBoxTV and get access to their "Trivia Murder Party" game, along with several other games that come in the pack!
This spin on trivia takes on a bit of a darker theme -- if you answer incorrectly, you get sent to "The Killing Floor," where you participate in mini-games to determine whether or not you die and become a ghost!
Remember that someone will have to purchase this game and own one of the compatible platforms. The owner has to share their screen, and everyone else can tune in on their devices!
An oldie but a goodie. You can't go wrong with this game; executing it online is incredibly simple! Split into teams, set a category, and we'd suggest pinning the Zoom/Webcam window of the person currently taking their turn to ensure everyone can see them.
5. Virtual Escape Room
A virtual escape room is perfect for remote teams who want to work together to solve a tricky situation.
WFHomie's escape rooms are meticulously planned to provide an unforgettable challenge that energizes and excites your team. As you and your team race against the clock, you must work together to find clues, solve mysteries, and decrypt puzzles. It's a high-energy team-building activity that's unlike anything else.
One of the best things about virtual escape rooms is that you and your team can participate from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and a sense of adventure!
6. Murder Mystery
This one's a little more unconventional. It'll be a lot of fun, especially if you plan to do this with your team around Halloween, but murder mystery games are a good time year-round!
There are a couple of different ways to go about this. The free way is entirely doable, but it may require more work on your end. You'll have to plan the cast of characters, the storyline, and the puzzles yourself. A fun take may be to base the story around your team and make the game more personalized!
There also are many paid options out there that will handle the work for you. Like the virtual escape room, you can find fantastic plot options, from "Murder on the Dance Floor" to "Little Rock Horror Shop Murder!".
7. Code Names
Code Names is another game night favorite. This game requires witty wordplay to win. There are two teams of competing "spy networks" that use codes to contact their fellow secret agents. The game's objective is to contact all of the agents on your team.
You play on a 5x5 grid of cards with "Code Names" representing the names of the agents. Each team has one "Spy Master" who gives clues to their operatives in the form of one word and one number correlating with a Code Name on the grid.
Be careful to avoid accidentally revealing an agent from the opposite team, or even worse, the "Deadly Assassin," whereby your team automatically loses the game.
Our team simply sent an online Code Names game link in Zoom chat, and it worked out flawlessly.
8. Movie Night
Movie night is a simple yet effective way to spend time with your colleagues. Vote on a movie, gather your snacks and blankets, have the meeting host play it while sharing their screen, and enjoy! We've found that comedies, thrillers, and dramas are popular among most virtual teams.
This is another one that we loved. It was easy to pull off, and we all had a great time. This classic game is an excellent way to build your team up while getting to know a little more about how your colleagues perform under pressure!
We made our board using Jeopardy Labs, hopped on Zoom, and kicked it off!
We also used BuzzIn.Live as our virtual buzzer to keep the game fair and square. This idea really brought out the competitive spirit of our team - a must-try for your business!
10. Talent Show
Within a work environment, it's easy to forget that we all have interests, hobbies, and talents outside of the office. Consider using your next virtual happy hour to showcase your team's more artistic sides!
You can keep it casual with people volunteering to go or be a little more formal about it. Try making it an event by assigning different department hosts for the evening and preparing a set list of acts!
Allowing your team to be a little more vulnerable and to show off their talents is a fun, low-stakes way to strengthen your bond as professionals and friends.
Singing in front of people can go one of two ways - it can be a blast or an introvert's worst nightmare. Regardless, karaoke will be an interesting experience for your team, and staying virtual doesn't make it any less fun!
There are many karaoke tracks with lyrics on YouTube, so choose your favorite song, share your screen, and let those vocals shine! A good idea might be to stick with a specific theme/genre for the night so everyone is on the same page!
If your people really feel it, opt for a karaoke sing-along style. We're sure you'll sound like a beautiful choir!
12. Musical Bingo
You might be asking, "What the heck is musical bingo?" Think of it as the classic game of bingo that your aunt plays at her local hall, but instead of numbers, you use songs! Every square on your bingo card has a song title, artist name, or lyric.
A virtual host plays a range of music from different eras and genres, and the players frantically search through their cards to identify the song. The first player to complete a line on their card wins!
But that's not all! Throughout the game, your host will sprinkle in some music trivia, lip-syncing challenges, and other fun activities to keep the vibe going. And let's not forget the prizes!
13. Bubble Tea Masterclass
Here's one we know you'll always remember: a virtual Bubble Tea Masterclass. In this one-of-a-kind team-building activity, participants learn how to create their own delicious bubble tea from scratch using special kits. Whether you prefer classic milk tea or fruity flavors, you'll get the chance to replicate your favorite drink in a fun and engaging way.
What sets this virtual event apart is its fully personalized and immersive experience. You'll be able to engage in real-time instruction from expert boba instructors while enjoying the experience with your team from the comfort of your homes.
But that's not all. Personalized bubble tea care packages can be delivered to your door, making the experience even more convenient! Truly a step up from your typical virtual happy hour!
14. Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Here's a unique twist on a childhood favorite: a virtual scavenger hunt is a fun and engaging way to rally your remote employees and boost team spirit! This customizable and exciting event offers a whirlwind adventure from the comfort of your own home.
Your host crafts challenges explicitly tailored to your team, testing problem-solving skills and ingenuity. From finding hidden items to solving puzzles and trivia, the hunt keeps your team engaged and entertained.
One of the best things about the Virtual Scavenger Hunt is its versatility - it can be customized to align with your business goals. The host can integrate knowledge checks on your company handbook or encourage participants to produce deliverables related to a new app or project.
These virtual happy hour tips have made the work-from-home experience much more enjoyable. Our team has had a ton of fun with these ideas over the past year, and we hope your team can enjoy them as well. With the variety of price points, there are options for every organization, from a brand-new start-up to a large corporation. Try them out at your next Zoom party!