A “Happy Hour” is an activity that takes place through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or the videoconferencing platform of your choice.
Its main purpose is to have fun and strengthen relationships among co-workers. A “Virtual Happy Hour” revolves around specific games, activities and themes that can be used to further increase engagement and interpersonal relationships. Other names that come to be used for this activity are “Online Happy Hour”, “Remote Happy Hour” and “Zoom Happy Hour”.
- It strengthens interpersonal relationships among co-workers and helps to break the “ice”.
- Games and activities must be creative and fun for Happy Hour to fulfil its purpose.
- It is recommended to hold the Happy Hour during working hours to make it easier for all employees to attend.
10 fun ideas to enjoy a virtual Happy Hour:
Due to the pandemic, we have had to learn and adapt to new ways of working such as the Home Office. It is true that it is a great tool; however, it is claimed that remote work generates a loss of union between the organization and its employees (5). A well-planned virtual “Happy Hour” with the most fun games will be very useful to strengthen ties with your employees and get to know them better. Here is a list of the most useful games and activities to make this meeting a pleasant time for everyone.
We recommend that the duration of the activities or games should be 15 minutes, of course, this depends on the idea you choose and how the meeting is going to develop among all your employees.
10. Guess what is hidden or missing
It consists of everyone having their cameras turned on and their background clearly visible. Once this is done, one of the members of the “Virtual Happy Hour” will be selected to clearly show their background or a room in their house. Meanwhile, everyone else will have 30 seconds to observe and analyse the background or the selected room, once the time is over, the camera of this member must be turned off.
The person who was selected will be given 30 to 40 seconds to hide an object of their choice from the background or selected room, once this time has elapsed they will turn the camera back on and the others will have to guess which object is missing in the image of their partner.
The winner is the one who guesses the missing object or, failing that if no one can guess the winner will be the person who hid the object. It is an enjoyable game that will test your vision and help you exercise your memory. It is said that memory is more effective when something is learned in a pleasant and relaxed environment (2).
9. How well do you know me?
This game is really fun and helps you get to know a lot about your co-workers. However, before you start playing you should create a list of questions to ask all the members of your team, such as: How well do you know me?
- What sport or exercise do you enjoy?
- What is your favourite movie?
- Which celebrity is your crush?
- What phobia do you have?
Afterwards, you should collect the answers in private and then divide them into teams of two or however you prefer. Once this is done, you can reveal the question and the corresponding answer, and then have everyone guess who might have given this particular answer.
Important: you must establish certain rules, such as if the answer that corresponds to one of the members of a team comes out, that team member cannot reveal that he/she is the one who answered the question. This will help to avoid traps or advantages over the other teams.
If someone gets most or all of the answers correct, the team wins!
It is important to mention that this game helps you to strengthen bonds with your collaborators and this is a good thing, as it is said that by forming bonds there is a huge increase in motivation because employees feel proud to belong to the organization (3).
Streaming platforms have become part of our lives, as they have endless content. This activity is very entertaining and fun, especially if you and your employees enjoy watching movies and commenting on them.
It consists of watching a movie or series chosen by everyone or selected at random. You can eat whatever you want during the movie, the funniest thing is that you can observe the reaction of others in certain scenes, and you can even form theories and comment on the movie.
As you may have noticed, Netflix tops the list due to its exclusive and high-value content; however, behind it are giants such as Prime video, Disney and HBO. Each platform has its charm thanks to its exclusive and varied content, it’s up to you to choose which one you like the most to create an amazing meeting.
7. Guess the word
In traditional “Guess the word”, players mimic an idea using only actions, no words. This virtual “Guess the word” is played differently, so that players can only use words, but not actions.
Some examples of words to use could be:
- Brushing your teeth.
- Playing with your pet.
Of course, the player cannot use the assigned word. To make the game more challenging, you can also prohibit words derived from the selected word. For example, with the pizza example, you can ban “tomato sauce” and “cheese”, while you can ban “travel”, “suitcase” and “airplane” for the airport.
6. Virtual trivia
Here you will test your employees’ knowledge of culture, health, sports, politics, finance, history and much more. It will help you to keep your employees mentally active while challenging their knowledge and learning, and it is also claimed that information presented via multimedia can be much more stimulating than information presented via traditional means (4).
There are countless sites online with very well elaborated trivia, such as PsyCat Games that will provide you with trivia on a variety of topics and that is designed specifically for meetings such as the “Virtual Happy Hour”.
Another option that is a little more known is the game Preguntados, which is a very dynamic and creative game that has a variety of topics as well as general knowledge.
5. Virtual Escape Room
Virtual Escape Room, also known as a virtual escape room, is a game that consists of escaping individually or in teams from a room or house, by solving clues and finding objects. There is usually a visible clock that marks the time so that once it is expired, you lose if you do not manage to get out in time.
This type of activity has paid versions that are a good option if you have the resources, but if not, don’t worry, there are also free versions that are just as good as the paid ones.
Here are some “escape rooms” that may be useful for you:
|The Virus Cure||Scientific||Media (may vary)|
|Tolok’s Diary||Adventure||60 minutes|
|Escape from the mental hospital||Adventure / Fear||60-90 minutes|
|The God Particle||Mystery||2 hrs|
|Mission Exodus||Scientific||90 minutes|
These are some very fun and interesting “escape rooms”, we hope you like them. If you want to look for different ones, we will share with you other websites where you can find more.
70 Escape room plans
4. Virtual board games
Playing a board game is always fun and entertaining, so it is always an excellent idea when you want to create harmony and fun. Board games help to improve concentration and follow the rules, which at the same time will help you to know how your collaborators abide by them.
Some games also help to reinforce teamwork or, to put it another way, camaraderie, since sometimes you have to play as a team. They encourage decision-making and teach us to handle frustration or pressure because sometimes you are playing against the clock. Some studies affirm that board games not only stimulate cognitive functions but also seek to preserve the sense of community, the transmission of cultural learning as well as the place of the person in the Universe (1).
As you have noticed, games bring more than just fun, so it is important to play a game from time to time. We invite you to visit the Cokitos page where you can find online board games to play with your collaborators.
3. Virtual Mixology
Mixology is an art that consists of mixing and combining certain drinks, fruits and spices to form cocktails. It is undoubtedly a didactic and recreational activity that your employees can enjoy and at the same time learn to create exquisite and refreshing drinks.
As you may have noticed, virtual mixology can be executed in different ways. Remember, “the sky is the limit” and this activity can help you let your imagination fly and create your own cocktail.
2. A virtual escape
Have you heard about virtual tours? It is a unique experience that consists of visiting a place, such as a museum or an exhibition, all this from the comfort of your home. It may not compare to being on-site, but you will still have fun and learn with these virtual tours.
Just imagine being at home, but at the same time touring the Louvre Museum in Paris. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? This activity can be done individually or in groups since technology allows us to see a wide range of museums from the comfort of our homes.
Here are some museums that you can visit virtually:
- Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid
- Louvre Museum in Paris
- British Museum in London
- Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (MOMA)
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
- Vatican Museum, Rome
- Archaeological Museum of Athens
- Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azul), Mexico
These are some museums around the world whose virtual tours are available all year round, but if you wish you can also investigate tours with a specific theme. There is a wide variety of virtual tours on the Internet.
1. Themes for the “Virtual Happy Hour”
Choosing a theme for a “Virtual Happy Hour” is one of the best options to make this activity even more fun. When we talk about “theme” we mean that your “Virtual Happy Hour” should revolve around a specific topic.
Example: The theme is the 80’s, so it is ideal that your “Virtual Happy Hour” includes games or activities related to this theme. You can play music from this era in the background or make one that is related to the 80’s.
The truth is that this idea has an unlimited amount of proposals since you can choose from an era, colour, movie, series, music, etc. This is where you can put your creativity and imagination to the test to come up with the most fun and eloquent themes.
However, we will share with you some themes that can help you or inspire you to create an unforgettable “Virtual Happy Hour”.
- Series or Movies: You can choose an iconic series such as “Friends” and make your meeting about this amazing series.
- Countries: With this theme, you can make use of the idea “A Virtual Escape”.
- Music: You can do one or an activity related to this theme.
Adapting to work also requires, on a personal level, getting to know and sharing daily life with other people, with their particularities and differences (6). Having mentioned this, it is important to point out that a “Happy hour” has exactly this purpose, so activities that encourage everyone’s participation should be carried out. It is important that everyone contributes to the “Happy hour” so that it really fulfils the purposes of this activity.
We hope that all these ideas will help you to create a fun “virtual happy hour” and further strengthen relationships with your employees.