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Fun ideas for your next virtual happy hour: 5 tips for keeping employees engaged while remote working

Fun ideas for your next virtual happy hour: 5 tips for keeping employees engaged while remote working

Businesses have spent the past couple of months adjusting to remote working and are discovering new ways to maintain productivity and engage a socially distanced workforce. Although the circumstances under which remote working has been mandated is troubling to say the least, there are definite positives.

Read about the benefits of remote working — and how to effectively embrace it during COVID-19 

In fact, employers may find that when the government advises it is safe to return to the office, remote-first working practices may still prevail. In this case, employers should continue to find new ways to engage, connect and satisfy their workforce.

“Virtual happy hours” have become popular since remote working was mandated. Instead of heading to the pub on a Friday evening, employees are pouring themselves a drink at home and dialling into video conferencing platforms like Zoom to enjoy virtual drinks with teammates and unwind after a long week. Now that workforces are physically distanced, they can easily become disconnected and disengaged, so face time is more important than ever.

Read about virtual meeting etiquette and best practice.

To keep “virtual happy hour” sessions fun and engaging for all involved, try out some of our ideas below. 


  • Have a theme


One way to keep virtual meetups exciting is to have themed virtual parties. For example, the theme one week could be James Bond, requiring everyone to dress in black tie and make their own martini cocktail. Or, maybe the theme could be fancy dress, and the winner of ‘best costume’ receives a prize.

Injecting some fun into virtual happy hour sessions will maintain the hype and encourage more participation. It will also ensure that the conversation isn’t about work!


  • Play games


Another fun way to blow off some steam after a long week is by playing games. On video chatting platforms like Zoom and Skype it’s relatively easy to play classic games like trivia, charades, Pictionary and bingo without requiring any additional equipment. All it takes is a bit of pre-planning!


  • Create a virtual cinema


Set up a group movie session by using Netflix Party. It works as a chrome extension to allow groups to synchronise video playback. There is also an instant messaging function which allows groups to chat about the film as it plays. This takes solo Netflix-ing up a notch and is a fun way to bond with teammates.

Non-drinking virtual activities can also be a great way to wind down after a long week. At ELMO we host yoga, meditation and Jiu Jitsu sessions through Zoom.


  • Host a book club


A book club is a fun way to connect with colleagues and break up the week. Pick a book and dial in with your group once a week to discuss the book and enjoy a glass of wine.

Team building is essential during uncertain times. Incorporating some fun into the work week will keep employees engaged and motivated, which in turn will unite and strengthen a workforce.

When working remotely and communicating via video tools like Zoom, high-quality communication shouldn’t be compromised. In fact, collaboration and corporate culture is more important than ever before, which is why ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll has recently launched ELMO Connect

This new module offers instant messaging functionality and integration with Zoom video conferencing. ELMO Connect delivers rapid benefits to your workforce without needing to invest in complex and time-consuming integrations. Team communication and collaboration can occur from within ELMO’s cloud-based, integrated HR and payroll suite, from the same place that employees make leave applications, undertake their learning activities, and complete their performance appraisals. To discover how ELMO Connect can assist your organisation, contact us