Over the past year of quarantine, social distancing, and working remotely, you’ve likely attended more than a few virtual get-togethers and happy hours. We know we have! Staying comfortable in your pajama pants is a huge plus, but keeping things fresh and interesting after months of brainstorming group activities on Zoom can be a struggle.
We’ve been hosting virtual happy hours every other Wednesday to keep our employees connected and smiling, with each department taking the lead on a rotating basis. We’ve been amazed at their creativity in finding activities to keep the group entertained! The following are a few of our favorites.
1. Scavenger Hunt
After sitting at a desk all day, a scavenger hunt is a great way to get your happy hour attendees up and moving around! Scavenger hunts work best using a list of items that most people have in their homes, but may not have right at their desk -- items like a rolling pin, scotch tape, a screwdriver, or a tissue box.
At the start of each round, name one of the items and set a countdown for a certain amount of time -- 2 or 3 minutes is usually enough. Any attendee who can find the item within the time limit and show it on camera earns a point. You can get creative with the point values of certain items, or award half-points to people who can find similar items but not exactly what you asked for. Making “house rules” is part of the fun!
At the end of the final round, tally up the number of points each player accumulated and announce the winner. You can award a prize if you want, but bragging rights is its own reward!
You may have played the tabletop version of the popular game Codenames before, but there’s also a virtual version that you and your team can access for free! (And if you haven’t played Codenames before, here’s a quick rundown of the rules.)
Setting up the game is simple. Use the link to create a room and let your attendees join in by following the instructions. You can then randomly sort everyone into two teams. You’ll need two volunteers to be the Spymasters -- or you can pre-determine the Spymasters before the game begins. Spymasters take turns providing one-word clues to their team, prompting them to guess the cards that are tied to the correct spy code names. The game ends when one team has correctly uncovered all of their team’s corresponding cards.
Be sure to set up a Slack or other messaging channel for each team to discuss their clue options privately!
With a good set of questions and a small amount of prep work, hosting trivia on Zoom can be simple and fun!
There are a few ways to host a trivia session using Zoom or another conference calling application. You will need a way for trivia team members to discuss the answers to their questions privately. You can use a breakout room function in the app itself to send your teams into their own private calls to deliberate, or you can create a channel in Slack or another messaging app for team members to discuss.
One person will need to be the “trivia master,” asking the questions and keeping track of team scores. Make teams as even as possible and remind everyone that cheating is not allowed (though you’ll have to use the honor system to enforce that rule)!
If your organization doesn’t mind a bit of (virtual) gambling, online poker is a good option for your happy hour festivities! There are several online applications that will allow you to play virtual poker with a group. Our team used this option, which lets you generate a room and place bets with virtual money.
Up to ten people can play at a time using this app, so you may need to rotate players out as needed each round. For those who have never played before, here’s a video with the basic rules!
Bingo is a simple game to set up for Zoom, especially with the amount of online resources available. It’s easy to run a search for digital bingo cards -- just be sure to send each player a different one so you won’t run into double winner situations! There are also apps that will call random bingo numbers for you so no need for a manual bingo cage (unless you have one, in which case -- go for it)! You’ll still need someone to run the game and check the cards to verify winners.
There are a number of different bingo games beyond the classic rows and columns, including four corners, postage stamp, inside corners, and more! Get creative with the patterns and have fun!
The above games have worked well for our team, but there are plenty more virtual games to try on whatever conference calling platform you prefer! Have you tried a different game with your team? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn about what worked best!