August 10, 2021
We are all familiar with the expression happy hour as a marketing term for a time when a restaurant, bar, bowling alley or stadium offers discounts on alcoholic beverages. Lately, happy hours on all kinds of online services or games have gained popularity, with discounts on certain products during this time. But what is a virtual happy hour concerning the professional environment? How happy hours relate to professional meetings and conferences on Zoom or Skype? Do they at all? We will tell you everything in a moment and present you with the most interesting virtual happy hour games and ideas that you can confidently implement during your next business meeting. So, without further ado, let's get to it.
Well, virtual happy hours are social meetings organised via video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Slack or Microsoft Teams. These virtual parties resemble their non-virtual equivalents and usually include ice breakers, simple games, activities, and refreshments. The purpose of these meetings is to improve team atmosphere, provide entertainment and foster relationships between attendees by participating in team-building activities together and using various ice breakers in the form of engaging virtual happy hour ideas and funny or educational games. Virtual happy hours ideas include specific virtual happy hour games to play with coworkers, in order to get to know your colleagues better, distance yourself from your daily professional duties and build genuine bonds to further increase engagement and loyalty in your collective. Virtual happy hour games are a great idea to let people get to know each other better and to get more deeply into each other's lives, which is extremely important, especially in this day and age where social distance constantly weakens our bonds and makes everyone feel at least a little bit lonely. Therefore, if you would like to boost enthusiasm, improve morale, and strengthen the connections between your team members, be sure to read this article to the end and find out the most exciting virtual happy hour ideas. And if that is not enough, take a look at the article, where we describe the most popular virtual team building games. There you will find some more inspiration.
If you are dreaming of a virtual happy hour that your friends or colleagues will be talking about for months, then you need to know the basics of organising this type of event. That is why we have listed below some tips on what to keep in mind when organising your first virtual happy hour.
Before we move on to virtual happy hour ideas and games, you need to get the basics right. What are the basics? Well, you need to answer some of the following questions:
From a sociological point of view, the best solution would be groups of between three and twenty people, because then the group has a chance to get to know each other better.
Virtual happy hours can be a way to celebrate a team member's birthday or the achievement of a milestone, and are best if held in the afternoon in the middle or end of the work week.
In this case, it all depends on the virtual happy hour ideas you have, as well as the number of people. Among the most popular we can name Google Meets, Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
A virtual happy hour may not necessarily have a theme, but it can be a great way to keep those present interested and engaged, and is another way to differentiate business meetings from social, team-building time. You do not have to go over your head here and come up with something extra as most of the regular office party themes can also be used for virtual happy hours, so think about what your team members are interested in or relate to the industry you are in.
This is where we come in handy, so below you will find what we think are the best virtual happy hour ideas that will work for any team. But don't forget to consider the specifics and dynamics of your colleagues.
We present a carefully compiled and selected collection of the most popular and worthwhile virtual happy hour games that can be used during business videoconferences on Zoom, Slack or Microsoft Teams. There are quite a few options, so there will be the right virtual happy hour game ideas for every collective. Let's get started!
The first item on our list of the most interesting and popular virtual happy hour games at the moment is a game you can play with coworkers to get to know them better, have a laugh and entertain them. A given virtual happy hour game consists of a series of survey questions based on statistical data, and the task of team members is to answer the questions as quickly as possible. If you have ever watched the cult show Family Feud and always wanted to take part in it, now is your chance to fulfil your dreams and play along with your team. Quizado is one of the most popular virtual happy hour games nowadays, because this is not a static team building activity, but a challenging and exciting competition for everyone. Quizado will not only allow you to strengthen the relationships within your team and improve group morale, but it is also a thrilling game that promotes all-round brain development, stress resistance and reflexes improvement. Quizado is humorous and entertaining, but it is not empty entertainment, rather a happy hour game with educational values. Quizado is undoubtedly our favourite because it combines learning with real entertainment and allows you to relax. Plus, you can create your own questions – about your company, your team, and colleagues.
The Online Bingo Game is one of the most popular Slack and Zoom happy hour games because it is a fun activity that does not require sophisticated equipment, high speed internet or expensive software, yet it does the job and is a great fun videoconference game. It is a suitable entertainment for both large and smaller collectives and could also serve as an ice breakers activity during first meetings. The rules of Bingo are simple and the game is extremely versatile and varied as you are not limited to just finding numbers, instead you can create your own Bingo board and place your own catch phrases, stories about team members or information from your business sector on the board. The world of Bingo is your oyster! We highly recommend playing this virtual happy hour game, as it is a non-confrontational, enjoyable and fun game that is all about enjoyment.
Escape room games as virtual happy hour ideas? And all this via videoconferencing platforms? Sure! Why not? This is all possible thanks to applications such as AdventureVue. AdventureVue is an innovative software, offering an unprecedented opportunity to experience the thrill of the escape room and becoming a serious riddle and mystery solver, and we all know that nothing unites a team as well as common challenges. However, these types of games are also great at revealing the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members and assist in identifying communication problems. If you choose escape room as one of the ideas for a happy hour game, your employees will certainly turn up for the meeting ahead of time. After all, everyone wants to take a break from everyday life from time to time and immerse themselves in something other than life's conundrums. That is why it is a perfect idea to give your team the opportunity to prove themselves in this field and to delve into the mystery of solving puzzles together. This game is particularly suitable as one of the ice breakers, because it makes team members focus on the task and not on themselves, and thus builds natural interpersonal bonds faster.
Are you bored with virtual happy hour games and would like to awaken some creative spirit in yourself and your team members? Then be sure to take advantage of our virtual happy hour game idea and propose a game of Two Truths and a Lie at your next conference on Zoom or Discord. See what assumptions your co-workers or team members have about you, get to know your team better and just have some fun. This virtual happy hour idea involves each Zoom participant coming up with and telling three (two real and one made up) spooky, funny or interesting stories from their lives, their friends' lives or their professional environment, and having other attendees guess which one is false. It is a great happy hour game to get to know your interlocutors better, get creative and find out who is the best liar in your group. Great fun and a way to break the ice, we encourage you to try it out.
Trivia is one of the most popular online and offline happy hour games around the world. It is a delightful entertainment for any collective. Trivia involves answering individual questions of varying difficulty, most often about general information, but the virtual version also has some other options, such as questions from specific fields. The format of the game adapts well to online functioning, and on top of that it is extremely versatile as you have the possibility to search for trivia from various fields and freely adjust it to the interests or professions of your team. A game of Trivia will instantly get your audience fired up and maximise their involvement in solving the next professional problem and performing the subsequent work duties. These types of games provide the perfect team-building activity to use in a professional environment, during an after-work meeting, or with friends, as nothing brings a team together more than having fun together, getting involved in solving one problem or puzzle, with a certain portion of healthy competition within the group!
The assumptions game has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity, as it became a real hit on YouTube and TikTok platforms in 2020. This interactive game, popular with young people, is proving to be one of the most effective ice breakers and also a great virtual happy hour idea. The rules are simple, you get together as a group and come up with a few assumptions about each member of the group, and then you simply verify their veracity together in a public forum, while having a lot of fun. This is an extremely fun game that will break the ice at any meeting. We highly recommend you take it into consideration when planning your next Virtual happy hour game event!
Truth or Drink is the best way to get to know your colleagues better. Of course, the game may not include alcohol, but it is present in the traditional version. For those who prefer not to drink, we can prepare challenges for not answering a given question. This is great fun, which strengthens relationships in the collective and is a great atmosphere loosener. Recommended especially for close-knit teams. This is one of the most daring Zoom happy hour ideas, but it requires the preparation of appropriate questions, after all we do not want to embarrass the other players too much.
We all love to settle down in front of our laptops and TV screens with a load of treats, drinks and hors d'oeuvres to enjoy the latest series of beloved Netflix series or thrilling horror film together. On that note, why not make it a shared activity and have a happy hour movie night with your favourite film, manga, cartoons or series? It is a brilliant way to get people together and reunite over an amazing film or TV show that you will enjoy watching collectively, and best of all you can make it a series of evenings, with a different person choosing the film item for each subsequent meeting. This gives you the opportunity to get to know each other, your tastes and passions better. An evening of watching Netflix, Hulu, Disney or HBO party is easy to organise thanks to Teleparty, free extension to Chrome that allows you to synchronise films and watch them together. The icing on the cake here is the chat function, so you can discuss funny moments and plot points or respond to lame jokes in real time. This is one of the coolest, non-traditional virtual happy hour ideas in our opinion.
How about learning to cook or draw together? Or maybe you are into mixology? Would you like to learn how to make a pot out of clay, but you have never had the chance? No problem, a happy hour virtual party is a great way to indulge in such creative activities with your work friends. How to do it? There are two ways, you can hire a professional chef, painter or makeup artist to teach you, or you can go for a more casual atmosphere and turn on one of the instructional videos on Skill Share or YouTube, where you will find a whole collection of free courses in various fields. Even better, if everyone in the group has a passion that they can share with the group, then not only will you learn new skills, but you will also get to know each other better. Learning together is always an unforgettable experience, and fortunately, nowadays we can bring this into the online sphere.
Make the most of the fact that nowadays most board games also have an online version and invite your colleagues to join you on an adventure in the world of word games, card games or to help you solve a murder mystery during a board game night. You can start with a classic, such as a simple one like Virtual Ludo, Charades or the latest version of Scrabble, or opt for a more intense game like Lords of Waterdeep or Pandemic if your group is more experienced and involved in the world of board games. Nowadays, most board games have online versions, so it should not be difficult for members of your team to participate in which can be played together. And as with the previous virtual happy hour game ideas, if a game particularly appeals to you, you can make it a tradition and a regular event, and match the theme of the party to the specific game.
Firstly, keep in mind the character and tastes of your team members. If your colleagues love verbal skirmishes, then offer them word games, and if you know that they are eager for knowledge and adventure, then offer them a game of mafia, escape room or joint online course. Alternatively, in case the members of the group in question do not know each other very well, then pick any of the clever ice breakers and let them socialise. The key, however, is to try and find the most convenient time, topic and reason for the happy hour. The rest should go smoothly, as long as you use some of our virtual happy hour game ideas. Good luck and have fun!