“We’re going to have a Zoom happy hour.”
“Happy Hour starts at 5! Zoom details in the invite.”
“Join us on Zoom for a toast!”
If any of these phrases – or any sort of pairing of happy hour and Zoom together – make you want to cringe and immediately throw your computer out the window, you’re probably not alone! The early 2020s have not been kind to in-office activities of any sort, and companies have had to strongly rely on Zoom, Teams, or other virtual meeting options. “Strongly rely” should be emphasized, as the burnout of virtual activities came fast and hard. At some point, getting on yet another Zoom call at the end of the day to sit around and try to make small talk with your colleagues over a computer screen got tiring.
But… one thing about me: I die for good company culture. And one thing about Ample: They hire remote employees. So, Zoom meetings, happy hours, and everything in between are non negotiable. Challenge accepted.
Just like any good or effective meeting, a virtual happy hour is best when there’s an agenda of some sort. You might be thinking “an agenda for a happy hour?”, but without some sort of direction, you’ve got 12 people on a call trying to facilitate a group conversation that can become chaotic and weird. The word “agenda” here lends itself to an activity or game rather than a bulleted list of questions to be answered before the call ends.
Your game, activity, or discussion should be tailored to both the number of people on the Zoom, but also the members that are planning to attend. If, for some reason, there is a gaggle of history buffs at your company, why not put together a history themed Jeopardy game with a small prize at the end? Bragging rights and a $15 starbucks gift card can go a long way for someone. Yet, if you have 20+ people attending a virtual happy hour, Jeopardy is probably not the ticket. Instead, try a quiz game that allows all participants to be equally involved. Need some inspiration outside of jeopardy and quizzes? See some of Ample’s favorite happy hour activities below!
Show and Tell
Interested in hosting your own Dekavalon (or DeKellyalon or DeBobathon, etc, etc)? See below for some direction on how you can bring the fun to your team!
All said and done, make sure you’re listening to the employees of your company and planning events often enough, but not so many as to incite burnout. Always encourage employees to join and participate, but never make team building events mandatory. After all, there is nothing fun about mandatory fun.
“Hey Siri, how do I foster a culture of collaboration?”
Turns out, you have to work hard to become the type of leader you want to be. Ugh.
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