Virtual Happy Hour for Remote Teams

Having a strong company culture has always been an important key to running a successful business. Now more than ever new hires are prioritizing companies that have an inclusive and engaging culture. Amidst the great migration to remote work, there are a number of ways that companies are championing company culture, starting with virtual happy hours.

Making Connections

Gen Z, the newest batch of remote workforce hires, are finding it difficult to connect with their peers and superiors on a personal level, in part because of the absence of happy hours and water cooler culture in the remote economy. While replicating the camaraderie of a Friday happy hour at the local bar might be tough, we have some key insights into what makes a successful virtual happy hour. 

Turn-Key Solutions

When hosting virtual happy hour, the first choice you have to make is whether a turn-key solution, like City Brew Tours, is right for you or if a DIY solution is more up your alley. There are benefits to both. Solutions like City Brew Tours take the guesswork out of your happy hour. You have the choice of a plan that sends a cultivated box of beer and cheese to each of your employees’ doors and an hour long pairing lesson with one of City Brew Tours’ trained specialists or a bring your own beer and cheese tasting with a trained specialist to lead the experience. Turn-key experiences allow your employees to be guided through a session and enjoy the company of their coworkers. This solution is great for teams that already know one another and can be used as a tool to reconnect with one another. For companies with newer teams and team members, a DIY approach may be a better fit.

Getting Started: DIY Virtual Happy Hour

To begin a successful DIY virtual happy hour it is important to check in with your team. What days work best for them? What time works well? Has it been a zoom-heavy week? Figuring out what is going to create the least amount of added stress for your coworkers is vital to engagement. Consider making your virtual happy hour optional, you want the event to be as close to the real thing as possible. Making the happy hour optional will relieve the pressure of being on another zoom call at the end of a busy day and create a more relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, the threat of zoom burnout is very real, some weeks after many hours of video conferencing, zoom may not be the best avenue for relaxation. 

Engaging Your Team

A DIY virtual happy hour may be a better solution for new teams because it allows for more organic conversation. While turn-key solutions offer a great guide to conversation and interaction, a DIY event allows you to guide the conversation as you please and take it in directions that it otherwise would not go in. However, keep in mind that this organic conversation method leaves room for added stress. Some people need more guidance and structure than others which is why knowing your team and understanding their needs is key in a successful happy hour. Encourage your coworkers to bring their favorite drink (mocktails included!) and begin the conversation with an introduction to the drinks everyone brought. Consider welcoming family members, furry friends too, and get a closer look at what your employees’ lives look like outside of work! 

Get it on the Calendar!

Try to make your happy hour a weekly or monthly event! This allows employees to plan in advance and have something exciting to look forward to. To keep your colleagues engaged, consider introducing themes into your virtual happy hour. Adding a theme will also take some guesswork out of your employees’ happy hour experience. One idea to get the ball rolling is a beach theme, have your coworkers bring their favorite beach vacation cocktail and share what their favorite vacation was, or a dream vacation they hope to go on! There are many ways to get your employees involved in a virtual happy hour and making them feel included and relaxed is key to creating a successful virtual culture. At VForce, our experts can walk you through the ins and outs of a successful virtual team event and help you plan the ultimate virtual happy hour. Contact us today!