Remember what it was like to have a happy hour when you were in the office? Usually, there was a Slack or person that would circulate the message, everyone would get excited to leave the office a bit early and there was a camaraderie in walking into the bar with all of your coworkers at the end of the week.
What are virtual happy hours like? In my experience, you’ve already been on video call for most of the day and you’re starting to feel your eyes droop from all of the screen time. There’s been a “happy hour” on your calendar all week long, and instead of looking forward to it, you’re just glad you get a glass of wine or diet coke in your last meeting.
The question becomes how do you generate that energy and excitement that used to come from happy hours? One thing to consider is that people’s needs are different now than they were a year ago and will continue to change. Most of us are spending a lot of time at our computers and often taking a break from that routine is the happy hour that we’re looking for.
Here’s a few ideas to replace your virtual happy hours:
Instead of scheduling a “fun meeting”, end the day earlier and let employees decide how to relax.
Have a video-off activity. You can send a paint by number kit to employees and reserve an hour to paint together.
Create a “Happy Hour Stipend”. Allow employees to reimburse their favorite celebration drink to enjoy whenever they please.
Try an AirBnb cooking experience for an activity. These are fun because you actually get to participate and interact. The energy already starts out a little bit higher with these activities.
Good luck replacing your virtual happy hour!