work safety

Virtual Happy Hour Activities for Your Team to Beat Workplace Stress

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Remember the time when you used to gather around with your friends or co-workers on a Friday night in a pub, just having a good time? It feels like long ago, isn’t it?

The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed your office dynamics, with more or all of you now working from home. And as cases continue to rise, especially in states like Utah, hunkering down and forgetting about bars for a while is the best idea for safety.

But here’s some good news: things change, and so does the concept of workplace fun. These days, you can bring happy hours right in the comforts of your living room or home office. Yup, you can do it virtually.

Here are five activities that you and your friends (and even your boss) will have a grand time doing:

1. Mix Some Cocktails

If you can’t go to the pub, then you might as well bring it with you at home. If you’re in Utah, you’re lucky to find bartenders in Salt Lake City who can bring the party and the drinks through the World Wide Web.

Many now hold virtual courses or classes where they teach you how to make their signature cocktails or even use the shaker. These events can be public or private, which means the guests are limited to your friends or co-workers only.

They take about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the breadth of the subject. Either way, you can guarantee you can say cheers at the end of it.

2. Travel the World

The pandemic is significantly reducing air miles for most Americans. According to the US Travel Association, the industry has already lost over $500 billion since March 2020. For the past 9 months or so, players, from airlines to travel agencies, suffered nearly $2 billion losses daily.

On the upside, some are pivoting, and that works to your advantage. Your company can now participate in virtual guided travel tours. Tours by Locals, for instance, can take you across thirty countries with a few more to be added soon.

Locals themselves will serve as your guides, so you can expect inside scoop and facts you’ll never get to read in blogs or magazines.

The popular vacation rental company Airbnb is also selling online experiences. For example, for health and wellness, your team can sit down for meditation with a Buddhist monk or cook pasta with an Italian grandma.

3. Play Some Games

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Cabin fever is real, and it will only worsen the stress and burnout that comes with working long hours while juggling personal responsibilities. So how about all of you relax and have fun with games? Here are some fantastic ideas to try:

  • Organize a trivia night! Make it like Jeopardy or set up your own rules—your choice. To encourage everyone to participate, sweeten the pot with cool prizes, such as gift cards, food delivery, or even cold cash.
  • Solve mysteries. Do you and your co-workers like to solve more problems? Exercise the brain in a cool way by solving mysteries. The Escape Game has a growing number of remote adventures from The Heist to the Gold Rush. You can customize the experience according to the size of your group.
  • Go bingo. Who says bingo is for the oldies? Not only is it an enjoyable way to earn prizes, but you can make it as unique as possible. For example, how about exchanging numbers for juicy details?
  • Stick with the classics. Traditional games won’t disappoint either if all of you can keep a competitive spirit. Organize a sketching game using Paint or play minesweeper with the highest scorer called the winner. Outback Team Building can host a Pursuit game for your team as well.

4. “Netflix and Chill”

If your team’s idea of unwinding before is to head to the cinema and catch the latest flicks, then you’ve got a virtual alternative—for now. Google Chrome has an extension app called Teleparty.

If you install it, you can Netflix and chill with your friends wherever they are in the world. If you want more than Netflix, the platform can also let you stream movies and shows from Disney+, HBO, and Hulu. You can also synchronize video playback or chat with your pals.

Surely, nothing beats sharing six-packs or martinis, checking the newest watering holes, or catching movies face-to-face with your co-workers. But until then, virtual happy hours will do.

In fact, industry experts believe that these online activities can still provide your team with similar benefits you get from your typical teambuilding. They can foster friendship, understanding, and a sense of togetherness. They make everyone’s working lives less boring and more engaging.

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