Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2021

The transition to working from home brings lots of changes. Last week we discussed strategies for most effectively working from home. This week we bring a little more fun to the at-home office with virtual happy hours. Using the same tools you employ to effectively collaborate while social distancing, you can bring together your coworkers for an entertaining virtual cocktail party. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Pick a video platform that works for everyone. This can easily be whatever platform you use for group conference calls such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. 
  2. Set a time and date for your one-hour event. Happy hours usually take place after the workday, so picking the hour after everyone signs off is a good choice (such as 5 to 6 pm). Some people may be a little uncomfortable with sharing a virtual cocktail for the first time from their home, so setting the meeting to just an hour will get more participants on board, especially if you’re not used to drinking with your coworkers.
  3. Encourage everyone to bring a drink. It’s a happy hour, so urge people to bring any beverage they would like such as wine, beer, tea, or soda. Whatever people prefer.
  4. Plan the conversation. There’s no need to have a minute by minute agenda, but having a couple engaging questions ready will help get the conversation flowing and make people more inclined to get chatty.
  5. Gently guide the conversation if necessary. We are in an uncertain and scary time, if a conversation gets too dark or political, encourage people to steer back towards lighter topics. Employees should leave feeling relaxed and connected to their peers.

Working from home can feel isolating, especially if you’re used to a tight-knit group of coworkers. A virtual happy hour is a great strategy for keeping a sense of the office community alive.

 

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