Online happy hour games and ideas are fun, interactive activities to do with colleagues during a remote social event. For example, Office Olympics, Never Have I Ever, and Talent Show. Participants can play these games on Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom, or similar video call platforms. The purpose of these games is to enhance bonding, encourage networking, and help colleagues to de-stress. These events are also called “virtual happy hours.”
This article covers:
- Zoom happy hour ideas
- online happy hour activities
- remote happy hour games
- online happy hour themes
Let’s get started.
The list of 16 best online happy hour ideas
Online happy hour games enable remote teams to have fun at work. Here is the best selection of online happy hour ideas.
#1. What A Significant Year!
What A Significant Year! is a great team building activity where members narrate personal moving stories.
This idea allows each team member to share the ups and downs experienced during the past year. Participants will likely empathize with the sad moments and learn from each other’s challenges. However, colleagues can also find reasons to celebrate achievements and appreciate individual and team efforts.
To play What A Significant Year!, first, ask team members to think about their highest and lowest moments in the last 12 months. Next, let the members reflect on individual work- or nonwork-related challenges and triumphs. Finally, call out one member at a time and pin them on the screen. The selected members share their stories
This activity is perfect for an end of year virtual happy hour parties and birthday celebrations. However, players can vary the timeframe to a week, month, or season as suitable.
#2. Wiki Race
Wiki Race is among the best remote happy hour games. For this challenge, remote team members open the Wikipedia landing page. The game’s goal is to find the target page by clicking different links within articles.
The leader provides a random link in the chat section to start a Wiki Race. Usually, the link is not directly related to the target keyword. For example, you can start from the word ‘India’ to get to ‘Nelson Mandela.’ Players copy the link from the first word and paste it onto the search tab on the Wikipedia home page. This URL takes players to the starting point. Next, players choose links that most likely lead to the required page until participants find the target.
Players can choose to compete as an individual or as a team. The leader should enable multiple share screens so players can share the game’s progress. Players can compete in two ways. The first method is to arrive at the required page with the fewest clicks possible. The second method is to become the first to reach the destination page.
#3. Virtual Charades
Virtual Charades is a remote version of the classic party game. In this challenge, teams try to guess a word or phrase that another player acts out silently, only the action happens on-screen in a video call instead of in person.
To play virtual charades in an online happy hour, the host direct messages phrases to players. The host can use a random charade generator to get unique, themed phrases. The host spotlights the actor as team members shout their guesses. Participants can form mini groups and compete against each other in those teams. The group with the highest number of correct guesses wins.
#4. Name the Tune: Emoji Style
Name the Tune: Emoji Style is a fun deduction game where players guess the song title based on emoji hints.
The host must first prepare a list of popular song titles for this challenge. The titles should be in emojis instead of words. Next, the host splits the group into teams of about five members and assigns each team a breakout room. Each group gets a similar list of about ten songs for the first category and has up to five minutes to figure out the titles.
When the timer goes off, all groups reassemble in the main room. The host shares the results and awards points for every correct song title. Finally, the host declares the winner for that category, and the process repeats for the next round. In the end, the host tallies the score and announces the overall winner.
You can also play this game free-for-all-style by staying in one room, and the first player to type the answer into the chat wins that round.
#5. Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is among the most engaging Zoom happy hour ideas. In this party game, a participant mentions a misdeed that starts with the phrase “Never have I ever….” Participants who are guilty of the behavior must fess up to the action.
The classic Never Have I Ever game requires that the exercise starts with participants holding out ten fingers. Next, participants lower one finger for every prompt that they have done. However, if team members are having drinks for the virtual happy hour, then they can take a sip of their favorite drink instead of lowering their fingers. When playing remotely, you can also ask players to turn webcams on and off accordingly to signal the answer.
This game helps members to learn interesting facts about each other. For instance, participants can get an idea of who is the most well-behaved, the naughtiest, or the most adventurous. However, players should still aim to be respectful and work-appropriate during the game, especially if consuming alcohol.
Codenames is a board game where players match the provided keyword with other related words on the main board. This game is simple and fun and is free to play online. Parties play as two opposing teams.
The host or leader should set up a room and generate an invite link to start the game. Next, the leader shares the link with the rest of the participants for them to join. Then, each team selects a spymaster, whose role is to provide a one-word hint to help team members guess the words that match the codenames. Finally, players win a round by revealing all the required correct cards.
Learn more about Codenames.
#7. Virtual Tour
Virtual Tours are some of the best pastime activities for coworkers. These tours may be VR-enabled to provide a next-to-real experience or can be in the form of video recording. Or, guides can show photo slideshows and tell stories.
These virtual tours are excellent for discovering destinations. Your group can “visit” each other’s hometowns or explore attractions like museums, zoos, and major cities, across the world in the comfort of your home. These tours may involve fees depending on the virtual tour providers.
Explore virtual tours with Trip.com.
#8. Phrase Sneak
Phrase Sneak is among the most interesting online happy hour activities. In this game, participants sneak secret phrases into conversations. Players should be creative in inserting words so that conversations sound natural.
To play Phrase Sneak, the host splits the group into two breakout rooms. The host gives each group a list of phrases to use. A random word generator can help select terms from a theme or category. Next, each team selects a member to represent the group in conversation. Finally, the group reassembles in the main room for the game. The team whose representative is the first to sneak in all the phrases wins.
#9. Show and Tell
Show and Tell is a classic game and a great virtual team building exercise. In this game, players grab an item and tell interesting stories about that object. This activity is great for happy hour and lets coworkers know each other better.
To start this game, ask each group member to think of an object they treasure. Next, have the members display the item on the screen and share more information about the special object.
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Interesting books
- Memorable photographs
- Adorable pets
- Unique house ornaments
- Unusual personal gifts
- Unique trip souvenirs
- Special collections
- Interesting family heirloom
To get the most intriguing stories about the items, let the members know about the exercise beforehand. This way, members will have no trouble coming up with inspiring ideas.
#10. Virtual Wine Tasting
Virtual Wine Tasting is an excellent virtual happy hour idea for wine lovers. In this activity, team members sample different wines and share their opinions. For example, the taste, texture, and origin of the samples.
To host a Virtual Wine Tasting event, the organizer purchases different wines, repackaged and well labeled, and then sends sample packages to each participant. Or, the organizer chooses a few wines and emails the list to participants to purchase.
During the happy hour, participants gather at the video conference with their packages and wine glasses. Then, participants select the wines at random and taste the chosen wine. For added fun, team members can include interactive exercises like wine-themed trivia and icebreakers.
If the group includes non-drinkers, then members can use alternatives like fruit juices, coffee, or tea.
#11. Dance Tag
This fun and healthy exercise lets group members shake off some energy.
To play Dance Tag, the group selects a member to make the first move. Then, the host plays music and spotlights that member. After making a move, the dancer invites the next random participant. The second dancer mimics the first move, then creates a new move, and finally invites the third dancer. The process repeats until every participant has danced.
You can make Dance Tag more challenging by asking players to repeat each previous move in the correct order.
#12. Virtual Office Olympics
Among the best online happy hour themes is hosting Virtual Office Olympics. These online competitions add a good dose of fun to online gatherings. Teams can participate in several engaging mental or physical competitive games.
Here are super interesting options for virtual happy hour:
- Typing speed challenge
- Kahoot! Trivia
- Virtual lightning scavenger hunt
- Online car races
- Virtual chess
Teams can have one kind of game and have every participant taking a turn to play. Or, groups can play different games in teams so that participants only play the games they like. Organizers can provide prizes and trophies to motivate players to win the games.
#13. Truth or Fiction
In this fun game, the leader prompts team members to narrate crazy stories about themselves. The statements can either be real or invented. At the end of the story, team members tell whether they think the story is truth or fiction. Participants who give the correct answer take a tot or sip of their favorite drink. The game’s goal is to determine which member is the best at distinguishing truth from lies.
Here are some interesting story starters:
- Which interesting story have you always wanted to share?
- What is the most mysterious incident you have experienced?
- Which is the most interesting place you have been to?
- What childhood adventure scared you the most?
- What is the weirdest thing you did that got you in trouble?
- What is the most awesome gift someone gave you?
These prompts are fun and will likely evoke pleasant memories. If players do not have a matching experience, then it is a perfect time for a fake but convincing story. Players can even borrow other folks’ experiences as their fictional stories.
#14. Talent Show
Talent Show is among the best online happy hour themes. This exercise gives participants a chance to show off their best skills and is a great way to help coworkers feel more confident. Team members also get to learn about the existing talents within the team.
Before the event, participants email the organizer with ideas for acts. The leader makes a program from the suggestions.
The talent show categories can include:
- Performing skits
- Playing an instrument
- Reciting a poem
- Performing martial arts
- Doing standup comedy routines
The list can vary depending on participants’ preferences. If you tend to have more people signing up for the same category, then you can introduce a contest for that exercise. Chances are, team members will learn to appreciate teammates’ unique abilities.
#15. Movie Parties
Movie Parties are among the best virtual happy hour ideas. Team members gather on a video call to watch their favorite movies or series. Some of the best apps for sharing movies online include Netflix, Disney Plus, and YouTube.
For colleagues to access the chosen movies, the host chooses a convenient app and asks members to download it. Next, the host shares the link to the movie. Participants open the film using the provided URL and begin watching. The host takes charge of controls like playback and pause so that the videos sync. Or, depending on the streaming platform, one team member can play the video while sharing their screen with the “share audio” option turned on.
Participants can interact in the chat to make the activity more social. You can also play drinking games to the movie.
#16. Ridiculous Tales
Ridiculous Tales is among the most engaging online happy hour games. In this exercise, the leader starts a story. Then, other participants build up the narration, one at a time, by providing the next sentence. Participants must be creative enough to make the story interesting and flow seamlessly.
The leader can provide a theme, for example:
- First day at work
- College trip
- First experience with taking alcohol
- A vacation
- Morning routine
These ideas add an element of a challenge since participants’ narration must adhere to the main theme. The list of story topics is endless, and players can create themes that resonate better with the team.
There are numerous virtual happy hour ideas and games for remote teams. The most effective exercises strengthen camaraderie, make the team merry, and nurture team building skills like creativity. Teams can engage in these happy hour activities as they are or modify the ideas according to team members’ preferences.
FAQ: Online happy hours
Here are answers to common questions about online happy hours.
What are online happy hours?
Online happy hours are sessions where remote team members gather for a social and virtual event. Organizers often schedule these sessions for evenings, weekends, or times when participants feel freer. Happy hours aim at entertaining coworkers and promoting team unity and friendships.
How do you run a remote happy hour?
To run a remote happy hour, the host must first schedule an appropriate time when most participants are free, for example, during weekday evenings or weekends. Next, the host should prepare fun activities and games. The organizer then creates a meeting room and gets the invite link to that room. Finally, the organizer sends the meeting room URL to all participants. The invitation can include a list of suggested drinks and snacks, costumes, and preparation instructions. Finally, the colleagues use the login link to access the room and have fun with the team.
What are some fun things to do during Zoom happy hours?
Fun ideas for happy hours include:
- Virtual Charades
- Truth or Fiction
- Dance Tag
- Show and Tell
- Talent Show
- Virtual Wine Tasting
- Ridiculous Tales
- Name the Tune: Emoji Style
These ideas help to kindle participants’ creativity, confidence, and excitement and help colleagues to unwind.