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5 months ago by Helen Doughty

5 alternatives to virtual Friday work drinks

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Organisations may have tried to replicate the traditions of the pub after work on a Friday by hosting a virtual drinks session where employees can reflect on the working week and catch-up with one another.

But, given that a large portion of employees are still working at home due to COVID-19, it is possible that some may be feeling a little drained by the repetition of virtual drinks on a Friday.

So, what other activities can HR and employers host to get employees together and to promote a positive culture other than clinking glasses to mark the end of a long week?

HR Grapevine has collated five different tips below…

Bring your pets to the virtual meet

As a nation of pet lovers – and as a population that has endured weeks of distraction from fluffy tails and tiny paws while working from home – a Friday virtual meet-up may be the perfect opportunity to get your furry friends involved.

Read more Less than one-third of employees feel like they belong

Back in the office, some firms such as Amazon, Google and Ben & Jerry’s allowed staff members to bring pets in from time to time, so why not make your remote office dog-friendly too?

When employees are downing tools for the day and are looking for something other than virtual drinks, getting together and bringing pets onto the call may be a good way to boost spirits and morale.

Host a work quiz

For weeks, employees may have used virtual quizzes in their personal lives as a way to stay in touch with friends and family and to have fun over the weekend. Given that virtual communication has substituted human contact for quite some time, it is possible that there is a level of apathy towards the traditional way that these quizzes are run.

But, these quizzes don’t always have to be based on trivia and general knowledge; they can be made personal to allow staff to get as involved as possible – and it may even help teams get to know each other better.

One example of this could be to circulate photos of colleagues’ desks with a small clue hinting at who it belongs to and ask staff to guess whose set-up it is.

In addition, sharing emoji quizzes and guessing which baby photo matches up to which colleague could be a good way to keep staff engaged.

After work yoga

Throughout this period of homeworking, the physical wellbeing of some employees has taken a hit, particularly if they don’t have the correct or comfortable desk set-up.

So, to help employees relax– and as a way to help alleviate aches and pains – organisations could host virtual yoga sessions after work.

From our content partner Workplace Culture Change during the COVID-19 Crisis

This could also be a good way for people to down tools and for them to separate personal and professional life.

Host a virtual bake off

For all of those Bake Off lovers out there, hosting a virtual cookery competition could be a good way to get employees chatting and engaging about something other than work.

Getting employees to try their hand at baking a cake and showcasing their efforts over video call, in return for a score from critiquing colleagues, could be a nice way to wind down after work.

To make it inexpensive and accessible to all staff members, employers could set a maximum five pound spend limit. This should also encourage employees to get creative too.

Do virtual bingo

Another alternative to Friday work drinks is hosting a virtual bingo session. Assign one employee as the online bingo caller and employees can either play using a virtual bingo card or by printing off their cards so they can complete it on paper.

Source: HR Grapevine