Benefits of company virtual happy hours!
Who else here hears, “Who wants to go to happy hour” and immediately raise their hands? For many people, and many of our employees, it is arguable the best hour or a couple of hours of the night.
From a cheaper food and drink menu to being able to wind down after a long day or week, it seems to make everyone a bit happier! (Aka why it is called happy hour).
As social distancing is extended in some states until June, company virtual happy hours are starting to become increasingly more important and popular! However, where did this happier hour originate from and why do we love it?
Origins of happy hours
Happy hours originate from the 19th century on which was slang on Naval ships during their tours and deployments for wrestling and boxing matchings, but during the Prohibition Era that terminology was associated with asking friends to “dinner” but was really inviting them over for drinks.
From there, “The Mad Men” era emerged in the late 60s for a place for men to relax after the ‘rat race’ of life, from there, happy hour has turned into a social norm for everyone Monday to Sunday with restaurants and bars offering discounts on drinks and menu items.
89 percent of Millennial employees cite workplace happiness as a reason to stay at their current workplace and one of those reasons they are so happy is the unique perks like food or a keg on site. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, office and work happy hours are what are keeping employees a bit happier each day.
At Omaha Media Group (OMG), our team tries to have a bit of fun with Friday Happy Hours! At our office, we have plenty of options from WhiteClaws to Diet Dr. Pepper for those who prefer not to drink! This allows everyone to relax a bit, catch up with one another and improve our company culture. It is more than just about drinking WhiteClaws together, it is about having a staff who enjoys and wants to drink WhiteClaws together!
However, with COVID-19 social distancing in place, our team has had to improvise a bit which is why OMG wants to speak about why company virtual happy hours are so important!
The Internet is slow and the last thing employees want to do is download an app on their personal computer or work computer. While Google Hangouts is great for a couple of people, if you get too many in one session, it can be overwhelming and no one is really conversing during the company virtual happy hours.
Ask employees what would be best for everyone like a simple platform like Zoom, but remember with Zoom, it will automatically close the meeting once it hits the time limit, so plan for a bit longer.
An important part of all of this is simply having conversations! No matter what the conversation is about from celebrity gossip to family, it is important to have moments that are not all about work. This is because it helps to strengthen the communication and relationship between employees and their management. Also, who wants to go to a company virtual happy hour and just speak about work? No one. That will result in a lot of chugging and refilling of drinks!
What is something that someone has done lately that is really awesome inside or outside of work related topics? As one big company in Los Angeles has figured out, this is a rare occurrence to get everyone on a single chat and it is really awesome! And other companies are understanding the overall importance of this! Celebrate, cheers and make sure everyone leaves all feeling connected!
Let employees know that they are also allowed to leave at any moment or join in next week. That’s the thing about virtual happy hours, it works for everyone!
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