Cheers! Prost. Slainte. Bottoms Up. Don’t let the pandemic put an end to your social drinking activities. Take them virtual instead!
Before the coronavirus turned the world upside down, drinking games livened up parties all over the world. Thankfully, platforms like Zoom aren’t all business—although what you might not know is that they’re also a great way to connect with your buddies and play virtual drinking games from around the world.
A virtual happy hour is a fun way to spend time online with family and friends when everyone has their favorite beverage and there’s a lot of catching up going on. It’s even better when you take things up a notch with one of these 7 international virtual drinking games.
1. Frequent Toasts–Sweden
Ok, first things first, a toasting tradition from Scandinavia isn’t a game as such, but it is fun. Helene Henderson explains the skål (pronounced something like ‘skoll’) tradition in her book, the Swedish Table. The word’s closest English equivalents are ‘cheers!’ and ‘good health’, and it’s heard frequently at social gatherings and parties.
According to Henderson, anyone at the table can say, “Skål!” whenever they feel like it, and when they do, everyone raises their glass and takes a sip, making eye contact before and after doing so. It’s not surprising to hear the toast every other minute.
2. Never Have I Ever–US/Canada
Feigned surprise, real shock, and laughing until you cry are the order of the day when you play Never Have I Ever. It’s a popular drinking game in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, so you may even have played it yourself sometime. There’s no special equipment needed, and the rules are simple.
Everyone needs a beverage to play the game. The person who starts states something they haven’t ever done. Anyone who has done that thing takes a sip of their drink. The order of play can happen randomly, that is, anyone who feels like saying something can, or the person who says something can nominate someone else.
3. It’s Karaoke Night–Japan
Karaoke has been part of contemporary Japanese culture since Daisuke Inoue unveiled the first karaoke machine in the 1970s. Friends, family, and colleagues love getting together and singing along to pop, rock, country, and other songs.
Not so much a game as a fun activity that you can do together while enjoying a couple of drinks, karaoke can be a fantastic addition to your virtual happy hour. One of the simplest ways to do it is to use a Zoom video call and Watch2Gether and then let people search for karaoke or lyrics videos on YouTube. With those tools, you’ll all be able to watch the person singing as well as the video to which they’re singing along.
If you want to amp up the vibes, choose an online karaoke machine. There are plenty available, and some of them even have hosts.
4. Install a Toastmaster–Georgia
Writing about the Georgian approach to socializing in the Georgian Feast, Darra Goldstein explained that the tamada, or toastmaster, is an integral part of the occasion. In the Eastern European country, which is the birthplace of winemaking, every occasion should affirm life. It’s the tamada’s role to ensure that happens.
The tamada does this by making humorous, entertaining, witty, and heartfelt toasts during the get-together, and by encouraging others to make toasts as well. Of course, everyone responds to the toasts by raising their glasses and taking a sip of wine. Goldstein also explained that the role of the tamada is important, as they’re responsible for setting the pace for the evening—and if it looks like people are going to get drunk, they need to slow things down.
There are two ways you can approach appointing a toastmaster for your virtual happy hour. The first is to approach someone (or ask for a volunteer) a few days in advance, so they have time to prepare a few toasts. The second is to spring it on some unsuspecting soul at the start of the online get-together.
5. Virtual Challenge Cards–Amsterdam
We don’t doubt that virtual challenge cards existed in one form or another before crowdfunding helped the Amsterdam-based team make Drink Drank Drunk a reality. The drinking game, which you can play online, gives players chances to select various types of cards.
Some instruct the player to perform an action before drinking, while others are Wild cards, offer weaknesses or superpowers, or to set additional rules that will keep the laughs going. Video calling means you’ll all get to see each other completing the tasks on the cards.
You can play the game online at no cost, or you can purchase a Super Host account, which may come in handy if you intend to make the game a regular feature of your virtual happy hours.
6. Most Likely To–Various Countries
Most Likely To is a drinking game that’s played in various countries. It also doesn’t require special equipment or props, but in the spirit of playing virtually you can always order your drinks online in advance. If it’s a special occasion, you can have premium quality beer, wine, or even spirits shipped to the other participants too.
To play the game, each person needs a beverage. The person to start proposes a situation, such as “Most likely to set off a stink bomb at a wedding,” before everyone reveals who they think would be the person to do it. The person who receives the most nominations must take a sip of his or her drink before proposing a different situation.
7. Play a Numbers Game–Iceland
For a drinking game with a difference, look to Iceland for inspiration. Ingibjorg Fridriksdottir described a game called Búmm (pronounced ‘boom’) to the Washington Post, and it’s all about counting. Before playing it on Zoom, it helps to establish the calling order, which is the order in which players answer and/or drink.
To play it, the first player starts by saying “One,” and the second person in the order says, “Two,” and so on. Whenever someone gets to seven or a number that’s divisible by seven, they need to say “Búmm” instead of the number. If they say the number or they hesitate, they need to have a sip of their drink. When that happens, the order of play reverses until the next person says “Búmm.”
These 7 virtual drinking games from around the world will make your “new normal” happy hours memorable ones. Give them a try. Who knows, they may inspire you to create a game of your own?
Sound familiar? Fear not, friend! We’ve put together an awesome list with fun, easy virtual team building activities for remote teams.
These are awesome remote team builders for WFH teams. The goal of virtual team building is to create strong teams that are working remotely. This can be achieved through simple questions and icebreakers, virtual karaoke, and larger company-wide virtual events. Great remote team builders will foster closeness, improve communication, and boost team morale for your employees.
We’ll be honest: we know that working from home is a lonely, disconnected experience. In Buffer’s recent State of Remote Work 2020 report, loneliness was the biggest struggle for 20% of remote employees.
We’re seeing companies put team building on the backburner, as if virtual team building doesn’t work, or won’t help.
Sadly, this is the exact opposite of how to keep remote employees engaged. If anything, now is the time to double-down on supporting your staff, to show that you’re there for them during this challenging time.
The ideas below are easy to implement, but remote team building brings its own challenges, and it requires special work to engage everyone. After all, you don’t want half the team tuning out, and need to ensure everyone feels like they’re a part of it.
That’s why virtual team building is so unique. But if you spend time creating a thoughtfully designed program, remote team building activities can be super successful! Our ideas below don’t require a ton of time or money, but can still serve the purpose of bringing teams together, with staff bonding and fun, plus useful tools for working remotely.
We at Kabloom (formerly Wild SF Tours) are passionate about great virtual team events, and have compiled 20 of our favorite creative virtual team building activities for remote teams. They’re easy to run, easy on the wallet, and can make for a happier, more productive team!
Virtual team building can be, well, anything that brings remote teams together, just like if you were working together in an office! When done well, fun virtual team building can help build trust and meaningful connection through team bonding, and can help ensure your whole team feels valued and seen.
Virtual team building ideas include several strategies, games and activities designed to bring more human interaction to virtual workers.
We’ve outlined all sorts of ideas, including simple ice-breaker questions, games and video activities. We promise these will help create closer-knit teams and better collaboration!
Remote team building is especially important for workers not used to working virtually (like those affected by COVID-19). It can be hard to self-motivate, and workers often feel disconnected and unsupported.
Instead of equating this with your quarterly team builder, think of virtual team building as a replacement for the ‘watercooler.’ It’s an intentional space where remote co-workers get to catch up, socialize, and connect in a way they might not otherwise.
Done well, virtual team building can help stand in for the connections and collaboration you’d experience with in-person working. It ensures employees feel cared for, connected, and inspired to be productive!
Intentional team building can even facilitate new skills, like a collaboration mindset, communication building, and teamwork.
When online meetings begin, it’s easy to jump straight into business. But consider adding in a few minutes for casual check-ins and small talk. This is extra important for remote employee bonding, as virtual team members don’t have a chance to chat with their neighbors throughout the workday.
All the games below are templates that you can easily switch up and change to fit your team. Have fun, don’t take it seriously, and see what happens!
Ironically, 65% of remote employees say they’ve had no type of virtual team building sessions. These are the employees who need them the most!
If you’re overwhelmed by the task of building rapport and trust through remote teambuilding, hire an expert to make it happen! Check out Kabloom for qualified leaders who can turn a conference video call into a meaningful session. Feel free to call us at 415-942-5421 or email booking (at) kabloom.team to chat more!
Here we go! These are some of our favorite virtual team building ideas (that aren’t boring!). But use your imagination too—just like with improv games, there are endless possibilities to invent and switch up these team building games and activities.
What sounds better than kicking back on a tropical beach, sipping a piña colada?
Hawaiian shirts are encouraged on the Virtual Vacation, transporting you to an imaginary island. But there’s a catch: your team must now work together to navigate across waters back home.
Led by a virtual tour guide from Wild SF, your energetic, quirky host will get everyone laughing, connecting and working together through fun challenges.
Your team will collaborate on drawing a flag to fly on our ship, you’ll run around on a home scavenger hunt, you’ll design a route for our ship, and you’ll learn so much more about your team.
This dynamic experience is quickly becoming a favorite: it’s a graffiti history class, a virtual street art tour, and an online graffiti class with a renowned street artist!
First, you’ll learn the history of graffiti’s hip hop roots in New York in the late 1960’s, and how the art form has gone international since then.
Then join a virtual tour that heads down back alleys to visit the ‘outdoor galleries’ of mural- and graffiti-filled streets, finding hidden art from local legends and international artists.
You’ll learn about how politics and legality comes into play with piecing, bombing, tagging and creating stunning murals.
Next, it’s time to draw! You’ll meet a renowned graffiti artist who will share his backstory in the ‘graf’ scene, and lead a workshop showing everyone how to create their own tags.
Come up with your own tagging name, and practice developing handstyles, and turning a basic tag into a “piece” (that is, a masterpiece).
Your team will leave inspired, having learned about art and showcasing their own creativity as a team!
Hire a virtual stand-up comic to entertain your remote team! Kabloom runs online stand-up comedy shows for the workplace, with family-friendly comics who are guaranteed to get your team laughing and having fun.
They can run stand-up comedy shows on Zoom and Google Meet.
The session lasts 45 minutes, and includes warming up the crowd and bantering with them, followed by a 15 minute stand-up set.
Next is a Q&A about the life of a working comic. At the end there’s more involvement with something called “joke karaoke,” where your team can share their own favorite jokes!
DEI, or diversity training, doesn’t need to be stale and awkward!
Diversity training is the practice of embracing the things that make us unique, reducing prejudice and discrimination, and improving teamwork and communication. It has become increasingly popular among companies, especially larger corporations.
Join beloved San Francisco drag queen Mary Vice for the most entertaining online diversity seminar you’ve ever seen. She’s one of the most successful drag performers on Twitch today.
In this exhilarating look at queer history and culture, you’ll get a crash course on LGBT rights and Pride via a virtual tour of San Francisco’s most important queer landmarks.
Then, you’ll enjoy a live online drag show performance by Mary Vice, with the chance to ask her questions about life as a drag queen.
Think you can’t entertain a large remote team (50-500+ people) at the same time? Think again!
Kabloom are experts at facilitating large-scale virtual company parties, which features a number of activities running simultaneously.
That way, your coworkers can choose their own adventure (kind of like a music festival).
Imagine a variety of activities running at the same time, like:
Wild SF are experts at setting up these kinds of online events for remote teams. We can cover everything from organizing invites, coordinating experienced, high-energy leaders for each activity, and taking care of the logistics of online facilitation.
Since COVID, many companies have turned into remote teams looking for fun online events. Good news: a virtual karaoke party is an awesome (and easy) virtual team building idea to get your team connecting!
This guide explains how to organize a virtual karaoke party on Zoom, how to host a great event for your team working from home, and how to choose a great karaoke song.
Here’s an easy one: kick off with virtual meeting ice breaker questions! This is one of most easy virtual team building ideas out there. Asking a fun and easy icebreaker question is a tried-and-true way of getting people talking and bonding in no time!
We suggest building in enough time to do a few rounds of questions. Kick it off with something super easy and ‘surface-level’ to get your team talking.
Then, if you’re feeling there’s a trust and comfort with your team, try one of these deeper questions. These get more to the core of what people care about in life, and can make for meaningful team bonding for your virtual team.
As someone starts demonstrating vulnerability, this can encourage others to open up about their own goals, dreams and needs too.
Here’s a fun one: have your team submit one (unknown!) fact about themselves to the leader. The zanier and the better—everyone has a few of these experiences that wouldn’t have come up in conversation naturally.
Learning fun facts about one another is especially important for remote teams, which can feel very isolated. Knowing that you and your coworker share a love of an obscure 80’s band, or both studied abroad in Ireland, can make for meaningful connection that wouldn’t exist otherwise. It’s a simple way to spark friendship-forming discussions.
Houseparty is a free mobile application that got really popular, especially towards the start of the pandemic. It now offers a host of fun games to play with your coworkers, like karaoke, trivia and Heads Up!
Here’s a Jeopardy-style quiz show game for team building. It’s basically a quiz show, and you can keep points to make it competitive!
Since we’re all spending more time at home, it’s a great time to learn about one another’s hobbies we’ve been making some time to share what we’re up to outside of work.
While working from home, these channels can be a fun way to bond and learn of similar interests, hobbies, and to brag about cute pets, kids and home cooking.
Sometimes the best team building ideas are the easiest to run. Once you set this up, there’s no maintenance needed but infinite bonding possibilities.
Constant video meetings that are all business can feel like, well, all business. Here’s a way to break that up, and show that jumping onto a video call can be fun and conversational.
Conversation often spins into the latest Netflix series, personal lives and current events. For those who work remotely, these can feel like a really valuable time to interact with coworkers in a fun and easy way.
Since we’re all cooking at home, why not make that into its own fun competition?
Team bonding at the local bar is a tried-and-true way to let loose and catch up at the end of a long day. Hosting an online happy hour might sound strange, but it works!
This is a chance for co-workers to interact and learn more about each other, even if they’ve never gotten a chance to meet and work together in person.
It sounds silly, but there’s something psychologically encouraging if you can feel like you’re in an office, even when you’re home. One easy idea is to create a live remote office space in a video chat.
It’s encouraging to see your coworkers, and helps you to stay motivated while working remotely. Just like in a real office, it also allows for easily asking questions, making a bit of small talk, and feeling more connected!
We’re going back to the early 2000’s. Frosted tips are encouraged.
A fun way to start a remote meeting (or maybe a mid-meeting pick-me-up?) is to have your distributed team do their best celebrity impressions and show off their house, selfie-style.
It’s a unique way to bring remote teams together, and to show off any particularly great interior design skills!
Tip: have the ‘celebrity’ join the meeting on their phone (not computer), which will be easier for walking and narrating.
Marco Polo is our favorite video messaging app, where you can record and send short videos privately, or with a group. They call it a ‘video walkie talkie.’ It’s simple, but really fun!
The possibilities are endless—every morning you can think of a new question, or have your remote team take turns coming up with that day’s check in question. This is a great way for distributed teams to have a bit of facetime and connect from afar!
Everybody loves presents (even if you’re not a Christmas person). Plus, getting a care package in the mail sounds extra sweet when you’re working remote! So why not make a new gift-giving holiday?
You can make up a new gifting tradition for July 25, say, and call it ‘Christmas in July.’ This could also work as a quarterly tradition. However often you want to celebrate, presents are always a fun way for remote teams to feel connected and cared for.
For remote employees, lunch could be a great time to facilitate engagement and online team building. Bring in an ‘expert’ to share a presentation or talk while folks are eating at home! It’s like a private TED Talk for your remote team!
This expert could be an outside speaker you hire (someone with insights into communication skills, how to stay motivated when working from home, health and wellness, or non-work topics too that might be interesting!).
Your expert could also be someone on the team, and it could feel like a skillshare where for each Lunch and Learn, one virtual employee shares something they’re knowledgeable and passionate about!
Ahem. Believe it or not, this college standby doesn’t need to turn NSFW to be fun. Play a PG-version with your team and get to learn about one another!
For example, if someone says ‘Never have I ever been roller skating,’ then everyone that has been roller skating would put a finger down. You’ll learn a lot about your remote coworkers quickly, and it’s a game that’s already familiar to most.
If you’ve got a silly team that likes to perform, kick off an otherwise boring video conference with a quick remote dance party!
You could have a scheduled meeting that is literally just a dance party for 30 minutes, with one remote employee playing DJ and providing the jams, while all set up their cameras with cool backdrops and get to dancing…
…but if you don’t have time for that, just kick off your team call with a quick dance party!
Well, us! Kabloom by Wild SF leads meaningful virtual team builders that get your team out of their shells, laughing, connecting, and learning more about one another.
Ready to bring your remote team closer together? Start here.
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