Nowadays, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home as it is more productive and convenient. In fact, some tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook have already announced that their employees can work remotely indefinitely, while studies reveal that by 2025, an estimated 70% of the workforce may work remotely for at least five days a month.
However, one challenge of working remotely involves building team spirit and meaningful relationships between employees working in various parts of the world. It is important that companies invest time and resources to keep their remote teams satisfied and motivated.
An excellent way to achieve this is by hosting virtual social events to engage and encourage your remote teams. This will boost efficiency, increase morale, and make them feel more involved in their work.
In this article, we explain how to host virtual social events that your remote team is going to love.
Pick a Theme
As a starting point, you need to think of ideas and pick a theme for your virtual social event. This means understanding your audience and their preferences.
For example, you could organize a virtual happy hour, where each employee grabs their favorite drink and socialize after work, or you can opt for a virtual lunch and learn which is an informal training session that takes place over lunch.
We suggest listing down some preliminary virtual event ideas and asking employees to vote for their preferred option. This will help get their insights and allow you to differentiate your event.
Get the Timing Right
Working remotely means that your employees are in different time zones, which can present a challenge when deciding on a time and date. This is why you need to factor in time zone planning.
One solution is to distribute a poll and ask employees for their most preferred time and date, factoring in time, national holidays, and international events that may coincide with your social event. Free poll to plan events provides this kind of service that will make it so much easier for your team to get all together at once.
Another solution is to have multiple social events for different regions while chalking up a schedule to ensure that every team has the opportunity to meet each other during future virtual events.
Choose a Virtual Platform
Just like picking the ultimate venue, choosing a virtual event platform is key for a successfully executed virtual social event.
Depending on the type of social event, you can choose from platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others. This will require coming up with the requirements for your social event, and then listing down the pros and cons of each platform to allow for a seamless event.
Additionally, make sure that your company has a subscription to the platform and that your employees are comfortable with navigating and using it.
Ensure Maximum Engagement
The whole point of a social event is for dynamic interaction between teams to ensure increased engagement. This means that you have to carefully design your virtual event to include activities that allow employees to feel involved.
Consider breakout rooms, live polling sessions, and other interactive features for maximum engagement of remote teams.
This also means that the host has to be super energetic so that they create a sociable environment that attracts participants and maintains their interest throughout the social event. We suggest having two moderators who can interact with each other to lighten the atmosphere by cracking jokes or delivering perfectly timed one-liners.
Get Your IT Team on Board
When hosting a virtual social event, you need to prepare for troubleshooting. For this purpose, it is best to have your IT team on board so that they can suggest alternatives and can also help during any in-event glitches.
Furthemore, it is wise to ask all participants if they need to download additional software, whether they can access the virtual event via their mobile, or any other ways that can help improve their overall experience.
Communicate Event Details Efficiently
Once you have prepared and sorted out all the details, make sure that you communicate the details of the event and send reminder emails so that your participant list has blocked their calendars.
You can create a simple email template with a “Register Here” button to help you keep track of how many employees are participating.
Since working remotely is expected to become more mainstream, it is vital that you pay attention to employee needs by ensuring consistent communication. An incredible way to increase engagement is to host regular virtual social events so that your employees feel relaxed and start to take ownership of their work.
Start brainstorming virtual social event ideas and let your remote team members know that they are valued.