8 Awesome Virtual Social Ideas

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August 07, 2020

You found our list of virtual social ideas.

Virtual social ideas are suggestions for online gatherings held for distributed teams. The methods on this list encourage camaraderie and regular communication between remote employees.

Our list includes:

  • fun virtual social ideas
  • free virtual social ideas
  • ideas for virtual work socials

And more 🙂

Here is the list.

List of virtual social ideas

From social media to pet visits to online education, here is a list of ideas to unite and connect your remote teams.

1. Get social on social media

You do not need to limit online get togethers to video calls. The average person spends two hours a day on social media, according to Statista.

For more virtual social connections, try creating private groups on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then, issue virtual challenges to your remote teams.

A few suggestions:

  • Throwback Thursday: Invite your teammates to share an old photo with the team. Questionable fashion choices encouraged!
  • Dinner date: Ask your team to share drool-worthy meal photos, whether homemade or takeout.
  • Never-ending story: One team member creates an Instagram story that ends with a challenge to another teammate. That teammate responds via story, prompting another colleague.
  • Tag a teammate: Post pictures of famous groups such as The Avengers, Disney character, the cast of the Simpsons, or US Presidents. Ask group members to tag each character with a corresponding teammate.

This is one of the more flexible ideas for virtual work socials. Not only will your team gain online social time, your remote employees will also brush up on social media skills. Considering that social media is an increasingly powerful driver of customer service, brand awareness, and sales, knowing how to navigate different platforms is a plus.

2. Invite family and friends

Housemates and family sometimes crash a Zoom call. Because your virtual office lacks in-person parties and picnics, your coworkers may never meet these family members.

Instead, get intentional about building relationships and invite these folks to your next virtual event.

A few ideas:

  • Schedule a playdate with kid-friendly activities like games or sing-a-longs.
  • Turn icebreaker questions into a version of the Newlywed Game by asking significant others to answer for the employee.
  • Encourage parents to share endearing stories about the employee as a child.

With this friendly overlap of work and personal life, employees will not feel as pressured to split time between home and the virtual office, and may opt to attend more optional social events.

3. Bring a furry friend

The worst thing about offices may be that you don’t get to meet your coworker’s cats. Virtual offices allow you to enjoy these furry friends in natural habitats. So, try inviting pets to your virtual party.

Invite furry friends to your virtual social events.
Furry felines, fidos, and ferrets are always welcome on our team social events.

During your next video call, ask your teammates to introduce pets to the team. If the animals are shy, then your employees can embark on a “pet safari,” and search all the typical hiding spots. This activity is especially fun if any of your team members own unconventional pets, such as teacup pigs or llamas. All animals are welcome guests, however, even the common household pets like labradors and tabbies. Welcoming pets is one of the most effective and enjoyable free virtual social ideas.

Pro tip: To score points with your coworkers, mail goodie bags to the pets. Little snacks or toys in a cute package go a long way.

4. Explore beyond the living room

Most video meeting software like Zoom and Skype is available as smartphone apps. Your team members can call from anywhere. Though you may not be able to gather in the same physical location, you can still leave the home office behind and enjoy an out-of-work experience together.

A few suggestions:

  • Move the meeting to the backyard.
  • Call in from a favorite coffee shop and give a tour.
  • Discover a new spot in town, perhaps on the recommendation of a colleague.

Internet speed and imagination are the only limitations on your potential meeting places in terms of virtual social ideas. If your employees start to feel like shut-ins, then feel free to shake up your routine and move the gathering to a new locale.

5. Celebrate unconventional events

Remote workplaces offer fewer opportunities for get-togethers. While you may rally together in an office for many reasons, in virtual offices you may only gather for regular meetings, occasional online get togethers, and perhaps virtual holiday parties.

So, use unconventional holidays as an excuse to get together.

A few suggestions:

  • Celebrate National Donut Day (June 4th) by enjoying Bavarian creams via video call.
  • Observe Administrative Professionals’ Day (April 21) by asking staff to send a kind message to the assistants.
  • Enjoy World Wildlife Day (March 3) by watching a zoo livestream together, like the webcams at the San Diego Zoo
  • Provide your team a stipend to order from the local Mexican restaurant on National Taco Day (October 4th). Encourage your team to write and share a review!

Your gatherings could be as simple as a short ten minute video call break, which means you can schedule regular online celebrations.

These virtual social ideas are also a chance to share non-American holidays with the team.

6. Embark on an internet quest

Though your remote team may not share a geographical location, the whole crew can unite online in a matter of minutes. You and your team can tour cyberspace together and embark on an epic internet quest during your next virtual hangout.

Suggestions:

  • Complete a virtual scavenger hunt
  • Break out of an online escape room, such as Oscar’s Stolen Oscar from the National Aquarium
  • Discover the intriguing random Wikipedia entries together
  • Play an online role-playing game, such as War of the Wizards
  • Virtually tour a popular destination like Paris or Rome
  • Hunt for funny sights together on Google Earth

Internet quests are fun virtual social ideas that add excitement to your together time. These activities give online hangouts a sense of purpose and eliminate any initial awkwardness.

7. Schedule a regular online game night

Bars host trivia, churches host bingo, breweries host board game nights, and friends host poker games. Many adult interactions center around games for good reason. These kinds of activities allow adults to gather and socialize with friends and strangers alike. Games provide entertainment and a shared sense of purpose.

virtual team trivia is a great virtual social event

Here are some ideas for virtual games:

There are also many other online team building games you can adapt for your gathering.

I suggest scheduling a monthly game night for your crew, since setting a recurring event saves you planning hassle.

8. Master a new skill together

Learning alone can be a scary and daunting task. When you tackle a new subject or skill with colleagues, you gain a support system and lose the misconception that you are the only one making mistakes.

You can turn your group social time into group learning time by taking an online course together.

A few suggestions:

  • Coding bootcamp
  • Creative writing workshop
  • Self-defense class
  • Leadership seminar
  • Cooking lessons
  • Guided meditations
  • Photography tutorial

I recommend choosing either formal courses like EdX, Udemy, or MasterClass, or compiling your own syllabus with resources like YouTube.

Whatever the lesson plan, team learning turns other teammates into cheerleaders and coaches. Your group can engage in study sessions and celebrate each other’s wins. Teaching other team members helps reinforce the lessons, so every group member learns more than if pursuing a solo study.

FAQ: virtual social ideas

Here are some of the most common questions and answers about virtual social ideas.

What are virtual social ideas?

Virtual social ideas are ideas for online gatherings. These kinds of social events fight feelings of disconnection and foster a sense of belonging among remote teams.

What is a virtual party?

A virtual party is a celebration that takes place over video conferencing software. These gatherings offer virtual teams opportunities for socialization and celebration.

Why host virtual socials?

Hosting a virtual social allows your coworkers to connect in a fun, unexpected way away from their desks (but not off the clock)!

Conclusion

You can use the ideas on this list as a springboard for your virtual events. Your team’s preferences can also guide your online event planning. If your team expresses an interest, then feel free to capitalize on the opportunity for social time.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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