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Virtual Happy Hours, Games and Meals: Team Building Varies During COVID-19

A man holding a glass of wine on a laptop.

​Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic can make it difficult to build and maintain a cohesive team. The Society for Human Resource Management wanted to find out what others are doing to keep up team spirit.

A survey SHRM commissioned found that a slight majority—52 percent—are not conducting any team-building activities with U.S. employees working remotely. However, among those that do have virtual activities, the two most popular were e-mail chains on topics that are not work-related (26 percent) and virtual happy hours (18 percent). Findings are based on responses from 336 U.S. employees currently working from home, collected by NORC, an independent research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago's Amerispeak Panel. The panel is designed to be statistically representative of U.S. adults. The survey was conducted April 30 to May 4.

And in a recent #NextChat, Mary Kaylor, SHRM-SCP, SHRM's manager of public affairs, posted the question: "What team activities have you enjoyed the most during the pandemic?" The following is a compilation of responses from LinkedIn and Twitter:

SHRM Resource Spotlight
Coronavirus and COVID-19

Happy Hours

Breaking Bread

I've had a few Zoom meals that were surprisingly great! We didn't talk shop, we just ate lunch together. It was one of the most normal-feeling things in my remote work experience so far.

R. Anderson Campbell, associate professor at George Fox University in Beaverton, Ore., on LinkedIn



Jackbox party games on Zoom

Rebecca Danner, SHRM-CP, director of HR at Kindred Healthcare in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., on LinkedIn


Virtual Trivia using Kahoot! Colleen

Lauren du Moulin, talent acquisition consultant for Veristate in the greater Boston area, on LinkedIn


Mindfulness Sessions

Our company had a Zoom Mindfulness Session with everyone! It was so amazing and allowed me to pick up tips to use throughout the day.

Monique McDonald, HR generalist for the State of Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area, on LinkedIn


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.