Virtual happy hours and team get-togethers are a great way to foster meaningful work relationships. They provide a platform for team members to connect on a personal level beyond formal work discussions, which can help break down silos and lead to better cohesion and camaraderie.
This guide will help you get started and offer ideas to host an engaging event that brings your team together!
- A space on Gather. Click here to get started.
- If your event is for more than 10 people, you'll need to purchase a subscription or reservation. Click here to read our Pricing Overview.
- The space design recommendations in this guide will require Build Tool or Mapmaker access. Review our User Roles and Permissions to make sure you have the access you need.
- Create your space. We recommend:
- Using your existing Remote Office Space if you're already working in an office on Gather. You can use a Social/Lounge area that's built into your template or use the Mapmaker to customize a social area in the office.
- Creating a Team Social Space if your team is new to Gather or you want to socialize in a dedicated space "away from your desks."
- If you'll have more than 10 participants, purchase a subscription or reservation.
- Plan team activities to hold during the social. Jump to this section for ideas.
- Have fun! Enjoy the freedom of moving around, walking in and out of conversations, and strengthening relationships with your coworkers.
Overview of the Team Social Space
The Team Social Space on Gather is an outdoor courtyard that's perfect for mingling and casual conversations. In it, you can:
- Talk in small groups at picnic tables and bonfires (they're set up as Private Areas)
- Challenge a teammate to a game of chess
- Use the Spotlight Tiles on top of the roof to speak to everyone in the space at once
- Interact with the Rec Room at the top of the space to play one of two built-in experiences:
- The Gather Grand Prix: A quick racing game for 2-8 players.
- Board Game Night: A room with tables set with games like Draw Battle, Tetris, and Codenames.
After you've played one of the experiences in the Rec Room with your teammates, you'll unlock the bridge on the right of the courtyard. It leads to a Remote Office so you can explore a different type of space and get a taste of what it's like to work with your team in a virtual office.
Ideas for Team Activities in Gather
As you're planning your team social, consider the diverse preferences of your team members. Some might appreciate structured activities in smaller groups, while others might thrive with unstructured downtime.
We suggest a mix of both. Plan a team activity, but leave time at the beginning or end of the event where people can freely move around and talk to each other.
Ideas for structured team activities in Gather:
Hop on a go-kart and race each other around a short track to see who's the fastest in the office. Complete with obstacles to avoid, speedy power-ups, and a grand stand so extra teammates can watch the race.
If you're in the Team Social Courtyard, you can access the Gather Grand Prix by interacting (pressing 'x') with the Rec Room at the top.
If you're in a Remote Office Space, you can open the Object Picker from the Mapmaker and place the Rec Room in your office.
To learn more about racing in the Gather Grand Prix, read this guide.
Have some fun with digital group games. We have several built-in as objects that you can place with the Build Tool, such as Tetris, Codenames, and Draw Battle. You can view the full list of games here.
Have a different online game in mind? You can embed the URL into any object on Gather for quick access in the space.
If you're in the Team Social Courtyard, you can access Board Game Night (a board game experience where the games are already set up) by interacting (pressing 'x') with the Rec Room at the top.
One of the benefits of socializing in a virtual space on Gather is that it's really easy to bring your full team together and then break off into smaller groups -- all within the same space. (No jumping between meeting links or losing visibility of each other!)
This works great for activities where you split off into groups or pair up for 1:1 conversations, and then join back together to share as a full group.
To run these activities, all you really need to do is tell people when/where they should be moving around and talking to others. You can either Spotlight yourself or stand on a Spotlight tile to address everyone at once.
If you want to customize your breakout rooms, you can use the Mapmaker to create dedicated Private Areas for specific groups/topics and place labels with the Text Tool so people know what each area should be used for.
We highly recommend this activity during your first week working in a Remote Office on Gather. It gives everyone a chance to personalize their desk, feel ownership over part of the space, and be creative together.
To decorate your desk, hover over it and click Customize. You can either limit the competition to the objects in the "My desk" tab, or if you want to get really creative, you can give your teammates Build Tool access, allowing them to place any object (or custom objects!) at their desk.
This guide has more details about desks in Gather and is great for passing on to new teammates.
Ultimately, the success of your virtual team social relies on meaningful interactions. Encourage team members to share thoughts, experiences, and anecdotes. Whether they're discussing work or personal interests, these conversations help build stronger connections among your team.