One of the long-term results of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the shift to a virtual work environment. Many companies are continuing to embrace remote workforces and are even expanding their recruitment tactics to build a workforce that is spread across states, countries, and even continents.
This shift to a virtual workplace has resulted in the apparent loss of some aspects of the traditional workplace. One of those items is team building via socials and after-work festivities. No longer can colleagues carpool to a restaurant or bar after work to unwind from the day’s stressful events. Regardless of this, there are actually ways to virtually connect in a fun and social way by pairing Zoom with games. See some examples of this below:
Among Us is the video game that partly inspired this article. It is an easy to learn game that is available on iOS, Android, and Mac/PC. The game recreates the classic murder-mystery party game virtually, with a group of in-game characters aboard a spaceship. One person is randomly selected to be an imposter and the others are crewmates. It is the crewmates’ duty to repair the failing spacecraft and the imposter’s duty to secretly eliminate each crewmate. This game is perfect when paired with a group Zoom call as it allows everyone to read each other’s body language and/or poker faces in between rounds when the imposter is being selected from the crowds. Be prepared, though, trust issues may ensue!
Some people may be familiar with Kahoot! and remember it as a tool used in the classroom to help students prepare for an exam. Since the app allows for user generated content, though, there are plenty of potential social applications for the game. You could create trivia based on your University, a favorite show, or use it to parody others. The more personal, the better (just remember to play nicely). Pair it with a Zoom call to allow for more group interaction.
Exploding Kittens is like a supercharged version of Uno. The game features a deck of cards, each with different abilities and power-ups. Throughout the deck are “exploding kitten” cards that eliminate a player from the game (unless that player has a defuse card). The game takes a few rounds to learn, but once everyone in a group learns the game’s rules, it becomes intense and very enjoyable to play. Absolutely pair this game with a Zoom call to recreate some of the tension that comes from a physical gathering of friends playing this type of game.
Although it has been harder to connect with friends and colleagues during the pandemic, there are still ways to make memories with friends. Try these out the next time you are connecting with your Chapter members or suggest it to your supervisor at your internship. Who knows, it may become a new tradition and foster new, lasting relationships.
Zach Ferenchak, 2020–2021 vice president of brand engagement, is a senior at Capital University, a private university in Columbus, Ohio. He is majoring in emerging media with an emphasis in public relations and minors in journalism and marketing. In his free time, Ferenchak can be found obsessing over the latest gadget or video game, exploring a coffee shop with friends, or going on a trail run. He hopes to elevate the voices of all PRSSA members through the organization’s various brand platforms. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.