At Wise Guys Events, we get out of bed every day… well, on the days when we DO get out of bed, we do it with the aim of helping teams vibe better and sparking meaningful connections through fun and play. And while we’ve been filled with joy at the opportunity to return to in-person events ever since COVID vaccines became widely distributed, we understand that remote and virtual events still play an important part in achieving our goal. Here’s four reasons why virtual events are still important.
An hour of play to keep the lonelies away
Harvard Business Review published a recent article about feelings of loneliness and an absence of connection among Gen Z employees entering the workforce. You don’t have to be Gen Z to feel that way about work but it helps, no cap (we Binged that). A lack of invested workers leads to all kinds of negative outcomes, from the merely unpleasant (diminished discretionary effort, employee turnover) to the downright tragic (depression, loneliness, decline in quality of life). Your company doesn’t want to be part of the problem. And playing games online should be part of your solution. Slotting in a quick and easy remote team building event is a great way to fight the negative trends of the 20’s and restore a feeling of human-to-human connection among your department or team.
The public health crisis isn’t over
The nightly banging on pots with spoons may have ended, but our gratitude for the health care workers who rescued us from the worst of the pandemic still rings out loud and proud. And if you listen to the medical community, they’ll tell you: we’re not over COVID, even though we are all OVER COVID, iykyk. Plenty of people still are immunocompromised, or have family members who are (shout out to parents of children under five who are only now on the verge of getting them vaccinated). And there are plenty others who are simply not comfortable with in-person gatherings for now. Shouldn’t they get to share in the fun? Making remote offerings available is an equity and accessibility issue. Even if your masks are mostly collecting dust in the back of a drawer somewhere, spare a thought for your co-workers who are in a different place than you. Without empathy for your peers, you can’t expect to cooperate on anything without stress. And stress stinks.
Where we’re going, we don’t need roads
Full disclosure, when we began doing virtual events, we did it because we had to, not because we wanted to. But now that we’ve gotten good at it, it’s just too much fun to stop! Virtual events, although they can never take the place of an in-person game night, team building program, or hands-on workshop, have a lot of benefits and appealing silver linings. You can get international co-workers all in the same session (though double-check your time zones, and then check again), you can show off your pets and living room view, and you can engage in wild virtual games that don’t have an in-person analog. From a GIF competition to wearing virtual hats and wacky, theme-synchronized virtual backgrounds, you can have a gut-busting good time in a virtual event without even putting on pants. And did we mention you won’t drive, park your car, or spend a fortune on gas?
Zoom: It’s Better Than Nothing
Planning events in the 20’s is a wild ride of RSVPs fluctuating, lots of rapid testing, and the more-than-occasional cancellation. We understand that everyone is navigating the state of the pandemic based on their own level of comfort, but can we just say that we thought post-vaccinated life and the “hot vax summer” was going to be a lot different than how it turned out? If you’re planning an in-person event that looks like it might be going kablooey, don’t throw up your hand and replace it with Nothing. A virtual event is a great, safe, fun, and engaging alternative to a hybrid program (we haven’t seen any proof that anybody’s nailed that yet) and way better than throwing in the towel. Instead, throw us an email and let us plan a remote team building program that will give your group a great time, great memories, and no symptoms.