Chances are good we’ve all gotten used to being part of a remote or distributed team, and all that comes with it — plus everything it leaves out, like in-person happy hours with your colleagues.

But just because you meet up more often over Zoom than over coffee doesn’t mean you can’t do some good old-fashioned socializing with your colleagues.

In fact, finding ways to connect on non-work-related things is more important than ever. “Even though many of us can’t be face to face with coworkers right now, it’s important to have something fun to do together and to know that you can support each other,” says David Goldstein, the COO (Creator of Opportunities) at, which has hosted more than 1,000 virtual programs for companies since March.

Here are a few ways you can “hang out” with coworkers without coming together in-person.

Take an Interactive Class

You likely stare at your coworkers’ faces enough during video meetings. The last thing you want is for your bonding time to feel like a chore, so shake things up by turning happy hour into a wine tasting lesson or cocktail-making class. You can have a colleague volunteer to host (and send a wine or ingredient list in advance). offers a program in which it delivers kits ahead of time and a professional mixologist leads a virtual lesson.

Host a Virtual Game Night

Trivia, poker, scavenger hunts — the possibilities have become seemingly endless when it comes to friendly virtual competition. ( hosts online escape rooms and murder mystery dinners.) The beauty of these activities is that they enable a bigger group to break up into smaller teams, so colleagues have a chance to socialize with people they may not always bump into at the office or online. And if your company can sponsor a prize, such as a gift card or lunch for everyone on the winning team, even better.

Plan an Online Talent Show

Chances are good you have plenty of coworkers with secret talents, be it singing, playing an instrument, or doing stand-up comedy. A video talent show is a great way for those who want to to show off their skills in front of an audience of trusted colleagues. You can have a coworker emcee the event to keep things moving.

Meet for One-on-One “Coffees”

While many of us miss group lunches or chatting in the kitchen, it’s also important (and fun!) to connect one-on-one with people. Companies can create an online sign-up sheet for employees who want to have virtual coffees and pair them once every week or two with someone different for a 30-minute video call. (There’s even a Slack app called Donut that can do the matching for you.)

Create Dedicated Slack Channels

While the messaging program Slack is helpful for quick job-related communication, it’s also an easy way for coworkers to connect about topics outside of work. Creating channels around themes like parenthood, pets, books, sports, and the other OOO topics helps like-minded colleagues connect over their shared interests.

A company-wide channel is also a great place to implement weekly traditions, such as posting photos from the weekend every Monday or a favorite vacation spot on “Travel Thursday.” These routines not only give coworkers a chance to bond but also help inject the week with some much-needed predictability. As Goldstein puts it: “In an unsteady world, I think it’s nice for people to have something they can depend on.”