The Case for Connection: Bite-Sized Virtual Happy Hours

A friend of mine once told me about how every Wednesday, she and her husband used to drag her kids into what she called “Forced Family Fun.” They played board games, threw around the football, or went on walks with their less-than-willing tweens. 

It never ended well. The kids ended up cranky, the parents exhausted, and the family overall feeling less connected than before.

Virtual company happy hours can often feel the same way.

Everybody wants to have good relationships with their colleagues, but few people want to sit on a drawn-out virtual happy hour to force conversation over Zoom. 

Much like my friend’s family, the moments of real connection usually don’t happen when we force them to. They occur organically, during moments of spontaneity in the regular day to day.

Recreating that serendipity is difficult for remote teams. Colleagues can’t run into each other in the hallway or the kitchen. Without in-person run-ins, how else are distributed coworkers supposed to form relationships? 

Enter: twine for Zoom.

More and more teams are using twine for Zoom to spark moments of connection in every virtual meeting that they run. By taking five to ten minutes to use twine during any All Hands, Sales Kickoff, or department meeting, remote teams can encourage the same kind of spontaneous workplace relationships that used to happen in person. 

It’s a bite-sized virtual happy hour.

The way it works is simple: a Zoom host simply opens the twine app in any meeting and clicks “Launch.” The app then sends all meeting participants into one-on-one Breakout Room conversations that automatically rotate after three minutes. While in a Breakout Room, participants have access to built-in conversation prompts. Employees can catch up on their weekends, discuss the new House of Dragons episode, or even audioshare their latest Spotify playlist. 

icebreakers in twine for Zoom

When the host feels like ending the rotations, they simply click “end matchmaking” to summon participants back to the main room. Then they can carry on with their business as planned.

The way that twine differs from traditional happy hour structures is that it introduces a level of spontaneity and closeness that can’t occur in a thirty-person Zoom room. Participants never know who they’re going to be matched up with, and the small group nature can grant more introverted colleagues the room to speak up.

That being said, matches in twine for Zoom don’t always have to be random. If hosts want to match people across departments, they can do that too: our tag-based matching mode can pair HR with Product, colleagues in India with colleagues in Argentina, or fans of jazz with fans of country.

Want participants to be able to choose what they talk about and with whom? There’s a mode for that, too

Whichever mode you choose, using twine for Zoom in a meeting for just ten minutes can energize your employees in a way that drawn-out virtual happy hours may not do so well. 

Instead of being the “Forced Family Fun” team, choose to be the Fun one.

Download twine for Zoom.

Written by Lawrence Coburn, CEO and Co-Founder

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