Human Resources

Social Activities for Remote Working

Samantha Close, CPA
December 1, 2020

Affiliate disclosure

At Avalon, we have been working remotely from before it was “cool”. During this year especially, having work social events has been a great way for our team to connect with one another, stave off the boredom of quarantine, and even have fun at work! (Who knew it could be done at an accounting firm?!)

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At Avalon, we have been working remotely from before it was “cool”. During this year especially, having work social events has been a great way for our team to connect with one another, stave off the boredom of quarantine, and even have fun at work! (Who knew it could be done at an accounting firm?!)

Over our years of experience working remotely, we have tested MANY at-home social events, get togethers, activities and games, and today we are here to share our top 5 suggestions. If you end up trying any of these, let us know (and send pictures for us to share on instagram!) - we love seeing other companies benefiting from our trial and errors.

Also, before you read this, no companies have sponsored any of this blog post - although we do have an amazing YouTube Channel if they do want to sponsor something in the future!

Mandatory Chats (Or as we like to call them - ManChats)

As we have hired more employees across Canada and continued to work remotely, we have found Mandatory Chats to be a great way to socialize with people across our company that we normally wouldn’t work with. This has been a great way for us at Avalon to feel more connected to one another across the team, and feel more comfortable reaching out to colleagues who were previously strangers.

Mandatory chats are a weekly 15-minute chat that are scheduled using a random pairing system (We use this slightly sketchy looking website here!). On Mondays one of our employees posts the pairings.

Each employee is in charge of booking their mandatory meeting by the end of the week (Friday) and the time can be used to chat about anything not-work related - some topic ideas that have come up for us include golf, horror movies, a love of baking, and children’s books, just to name a few.

These meetings are often my favorite part of the week, and unironically are my favorite meetings.

How to do this yourself:

  • Randomly pair all employees up with another employee in the company
  • Post these random pairings each Monday in the morning
  • Have the pairs book a meeting online during the week to have a “ManChat” and enjoy 15 minutes of free time to get to know one another


Scattergories was invented in 1988, and for some reason was one of the most popular social events over at Avalon.

The game is simple, you jump on a zoom call, choose a random letter and a selection of categories, and give people up to 3 minutes to pick answers to each category that start with the letter chosen. Truly, wikipedia does a better job than I ever could to describe the game, but know it is simple, and it is fun.

Over at Avalon, we did this a bit differently as we chose categories related to our company (such as What does Joe love to drink? Who has the best hair? etc.) and we played over Zoom, but the categories can also be randomly generated with a program such as this one.

After the timer was up, we all shared our answers, laughing at the absurdity and scoring points for answers that were remotely possible. One personal favourite came up with the letter A and the Category - What do cowboys wear? The answer - Assless Chaps.

If you are looking for a free activity to do with team members on Zoom, we would highly recommend Scattergories

How to do this yourself:

  • Designate someone the gamemaster to mark answers and run the game
  • Have all employees jump on a Zoom call, and have the gamemaster determine the randomly generated letter and categories
  • Give employees 3 minutes to write down (on paper or in a Google Doc) all their answers to each category
  • Come back together, and have each employee read their answers
  • Give 1 point each for each reasonably answer
  • Play a few rounds, and award the winner who gains the most points the Master of Scattergories

Jackbox Games

Jackbox Games are simple online games that allow people from across the world to play social games. Only one person needs to own the game, and everyone else accesses a website and puts in a randomly generated room code to access the game.

These games are a great way to socialize with colleagues over Zoom. Everyone can jump on a video call and have one person stream the game, with people answering prompts or drawing pictures on their phones. These games are cheap, fun and have weirdly amazing soundtracks - a big hit over at Avalon!

If you are looking for a party pack and aren’t sure which one to get, a personal favorite is the Party Pack 6 - Push the Button is a fun hidden identity game, Trivia Murder Party 2 is the best trivia game you will ever play, and Role Models is a great way to get to know more about what your coworkers really think of you.

How to do it yourself:

  • Have someone at the company buy Jackbox Games (If it is an employee, make sure to have them claim it as an expense!)
  • Have the owner of the game jump on a Zoom call with your team, and have everyone go to the Jackbox website (
  • Have the owner of the game start the game and share their screen, and have all employees login on their phones and join the correct room code
  • Enjoy the wonderfulness that is Murder Trivia Party 2!

Great Bake Off

This may be Avalon specific, but we here at Avalon love cooking and baking. We have a Slack channel dedicated to sharing pictures of food, and we have done in person cook-offs before. Over-all, I would say Avalon is very food motivated.

Due to this love of baking, one social event we all loved was hosting a virtual Great Avalon Bake Off (GABO).

We were all mailed fortunes (hand-written by coworkers) and a printed copy of a recipe. We all jumped on a call in our kitchens and booked an hour off to cook with one another. At the end, we had delicious fortune cookies to eat, and got to spend an hour together laughing and seeing how great everyone’s kitchen’s looked.

As you can see below, we had varying degrees of success, but this was one of the most popular Avalon social events! If your employees or coworkers like to bake or watch the Great British Bake Off like we do, we would strongly recommend trying to host a GABO of your own - it is a hoot, and a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.

How to do it yourself:

  • Have everyone decide on a recipe they want to make, and give everyone time to gather the ingredients
  • Everyone jumps on a zoom call with their laptop or camera in the kitchen, and spends an hour or so making food together
  • Be sure to take lots of pictures of the final products

Virtual Happy Hour

The overwhelming majority of our team put happy hours as their favourite fun event.

At the end of the day, events and structured activities can be a great way to get together and have fun, but most people (especially at remote jobs) just want to enjoy each other’s company and chat. Having a scheduled happy hour allows employees to unwind and get to know each other in a less formal setting. As well, it's a great excuse to grab a drink (alcoholic or not!) and enjoy some de-stressing after a long week.

Happy hours being the most popular choice shows that work social events do not need to be fancy or expensive - they just need to give employees time to connect and relax! At Avalon, we have found the best social event was one where we get to actually socialize, and the wine didn’t hurt either.

How to do it yourself:

  • Pick a time to jost a virtual happy hour
  • Have everyone join a Zoom call with their beverage of choice
  • Have a great time and be thankful we live in the time of computers!

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Article by
Samantha Close, CPA
Originally published
December 1, 2020
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