Surprise! Employees Hate Zoom Happy Hours, Crave Creative Ways To Connect In The Hybrid Workplace

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Zoom Happy Hours are out; digital games are in. Emeraude Escape's survey of 1,039 remote workers finds that workers feel more connected to their company and colleagues, and want more ways to escape virtual work with creative experiences and social games.

60% actually feel more connected to company mission since the pandemic -- not less.

60% actually feel more connected to company mission since the pandemic -- not less.

Over 70% of remote workers want teambuilding activities at least every month.

Workers are burnt out on Zoom “happy” hours. And the hybrid workplace is here to stay. So how can employers maintain company culture in a workplace that blends remote work with in-person?

Emeraude Escape surveyed 1,039 newly-remote workers to determine how the hybrid workplace affects their connections with colleagues and the company’s mission and values. This result cuts against the common wisdom that employees are less engaged during remote work.

Surprisingly, remote work has deepened, rather than strained, relationships. 55% feel closer to their team since starting remote work, and 60% feel more connected to their company’s mission and culture.

The reason for this result?

Savvy employers invest in virtual team-building and social activities that strengthen interpersonal bonds. Nearly 62% said their companies had hosted virtual team-building events at least once a month, while 30% had events once a week.

Most surprising of all? Most employees want virtual team-building events even more often.

72% want these events at least once a month, and 91% of workers want virtual team-building activities at a minimum quarterly. There’s a lot of interest on the part of employees to connect with colleagues.

No more Zoom happy hours, please!

Zoom Fatigue is setting in -- especially with Zoom Happy Hours: Only 25% preferred this type of team-building activity. There’s simply a gap between which activities get employees excited and what employers are offering.

To combat employee fatigue, apathy and boredom, employers must get creative.
It’s all about digital team games and the escapification of remote work. 70% are excited to play competitive virtual games. Two of the top “most wanted” virtual activities involved some sort of game and 95% of employees would be excited to play a virtual escape room.

“When it comes to retaining your best employees, engagement matters. It’s imperative to keep staff satisfied and connected -- especially in the hybrid workplace,” says Emeraude Escape CEO Virgile Loisance.

“We saw this first-hand with our own staff. After pivoting from in-person to remote escape rooms during the pandemic, we witnessed a spectacular boom of our client requests for digital escape rooms. Without a connected and engaged staff, we could never have fulfilled the demand”

Since pivoting to digital games for corporations, Emeraude Escape has served hundreds of thousands of employees from companies like Microsoft, Colgate, AstraZeneca, Hermes, LVMH and L’Oreal. Emeraude will launch an expanded line of tailor-made corporate gamified solutions later this year.

*Survey completed between March 3 and March 13 of 1,039 Americans that moved from office to remote work in March 2020. Margin of error is +/- 3%.


Emeraude (pronounced Em-er-road) Escape is leading the evolution of gamification in the workplace: employee engagement, managing and engaging communities, learning, health and wellness, marketing and customer retention. With 400% growth YoY, Emeraude has pivoted the entire business to digital games for corporations, including an expanded product line coming later this year.

To maintain culture and connection, companies such as L'Oreal, Sanofi, Nespresso, Colgate and Microsoft, have invested in custom digital multiplayer games. To date, over 600,000 employees have completed one of Emeraude’s games.


Nick Vivion
Ghost Works Communications

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