Chances are, you’re reading this blog in your bed, with your sweatpants on, a laptop that needs charging, a hand sanitizer nearby, and snacking your way through your emergency rations. Chances are, you are working from home. Just like the entire team at SocioSquares.
And while the introverts (sort of) celebrate the idea of not having to mingle, the rest of the world carries on as best as it can. From home. While this does cause a range of communication issues (even in this digital age!) this idea of global scale remote working is something entirely new to most of us. And where there’s new, there’s something to be learned. Concepts to be experimented with. And new ground to be broken.
After all, when the going gets tough, the tough get cooler. Or at least some of the tough organizations do. Here’s a look at what some companies are doing to make this enforced work from home better than it might sometimes feel.
BRING YOUR CHILD TO… A WORK CALL
We’ve got some good news for those of you who find kids and pets adorbbbs. Some companies have completely normalised getting kids and pets while your video conference is on!
Goodway Group, for instance, hosted a half-hour “Family Fun Friday” for employees with kids. What an incredibly fun way to cut through the tension that some employees may be facing during such times.
Never ones to be left behind, the New York Times’ advertising team set the bar high by hosting a “pet parade” for everyone to show off their pets!
WORK(OUT) FROM HOME
We bet most of you are working from your bedrooms and binging on A TON of snacks and of course, a whole lot of Netflix! Here’s what some companies did instead.
Some organizations have started hosting virtual workout classes. And it’s all easier than it sounds! The manager sets an ‘exercise-from-home hour’ where everyone is encouraged to take a walk or get active.
To help employees get through their day with better mental and physical health, some companies have also started meditation sessions that last for 15 minutes.
These are the kind of parties even introverts wouldn’t mind attending! For after-hours bonding, PubMatic’s HR team hosts a virtual trivia night. Innovid’s employees, on the other hand, listen to a shared Spotify channel! Merkle and other companies host virtual coffee and happy hours. The employees at SmartyAds use ridiculous virtual backgrounds in the Zoom app to tone down the seriousness and lighten things up!
And while this does sound like fun and games, we truly believe it increases the bond between teams. These little things go a long way in making every employee feel like they belong. And every person feels like they’re not alone in these tough, dark times.
What have we at SocioSquares been doing? We’ve played Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, hosted a bunch of screenshot parties, and COMMUNICATED with each other constantly. (While also binging on far too many snacks!) Why? Because one of the values at our organization’s very heart is Team First. And without this absolutely stunning team, there would be no us. There would be no work. No business. No nothing at all.
So while we put on our party hats on work calls every day, here’s a bunch of things you can do with your workforce:
1. Jam on Houseparty. Along with their video calling facilities, they have interactive games as well.
2. Play online board games like Monopoly Deal, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, and multiplayer games like ping-pong, or Pictionary.
3. A live jam with all the musicians in the office. Heck, record it, and put it up on your handles!
4. Get a wine expert to talk about wine on a virtual happy hour, while people sip on some! (Or a beer expert, or whiskey, or… wait what were we talking about?)
5. Host a watch party on Facebook/Netflix with the team. Netflix has announced a Google Chrome extension that allows groups to view a movie or show at the same time while being able to chat about it.
6. For the folks in India, have a chai break where everyone brings their chai or coffee (If you’re a fan of the kaapi) and just unwind. No talking shop in this meeting.
7. Get each employee to share an image of their own workspace at home. You’d be surprised just how creative people can get in a pinch!
8. Run a Quarantine Karaoke session. (*Head Banging in virtual unison*)
9. Execute GIF wars on Slack or any IM agent of your choice.
10. Host an online fishbowl! Remember them school days when you could say anything to anyone? Bring ‘em back!
That’s that from us for the week. It has been a week of hard partying, you know. See you soon! Stay safe, stay indoors. And before you go, what’s your organization doing to make the grey times a little bearable?