As the weeks of home office drag on I think one of our biggest lessons is that we actually enjoy working with each other and seeing each other in the office. With home office, it's easy to lose the casual chit chat and lunch discussions about non-work related things that help us build a good work culture.
So we have put in an extra effort to make sure we keep our good work environment and to do something fun together to keep our spirits up during these difficult times. And I would say that in some ways it has actually strengthened our work culture because although we do not meet in person every day we are being more social outside of working hours! So below are some examples of how we are staying social during home office. And spoiler alert: it doesn't include virtual Friday drinks (although we support that as well).
What started out as a conversation by our virtual water cooler turned into an epic movie night with an
arguably Oscar-worthy movie. Watching "The Room" together has both scarred us and brought us closer, but more importantly, it was a fun way to do something together outside of working hours that let us forget about work for a little! So setting up a virtual movie night is a great way to do something fun with your team that you might not actually have done under normal circumstances!
We highly recommend watching "The Room" or something equally ridiculous to lighten the spirits!
Podcast listening parties
Whether it is just for fun or something work-related, arranging a podcast listening party is a great way to meet up for an hour to listen to an episode a couple of times a week. We have chosen to listen to the "My dad wrote a porn" podcast that is absolutely not work-related, but we listen and comment and laugh one episode at a time! Everyone can join in if they have time and we do a little recap for those who couldn't join the previous episode, so it is low commitment and easy to join in!
Water cooler hang outs
Our virtual water cooler is just a video chat we can all jump in and out of during the workday to chat and say hi. It's a good way to encourage people to take a 10 min break during the day to just talk and get a little fresh energy as we would normally do in the office over a coffee.
We just post in the general slack channel when we feel like having a little break and anyone who feels like chatting can join in. It keeps a sense of normalcy and gives a better opportunity to casually update your coworkers on your workday and projects so they can help share ideas if you're feeling stuck.
Slack channels dedicated to all non work things
Some might say that we have an overload of slack channels and it might be some truth to that. But having slack channels dedicated to talking about non work related things helps the casual conversations going without cluttering the work channels! Our channels include:
#TV-talk - for all things TV, movies and podcasts which is an excellent thing to have in these social isolation times.
#Random - For all random thoughts, shares and just all the things.
#Social - wow the last post in this was probably way too long ago, but it's still there to share if people want to join social gatherings (now obviously via video)!
#PMT - Power music Thursday aka our music sharing channel. This is a great place to ask for and get new music for the working day and to boost energy.
So this concludes the blog post on how we are keeping up a social and fun work environment while working from home. All of these initiatives are great because it doesn't only keep us entertained, but it helps motivate us and reminds us that we are on the same team working towards the same goals!
If you'd like to try using videos to connect your workplace, join for free!