Culture in Quarantine
5th May 2020
Our culture is at the heart of everything we do. From the little things like celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and work achievements to visiting the most popular London exhibitions and galleries. Our culture is also built through daily interactions, and chatting about our latest Netflix obsession whilst we read the papers.
So when the pandemic struck, and we began working remotely full-time, we were faced with a brand new challenge – how to keep our team engaged and entertained when you only have Zoom to work with?
Here are a few ways we’ve done it over the last 6 weeks…
SHARING NEW IDEAS
The internet is flooded with online programmes that we can get involved with – every week we share the best finds, so the team can experiment with something for the first time – from training, to yoga.
We’re a team that loves our food – but how to enjoy a delicious bite when we can’t have our Takeaway Thursdays or birthday doughnuts? We’ve tried a host of new recipes as a team to keep our sweet tooth at bay – from classic lockdown fodder – banana bread – to everyone’s new favourite Dalgona coffee!
“Dalgona Coffee Trend – Probably looks better than it tastes but once you’ve stirred in the whipped bit with the milk it’s really nice and a good summer morning drink.
”Banana Bread – Delicious and easy recipe I’ve used for over a year now from BBC Good Food. One thing to note though it takes over DOUBLE the cooking time it says on the recipe for it to fully bake. Prepare to be watching it cook in the oven for a looong time.”
It’s not a secret that we also enjoy a cheeky glass of wine or G&T, maybe two (or five). While our office stash/drink globe is temporarily unavailable, we try to get creative at home and learn new drink recipes that we will, later on, recreate back in the office when this is over.
This is, by far, our most universally liked cultural activity. Every month we pick one venue that we visit. We’ve seen it all, from ancient Egyptian artefacts to the most revered fashion photographers. In the current situation, this is something we can’t carry on doing, but thankfully there are multiple virtual museums. Theatre fans can indulge in online broadcasts of the most famous plays.
Our whole team also has a subscription to Blinkist – it’s an online service with short (up to 15 minutes) books that can be read or listened to. You can enjoy a range of topics from enhancing your creativity and productivity to helping your career or simply learning some history, great for a daily dose of inspiration.
Luckily we’re yet to experience any of these WFH fails…
We’ve tried to keep our regular meetings and activities going as much as possible…as well as adding a few new ones to the mix.
We’ve started a weekly Thursday Quiz, hosted by a different team member each week. They’re a lot of fun, including some awkward moments (a recent social media round unearthed some gems from the team) and some low scores (where did my school knowledge go?).
Along with that, Friday lunchtime is now designated to our Film Club where we chat about a different movie each week.
Last but not least – we’re continuing our weekly tradition of The Week That Was, where we share the highs and lows of the week – and a chance to bring your own Cosmopolitans!
In the wake of multiple Zoom video calls, and less personal interactions it could be easy to feel a little isolated. That’s why it’s so important to keep our team at the top of our priority list. Keeping working life as “normal” as possible but also putting in extra effort – from more face time to team socials, to weekly inspiration to make lockdown work for all of us.