Here we are, entering the 5th week of ‘lockdown’. After the UK government’s announcement extending social distancing measures for at least three more weeks, it seems appropriate to share another update on how we’re maintaining our company culture while everyone works from home.
In my previous post, I explained that employees at CTS are well equipped to deal with these conditions and that many of us are used to working from home regularly. Although this is the case, most of us are still used to interacting with colleagues face to face. It’s very strange being prevented from spending time with people outside our households.
I’d taken for granted having the ability to have a quick chat in the kitchen while making a brew, or have a game of pool with someone to help clear my head. At this point, I’d even welcome a slightly awkward lift conversation with someone I don’t know very well!
This post will focus on what we’re doing to try to maintain a sense of normality in our days, and to encourage interaction between our colleagues using the tech we have available to us.
Keeping it social
I’ve never known a time where the quizzes have been such a major part of my life. I’ve had at least three a week since the social distancing measures began, but my favourite so far has been the CTS quiz that took place the week before Easter.
The teams were picked at random, and each had their own individual Google Meet or Chat for conferring. My team didn’t win, but it was great to spend an hour or two thinking about things other than the situation we find ourselves in.
Let’s have a chat
In addition to these social calls, we also have different chat-room activities on Google Chat. Every morning we have ‘Through the Keyhole’, where our resident game show host, Chloe Skerritt, posts pictures submitted by colleagues that represent their personality or their home. The idea is that people will see these visual clues and guess who it is. It’s a nice way to start off the day, even though I’m useless at guessing.
We also have a chat room for emoji riddles, film/series recommendations and other activities that we can choose to be involved in if we need a break or some interaction with the ‘outside world’! We even hosted a ‘Rate My Desk’ competition, where people across the company shared their home working set up and we all voted for our favourite one.
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Congratulations to the winner of our ‘Rate My Desk’ competition - Joris Vlietman! We have some great home working setups at @cts_life - swipe across to take a look! #stayhome #googlecloud 🥇- Joris Vlietman 🥈- Dan Brodie 🥉- Erik Schinkel 4th - Chris Barrow 5th - Stuart Cummings
Finally, the People team have 30 minutes booked out in our calendars every afternoon so that we can join a Google Hangout for a chat or play Pictionary over the House Party app. I know other teams have similar things in place, and more ideas are being suggested every day.
The creativity and the effort that has gone into supporting these activities has been really inspiring. I personally find that these things really help to maintain motivation and a positive outlook, which is really important in these challenging times.