Never in the history of pandemics, have people had more fun than now. Bold statement in gruesome times, but let me explain.
There has never been a pandemic in which the people could communicate and connect so easily. Thanks to the internet and the latest advancements in technology, you can play games with your friends and never leave your house, you can share a laugh with a stranger over some memes, and you can have companies that are full-remote. Their employees are even more productive, but the need for social interactions is taking a toll. And since 2020 has been a hell of a ride so far, people’s patience and mental health are running thin at this point.
What is keeping us going, besides the hope for a better tomorrow, is the ability to laugh at ourselves, and at this “special” time we’re living. Studies have shown that laughter is the best medicine, and it does improve one’s immunity. It can even combat depression, relieve pain, and reduce the stress response. In a crisis, humor can boost morale, plus it can also inform and educate. It provides a release for anxiety or a way to cope with things that might seem too heavy.
So, naturally, the internet’s response to the global events that had a negative impact on our society was brilliant. We have taken memes and turned them into a form of therapy. By finding them relatable, we realized we are not alone in this despair, and there will always be comfort in company. They inspired a sense of community despite social distancing and the lockdowns we experienced when the pandemic started. Basically, they are a source of fun and entertainment during this pandemic when they supported our mental health.
Here at 123 Form Builder, we’re working from home since March. So you can imagine how much we miss interacting face to face! Although we have a dedicated #Slack channel where we share our daily memes and jokes, that wasn’t enough to make us feel more connected and entertained. So what we did, was to come up with a bunch of activities and games meant to boost the entire company’s energy and morale.
We started in April with Coffe Time when we created a recurring Zoom meeting, and once a week for a month, we gathered to catch up. Remember those water cooler conversations where you’d see how everyone’s been doing? Well, it’s the same with Coffee Time, only you’re home, drinking your own coffee, which might suck, ask our CEO, Florin. (No coffee can beat the one from our office…)
On Wednesdays, we GIF battled each other via a Trello board. What is a GIF battle, you’re asking?! A GIF battle is the quest you need to win to be declared Ultimate GIF Champion and have a pizza delivered to your house. Each week the contestants had to describe their opponent or how they would act in different situations with a GIF. Some of the circumstances included: getting your supplies stolen in a zombie apocalypse, getting cake because it’s a colleagues birthday, or even finding out the lockdown lasts longer than Queen Elizabeth II, or Ion Iliescu for that matter. We also took part in a bunch of internal contests like #themessydesk and #masterchef challenges. We got to vote who is the best chef and who has the messiest desk, and they got a custom prize too, delivered at your door. Some of our favorite games we played on Fridays: Guess the Movie, Guess the Sitcom, Guess the Gibberish, and Pictionary, of course. On Guess the Movie, we used a bunch of emojis to recreate movie titles or actions from the movie, and our colleagues had to guess correctly. On Guess the Sitcom, we switched it up and used 12-second audio cuts from famous TV Shows intros. We almost lost it when we had to read groups of unrelated words and decipher them into actual phrases or words on Guess the Gibberish. Luckily, Pictionary saved it when we realized we were wasting our talent on words and letters, when instead, we had other gifts like painting the digital canvas.
Now, we embarked on a new journey to find the Activity Gods so they can usher in a new age of activities upon our #HappyFriday. Like Moses, we parted the sea of boredom, quietness, and overall general melancholy that presides, to find that true calling: Starfish Events. They provided us with what seems the best virtual team building solution for us: RemoteTeams – The GO Game. The game itself takes 45 minutes to an hour, and you can play it in any browser, on a smooth video conferencing interface. They have some of the games we played so far, but also a few new ones too: Buzz in Pub Trivia, Lipdub, and Fun Fact Match.
We had the first session on the 29th of October, and we had a blast. Meanwhile…since we are waiting for the next session, I have a question to ask. It looks like we’re going to be social distancing this winter as well, so did any of you found a solution for an online Christmas party?!