Like most tech companies, the Choozle team is working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are eight virtual team building activities we’ve come up with to stay connected to our co-workers during this time.
In the words of our CEO and co-founder, Andrew Fischer, our goal during this time is to “keep us individually safe and minimize exposure, but also to do our part to collectively bend the curve and slow the velocity of the spread.” And while we’re grateful to be able to run our business virtually and do our work from home, we also pride ourselves on team & office culture.
From the Choozle Crews to our open office plan that made it easy to chat with one another, the transition to working from home has presented a unique challenge for us: How do we stay connected with our co-workers and maintain our awesome culture?
With a little creativity–and a big help from video and instant messaging apps like Zoom and Slack to facilitate remote team communication–here are the eight virtual team building activities we’ve come up to help us stay engaged and connected.
- Virtual team hangouts. We take time every morning to check in with our teammates and discuss non-work-related things. I’m on the Finance and People Operations team, and we enjoy talking about the TV shows we’re binging (Love Is Blind, anyone?) and what our next team outing should be when we get back into the office.
- Virtual cross-departmental coffees. We encourage people to reach out to someone from another department and learn what they are working over a cup of coffee. It’s always interesting to hear about the projects and goals of other departments. It’s also fun to see how creative people can be with their at-home coffee and workspace.
- Encouraging pet owners and parents to show off their kids and pets during Zoom meetings. Now there’s something we don’t get to see every day when we’re in the office. We love getting a glimpse of the tiny humans and fur babies.
- Using Slack. We are definitely a Slack culture. We even have channels like #cuddlepuddle where we show off our kids & pets. Since embracing remote team communication, we’ve added new channels like #wfh-choozle where we share our tips for working from home and #fevertalk, a place for random thoughts, questions, jokes, observations, etc. Our favorite quote from #fevertalk so far is, “It’s a scientific fact that dark chocolate is 12.7 X better than regular chocolate.”
- Virtual lunch. Before we went remote, our office lunch table was always full. Through virtual lunches, we hope to bring the same energy to the screen as if we were at the Choozle lunch table. (On the bright side, at least we won’t have to endure the smell of our Account Manager Chaz’s apple cider vinegar shots.)
- Virtual training classes. While meet-ups & networking events might be postponed, online classes aren’t. General Assembly, LinkedIn, and Linda.com are great resources to sharpen your skill set. Drive is one of the biggest qualities we look for in a Choozler. We encourage everyone to pursue outside education and bring in a fresh perspective to their day to day, even if you’re learning from home.
- Virtual trivia. We are a competitive bunch. Our office is stocked with games from ping-pong to shuffleboard–there’s a game for everyone to enjoy. To continue our drive for competition and have fun, we’re hosting weekly company-wide happy hours, which include trivia.
- Daily playlists. Since we can’t listen to each other’s playlists on our office Sonos, we’re inspiring departments to come up with playlists to share. It’s a great way to hear each department’s music taste and personalities.
We hope those eight virtual team building activities will help you stay connected to your co-workers. It’s a time of uncertainty, but we are appreciative of being in an industry where working remotely is seamless.
To end, here’s a quote from Lexi, one of our newest Choozlers that made us feel warm and fuzzy inside: “Just a quick note from a newbie at Choozle, at first this whole thing scared me a ton (obviously)… but I am so grateful to be on the Choozle team during these times, and I wanted to thank everyone for making this new experience so comforting and motivating, and I am looking forward to coming out of this even better. If I can lighten the load for anyone with any project, do not hesitate to ask.”
We hope you stay safe and feel connected. We look forward to seeing everyone and the Denver Tech Community coming out of this stronger.