How We're Staying Connected at ScreenCloud
Want a peek at what we're doing to stay pumped up and connected at ScreenCloud? Don't skip this blog post! May it inspire and motivate you to do the same for your teams.
So we've been social distancing for a few weeks now and are slowly moving out of the depression phase and into the acceptance one. We all know that trying to get on with work from our sofas with hyperactive kids and roommates isn't remotely ideal (pun intended). But as the famous saying goes, when life gives you lemons, chop them up and add a citrus twist to your evening or after-work (more likely, lunchtime) Gin & Tonics.
Here's how we've been coping with this new way of working and staying connected at ScreenCloud as well as a few things we've learned along the way.
Create a Slack channel for connecting people
At ScreenCloud, we pretty much live and breathe Slack. This is truer than ever now that we’re all working from home. We recently created a #corona-connects-us channel to enable our team to stay connected, receive the right information, and simply have fun. People can post videos, ask questions, drop new ideas, share interesting articles and photos, and crack jokes. If we want to grab a virtual coffee with colleagues, this is the channel to visit.
Here are some activities that we’ve been coordinating via this Slack channel:
On Monday last week, one of our founders, Mark taught a tough but fun 45-minute workout class via Zoom. Each participant was told to bring two light or medium hand weights. No gym equipment? No sweat! Get creative. Our team members used water bottles, baked bean cans, and bagged shoes with shoe trees inside. One exception was Paul, our Digital Designer, who used…his kid. Hey, no judgment.
The fitness session was a huge success, helping the 30 attendees stay engaged, active, and sore (leg-wise). We now aim to make this a weekly thing.
It’s great to have Mark, our CEO organize Body Pump classes. The first class was lots of fun and I'm definitely looking forward to the next one! I exercise at home from time to time, but it feels a lot better when doing it with other people.
—Edward, Senior UX/UI Designer
Even the coronavirus outbreak can’t quarantine music. You’ve probably seen videos or photos of people performing music for their neighbors from balconies in locked-down cities all over the world. To harness the power of music, we recently set up ScreenCloud Radio, which is a daily Zoom meeting where ScreenClouders take turns being the DJ for an hour or two.
As a music lover, I've found ScreenCloud Radio a great source for connecting with people in other offices that I wouldn’t have connected with before. It's been great sharing musical tastes (good, bad, and ugly). It's been a welcome distraction and something that I've put into my daily routine.
—Tony, Video Content Producer
The setup is simple.
- Create a Google spreadsheet to allow people to claim their DJ time slots and music types (see the example below).
- Share a Zoom link for the day.
- Once you’re in the meeting and if you’re the DJ, click the following: Share > Advanced > Computer Audio Only > Share.
- Everyone else mutes their mics.
There you have it: an easy way to unleash your inner DJ, experience music with your colleagues, and fuel your day with positive tunes. Our co-founder Mark even said that ScreenCloud Radio made him “feel like he’s on holiday”. Not a bad state of feeling given the current state of the world!
ScreenCloud Radio is a fantastic initiative to help keep everyone engaged and feel part of the team. It brings us together to share in our diverse music tastes and prevents the staleness of the same old background music that you usually work to.
—Sam, Head of Professional Services
Open mic and pub quiz nights
Next on our list is organizing a ScreenCloud mini-concert and a pub quiz night. Why not try out these ideas for your team? Gather your most musical team members to perform songs or simply have a fun jam session. Assemble those trivia pundits, grab a few drinks and compete for prizes in a virtual pub quiz night. These are great opportunities for team-bonding. You might even learn a thing or two about a colleague who lives 6,000 miles away that you might not normally have a chance to know unless you both work in the same office.
Best Bits from Slack
As our team grows, so do our Slack channels. It’s impractical to expect everyone to join every single channel on Slack and be on top of all the information flowing within different departments and offices. Information overload is the enemy of efficiency.
So how do we effectively surface company milestones and fun anecdotes from teammates across continents and boost community engagement? We came up with Best Bits. It features interesting news and content that our team members recently shared on Slack, accompanied by witty captions and amusing GIFs.
We create a new Best Bits every two weeks using Google Slides. Then we nest that file within a Channel on ScreenCloud so our team members can display it on their screens from anywhere in the world. Try it out! It's an entertaining piece of content for everyone to enjoy during their coffee break or beer-o'clock.
Keep those “water cooler” moments with Engage app
We recently launched a new app called Engage that lets employees easily capture and submit photos directly from their smartphones to digital screen streams. Since we eat our own dog food at ScreenCloud, we’ve been using the Engage app to share slices of our daily lives, from chilling on a hammock to home brewing, from cycling on an empty road in Belfast to driving up to a mountain near LA for snow watching. And of course, how can we forget our fluffy four-pawed friends? They always seem to steal the limelight (see below).
Seeing everyones photos on Engage is a new daily highlight for me - it’s a bit like having an Instagram feed from just the people in your company. Learning more about the dogs, family lives, and habits (Markella taking breaks in a hammock) of the people you work with brings back a closeness that I’ve missed while being OOO.
—Beth, Head of Content
With recent events, Engage app proves to be an effective tool to help our teammates feel engaged and connected. You can now download the app for free on the Apple Store or Google Play Store. For more information on how it works, head over to our Engage app guide.
The world is in a fragile condition right now, but humans are adaptable and resilient. Even though the coronavirus pandemic is separating us physically, we believe it will bring us closer together as a community.
We hope you’ve found this post useful. If you have other tips and ideas on how to stay connected with your teams, send us a note via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!