Keep Your Spirits Up – How To Make Social Distancing Easier for The Team

Michalina Piorun

Times are tough. People have to cope with the sense of threat caused by COVID-19. If they’re working remotely like the majority of BinarApps at the moment, they have to manage their tasks and be effective employees while caring for their families. All of this without their usual day-to-day structure. 

At BinarApps, we go through this as a team. It isn’t always easy, but every initiative that can bring a smile to someone’s face is worth the effort. We have already shared our tips on how to work remotely – check best practices for good communication in remote teams and how to run a tech company with coronavirus around. Below we’re sharing how we deal with the very human struggles we all go through, like prolonged solitude and lack of human interaction. 

The Mukbang

Lunch breaks used to be an opportunity to gather by the huge kitchen table. Eating is a social activity: we like to talk, joke around, and simply enjoy each other’s company over food. We created a channel on Slack dedicated to eating together through video calls – #binarmukbang, named after viral South Korean trend of people eating live on cam. It’s not only meant for lunch break: anyone can use the command ‘@channel’ and invite everyone for a coffee and a chat. 

The BinarFeed

Nothing gets the blood flowing like a good old-fashioned rivalry. BinarFeed is our internal app that has become a place for photo contests. So far we had two editions: the best photo of a home-cooked meal and the best home office outfit. The prize is worth fighting for: the winner gets a full meal delivered straight to the front door!

The Pig

‘The Pig’ is something that leaves newcomers scratching their heads. However, they quickly realize it’s an essential part of BinarApps culture. Being grateful works best when put into action, so we thank our coworkers for things they’ve done for us with anonymous cards dropped into a piggy bank (hence the name of the event). Once a month we meet to publicly read the cards and deliver them to the do-gooders with a little snack as a prize. Working remotely didn’t stop The Pig: now it’s a live stream with virtual thank you cards. 

The Friday Night Cam Extravaganza

Remember going out? Remember Fridays? Remember the drinks after work? Yeah, we miss that too. So much that we have decided to organize an online party where we could goof around like we used to do after working hours. The party went to weird places, as they usually do, and included questionable clothing choices, a live stream of League of Legends, and making memes. The rest should remain a mystery… 

Above all: be compassionate

It’s understandable that functioning in this new reality can be hard. Do not hesitate to reach out to your coworkers for a conversation – even a short coffee break over FaceTime could be enough to keep you in the right headspace. Do the same for your colleagues and offer them support when they’re feeling down. This is an unpredictable time for all of us. Sharing our feelings can fight a sense of loneliness and uncertainty. We can’t wait to meet everyone again face to face in the office’s kitchen!

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