If you’d been handed the script to 2020 late last year, you’d have dismissed it as a C-grade sci-fi. Or perhaps the ramblings of an over-imaginative 8-year-old. But here we are, in the midst of an apocalyptic supervirus-driven lockdown – and there’s no refund on the ticket.
The world as we know it has changed in the last couple of weeks. And so too has our working environment.
On any given day, Luminary generally has about 10 percent of the team working remotely. So it’s not like we haven’t got this remote thing handled. But literally having everyone working in different locations presents an interesting challenge for trying to keep the social buzz alive.
So far we think we’ve done a pretty good job - in large part thanks to Slack, our instant messaging platform.
Feeling the IM love
No watercooler? No problem. There’s an app – I mean Slack channel – for that…
#Co-pilots – because everybody knows pet pics are good for morale
One of the first new Slack channels to be born out of the COVID crisis was #co-pilots – a place to share pics of ‘pets, kids or inanimate objects helping us get stuff done’. Or not helping us get stuff done, as the case may be...
#Kids – because we can’t outsource them to school anymore
The #kids channel on Slack is not a new thing but it has suddenly found itself on a meteoric rise to glory. It started out with sensible ideas about how to keep the kids occupied while you’re working from home. The parents among us now visit that channel to hold virtual hands and rock.
#Fun - because laughter is the antidote to the apocalypse
Again, #fun is not a new Slack channel but one that has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance lately. And how could it not? There has never been a situation more conducive to memes than #ToiletPaperGate.
Taking Harmony Day online
Friday 20 March was meant to be our annual Harmony Day lunch. In the pre-COVID world, this meant everyone would bring in a 'cultural' dish to share. Instead of ditching it completely because most of our team were working from home, we decided to stage it as a virtual event. Some still rolled up their sleeves and got cooking, while others chose to order takeaway to support their local restaurants. Then we all shared our pics over Slack.
Delivering care packages and groceries
Our fabulous Office Manager, Mike, has spent a good chunk of the last week and a half driving across town to deliver care packages and groceries to team members in self-quarantine (maintaining an appropriate level of social distancing, of course).
Casual Friday in reverse
The vibe is generally fairly casual in the Luminary office anyway, but last week some of our team members decided to turn the concept of ‘Casual Friday’ on its head for laughs.
Unofficial Zoom background challenge
With last week’s Friday afternoon training session attracting a record number of online attendees, we also upped our game on Zoom virtual backgrounds – from volcanoes to Boyz 2 Men and comic strip backdrops. The stage has been set to take this challenge to the next level...
On top of all that, we’ve had groups running virtual lunch meetups over Google Hangouts, one team member running a 15-minute daily ‘desk stretch’ session, and a recent farewell to a departing team member that played out like an episode of ‘This is Your Life’.
And there’s plenty more in the pipeline. We’ve got a number of online ‘team events’ currently under discussion, including a Netflix party, Friday night drinks on Zoom, virtual gaming sessions, an online board game night, virtual poker tournament, group belly dancing lessons, yoga and meditation sessions.
It’s certainly not life as we’ve known it up till now, but we're trying not to let that get us down. To all our friends and clients, we hope you stay safe and well during this challenging time and we look forward to seeing you on the other side.
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