The COVID-19 outbreak has reshaped so many aspects of our work and lives, including the time-honored tradition of the after-work happy hour.
Having that face-to-face interaction, even though it’s virtual, is more important than ever now. It’s a replacement for all the conferences and in-person meetups that’ve been canceled.
Employees working remotely and employers have gotten creative in adapting to the restrictions on gathering in public spaces by moving happy hour meetups to a virtual format, using video-communication technology like Google Hangouts.
The lack of face-to-face human connection is one of the hardest parts of social distancing. Our daily interactions and routines with family, peers and strangers have been disrupted. These small interactions are what make us feel connected and motivated, fill up our days and keep our sanity.
One of the hardest parts of working away from our office is missing our coworkers. But don’t worry – they’re getting ample attention online. The company recently held its first virtual happy hour, with people joining in on a video call with their favorite drink after work.
All of our meetings are now video calls — as in, it’s company policy to show up on screen and there’s no agenda and it’s technically open. Sounds scary, but it’s one of the most important steps we’ve taken to stay connected so far.
For those of us that are camera-shy, video conferencing was a little daunting at first. It quickly became clear how valuable face-to-face communication is. This much-needed interaction throughout the day has brought us closer together and given a personal look into everyone’s life at home and the opportunity to connect about things in our personal and professional lives that have meant a lot to us, both mentally and spiritually.
Tending to the mental and emotional health of our company and team is our priority. In times of uncertainty, we as humans crave connection, it’s fundamental and it’s what let’s us know that we’re not alone. The first happy hour was so popular that we’re holding it again later this month and several of our team members are eagerly figuring out how to make a virtual karaoke party happen.