Business / Tech

COVID, technology & work socials: How to safely socialize with colleagues

So, how exactly can we continue to partake in fun social activities, while also team building and keep those colleague relationships strong?

Whether you relish in the thought of permanently working from home or are pining to be back in the office, there is one thing everyone is missing at the moment and that is the need to socialize in the workplace.

Social activity providers were one of the first sectors to adapt during the lockdown and ensure revenue was still flowing, while still providing the best service possible. Socially-distant work socials are swiftly becoming the norm and are being enjoyed from the comfort of colleagues’ own homes.

Many businesses are beginning to reopen and welcome staff back to the premises but it seems we are far from being back to ‘normal’ and even after the pandemic has blown over, it appears that an increasing number of people will continue to work from home.

So, how exactly can we continue to partake in fun social activities, while also team building and keep those colleague relationships strong?

With the use of video calling software, there are more ventures that can be done at home than you may have thought. Providers have been inventive with what they can provide via their own software and websites.

Below, we take a look at some of the most popular things to do with colleagues, while keeping safe and the bit, you don’t even have to leave your sofa!

Murder Mystery Nights

Murder mystery nights are always a laugh, it’s a time to put on those terrible acting skills that haven’t been utilized since GCSE drama and all pretend, we’re Miss Marple while trying to figure out who committed murder.

It’s really easy to do, find a provider online, choose your package or theme, make a payment, and download. Distribute the necessary information of each character to colleagues so they have some time to prep their part.

Log into a video call at the same time as colleagues and follow the scripts to try and discover ‘who done it’. Costumes and props aren’t necessary but always highly recommended.

Virtual Zoos

While live-streaming animal cams are nothing new, zoos, farms, and aquariums have been quick to utilize this technology and generate some revenue while they were unable to accommodate visitors.

While these are often free, many viewers opt to pay a donation to the business as a thank you for the free service.

Zoos all over the world are providing these free streaming services but are now also offering talks and educational segments alongside them.

Simply find a zoo with a timetable that suits your needs, or perhaps has a showing of a favored animal and have the whole team log in at the same time.

Most of these services provide a platform for Q&A at the end and provide further discussion within the team after the streaming has finished.

socialize technology
This sort of social interaction isn’t available to everyone at the moment. So think outside the box and find ways to socialize remotely.

Escape Rooms

Who doesn’t love an escape room? Trapped inside with your colleagues while overturning every item in the room to try and beat the clock and get out. Now that’s a great way to socialize!

However, it would be impossible to remain 2m apart from each other, even in the largest of settings. But with these rooms being so popular but just because of their enjoyment but also their team-building exercises, it’s no wonder that providers have made their services available online.

Always book far in advance as these slots fill up quickly. Gather the team together on a video call and log onto the virtual space. They will be a host to greet you, talk you through the rules and instructions, and to help provide hints if you get stuck.

Most of the providers have now created online puzzles in a virtual space to simulate a typical escape room. However, for a fully immersive experience, some providers are now offering fully VR experiences.

This includes rental of VR headsets that can be delivered to colleagues’ homes; however, this can be far more expensive than the first option and there is always the risk of them becoming damaged and costing the company their deposit.

Cooking Classes

There’s always one member of the office who lives off ready meals, premade sandwiches, and takeout. But ordering food to go is no way to socialize!

It’s time to get them into some good old-fashioned home cooking, along with everyone else. Cooking classes may seem far-fetched in the digital world, but teachers have adapted to online demand with ease.

Classes vary in skill level and cost, so it’s best to do a bit of research beforehand into what they provide and the level of each participant.

These classes will provide a full list of ingredients to be purchased, distribute this within the team as soon as possible, and provide instructions on how these are to be prepped and any equipment that is needed.

The teacher will provide step by step video instructions and will always be at hand to help with any questions or help rectify any step that has gone wrong.

Best of all, you finish your experience with something tasty at the end, leading to the ability to all sit down at a video call and share a meal together, something we may not be able to experience in reality for a long time.

Technology is proving it’s worth more than ever during the pandemic, not just to keep everyone connected but also to ensure activity providers are still able to generate revenue and maintain the business during an economic crisis.

These are just a select few of the virtual activities now available, others include beer pong, wine tasting, bingo, karaoke, and even dance parties!

Why not grab the colleagues and have a go at a safe and enjoyable virtual event? Everyone needs to socialize to some extent so get out and make it happen!

How do you socialize with co-workers now that you work from home?  Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

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