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Home, but not alone: How the Zeroseven team has stayed connected through COVID

Virtual fun with Zeroseven

By Kahli 3 minute read

Communication, comedy and cupcakes have been the keys for building virtual connections at Zeroseven.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, but it hasn’t changed the importance of forming social bonds and building trust with our co-workers. Of course, it’s a little easier to feel the love when you can join in the office banter in person or go for a face-to-face drink on a Friday afternoon, but at Zeroseven, we’ve weaved fun and friendship into the daily fabric of our remote work.

For starters, we begin each day with a standup Zoom meeting for all of our team members. It’s a great way to check in and see how everyone’s going, and share any exciting news or company announcements from the past day. We also catch up for virtual beers – well, the beers are real, but the catch-up is virtual – every Friday afternoon. We like to do something fun together to finish off the week on a high, whether it’s a game of Zoom trivia or Pictionary. The banter’s always great and everyone is comfortable in their home environment, so it’s a good way to blow off steam.

We’ve also tapped into our artistic sides (for better or worse). To give us a boost heading into the Easter long weekend, I signed us up for an online workshop with Bonnie Hislop – she’s a Brisbane artist who creates functional ceramic art pieces that are meticulously handcrafted and painted with bright colours and intricate line detail.

Image credit: Bonnie Hislop

The team had a Zoom meeting with Bonnie so she could show us how to create our own customised ceramic cat planters and Iced Vovo dishes; and then we all had a few wines and beers while we painted our masterpieces. It was hilarious – some of the planters and dishes were rather unique and some of them looked surprisingly professional, but the main thing was that everyone brought their own personality and artistic flair to their pieces. Some people even gifted their pieces to their mums for Mother’s Day! (Sorry, Mum.)

Our isolation-themed virtual bingo game was another hit. I made bingo cards with things most of us have been guilty of at one point or another since we started working from home – ‘Baked banana bread’, ‘Attempted a new hobby and failed’, ‘Mistook hangover symptoms for COVID-19 symptoms’, ‘Ate pasta four nights in a row’, ‘Binge-watched Tiger King’, you get the idea. The winner received a case of beer, although ‘winning’ might be a relative term here.

Image credit: Cakes and Shit

We also organised Easter hampers for all the team to be delivered by Cakes & S**t, a local bakery with a sassy edge. The boxes included macarons, brownie bunnies, cinnamon cupcakes, cookies, meringues, chocolate eggs and edible stickers of Nicki Minaj and Kanye West, because, you know, why not? We may not have been able to get away for the Easter long weekend, but we made sure it was still a festive one for the Zeroseven crew.

It’s so important to get stuck into playful and positive activities with your team at a time like this, because the biggest downside of remote work – if you don’t do it right – is loneliness and disengagement. Everybody has been affected by the current state of the world in their own way, and you never know who might be struggling on any given day.

It’s the little things that might cheer someone up and make their day, and we all need to find those moments where we can. I think we’re all becoming a little more empathetic and understanding, and that’s what makes a team work – COVID or no COVID.

Just wait until the team sees what I’ve got planned for them next...