Due to ongoing world events, the Redgate offices have closed for a while and we have all become fully remote workers. Logistically, we were well prepared for this – we had all worked a couple of days from home in the weeks prior to make sure we didn’t have any problems. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to prepare for the social aspect of remote working, and the effects this can have on one’s well-being.
“Whilst working from home is portrayed in our industry as very cool and desirable, the reality is that for many of us, myself included, working at home can be an isolating and difficult experience.” – Mark Cheverton, CTO
Product development teams here are collaborative and sociable. We had no problem moving our meetings and ceremonies over to video conferencing software, however these events represent only a fraction of our usual communication. We quickly missed the more informal conversation that we have in the office. This type of communication is important for maintaining both a high performing team and each member’s well-being. We take this for granted when we are together in the office.
To compensate, our team have started playing party games, specifically those from Jackbox Games. These games are designed to be played on your TV (with each player using their mobile phone as their controller), but they work really well over video conferencing software. Here’s how we setup a game using Zoom:
1. Launch the game
2. Turn the volume down, it’s way too loud for everyone otherwise. We find that around 25% works well.
3. Share your screen. Make sure you also share your computer audio.
Jackbox Games have recognised the potential for their games to be played remotely and are currently giving away Drawful 2 for free. We really recommend this game; it is one of our favourites. This is definitely not an advert, we have simply found these games can help make work a more positive and fun experience, in a difficult time for everyone.