Culture

How We Stay Connected In a Remote World

by
Petra Marusic

Our need to bond at work has never been so strong as it is today. The past year made an enormous impact on everyone’s working environment, and here in Memgraph is no different. All of our employees have been working remotely for a year now but adjusting to the “new normal” demanded fast and meaningful solutions.

The first thing that we asked ourselves was how to re-create those informal daily interactions without meeting in person. Since coffee and lunch breaks are no longer happening, we’ve come up with a few simple solutions to spur connection in a remote world.

Virtual Coffee

One of the best things that we had done was introducing the Donut Slack bot. Basically, this beloved bot randomly pairs two people and invites them for a virtual coffee. What we love about this bot is that it lets people from different departments and teams stay in touch and makes it easier for the new folks to meet the wider team.

Virtual Lunches

Mark Twain once said: “The secret to success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside”.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we thought it would be a good idea to have one hour slot in the calendar during lunchtime, open to everyone to pop in and out as they like. We thought wrong. We forgot everybody was working from home at that time and people preferred spending lunchtime with their loved ones at home. So we tweaked our plan a bit, and now, once every quarter, the entire team gets together for a virtual lunch (company-provided).

In addition to company-wide lunches, we’ve set a budget for each team to encourage them to get together for a lunch or dinner, virtually or in-person, whatever suits them the most. After all, teams that break bread together stay together.

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Social Quarantine

Social Quarantine is our version of happy hour. It’s topic-specific but informal time dedicated to knowledge-sharing. Learning new things has always been a part of our company culture, and when mixed with fun, the result is Social Quarantine.

During the last SQ, Sara gave a presentation about how to give and receive feedback. Before that, David shared his mechanisms and systems that help him be productive in the current way of life (it sparked one of the probably most interesting discussions yet). When nobody’s feeling inspired, we like to bring our competitive side out and play Pub Quiz. Now that the situation with Covid is better (at least this summer in Croatia it was), the Memgraph team is slowly getting back to in-person lunches and after-work drinks. Not knowing when this uncertain situation will end makes all of us want to grab the opportunity to meet in person whenever we can and cherish those moments together.

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