How to stay social at work in a socially distanced world


Yeah I know they’ve started to ease the crazy lockdown a bit, and you can go and meet one of your parents at a time in a park, but I bet you’re still missing that office banter and just having some not-work related laughs with your team. And do you know what, it’s really important to put some distractions in place every now and then to preserve everyone’s sanity in these difficult times.

I’m guessing that you have all been at least invited to the family/friends quiz night, perhaps with a little grape based inspiration to loosen things up, exactly. That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about.

Using Microsoft Teams to socialise

Microsoft Teams is a great tool for this, especially now you can see more than 2 people on your screen (new feature that appeared this morning). Here at the virtual AMT mansion, where we all sit at home with our heads down over our keyboards, we have recognised that non work contact, in and out of work time has really helped and here are a few of the things we have been doing:

Daily lunchtime social drop in – Just ½ an hour every day and it’s totally not compulsory. If someone opens the session everyone gets a notification and that is usually enough to prompt a few others to jump in. It really can provide a welcome break from a busy office day.

Friday afterwork drinks – AMT have always had a slightly early finish on a Friday, with us downing tools at 3pm. It would be wonderful to dive into the pub for a quick end of week pint with the team, but obvs that isn’t an option. So instead of the pub, we’ve had virtual pub, with everyone grabbing a drink from the fridge and just having an hour of unwind and banter to start the weekend.


The best idea of all...

Taskmaster evening – In my head I think that everyone has seen the TV show Taskmaster, but that’s probably because I’m a big Greg Davis fan and assume everyone else is.

In the show Greg Davis and Alex Horne set daft tasks for a celebrity panel (It’s on Dave and well worth a watch). The show has spawned various spin offs including Alex Horne setting daily Lockdown tasks and a book that is full of tasks that you can set for your own panel.

The AMT Taskmaster evening was a, possibly alcohol fuelled, Friday night affair with most of the AMT team and their families being set tasks by your truly. There are loads of Tasks you can use in the taskmaster book, but the highlight for me from our AMT bash was “You have 3 minutes to get a mug, turn it upside down and put something surprising under it. The winner is the person that uncovers the most surprising thing.” And the winner was Kate’s Blue Peter Badge….that was a surprise!

So what I’m saying is that although Teams is a really very good business tool, it can also play a key role in being a sanity saving social solution.