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How to stay social during COVID19: Top tips from a creative tech company

Written by Anouk de Jonge, Chief Innovation Officer at Mindwave.

At Mindwave we are a friendly and social bunch. As a creative tech company, we know our way around our laptop and mobile, so you may wonder how we are getting on during these challenging times of self-isolation and uncertainty.

I specifically wanted to find out how our teams are staying connected with others, whilst working from home. How can we still be social and fill that very human need of contact with our peers? I conducted a digital poll, and came across a whirlwind of resourcefulness. 


Stick to routines! Do what you normally do: make yourself a coffee and say hello to your colleagues. At Mindwave, in the morning when we get to the office, we open our Slack, GTM, Hangouts and other digital channels as usual. Though now, while we are all working at home, the chat around the coffee machine in the office kitchen has been virtually replaced. We still   value moaning about the bad London weather, the hoarders in supermarkets, or like sharing the latest news story which has us all concerned. So we grab our coffee and turn on our Slack, LinkedIn, Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, Hangouts, GTM or whatever else. We suggest you do the same. 

Turn your camera on! We all agree that a chat is far more effective and satisfying, when we can see each other’s faces. Many studies have shown how, in addition to using words, we communicate by subconsciously studying each other’s faces. It adds another layer to communicating and resonates with our human needs for contact. With so many digital video sharing options, the possibilities are endless. You could even consider keeping  your camera on as you are working together with a colleague or friend on a project. Or have lunch on Hangouts, why not? That said, there is a vote going around our offices to change ‘Casual Fridays’ to ’Turn  Camera Off Fridays”. The one day where you can stay in your hoody and work with your cat or dog happily on your lap… I will keep you posted on the outcome. 

Organise stuff – Our Chief Design Officer, Sarah Welton, has organised a proper Netflix film night this Tuesday. The Mindwave crew will be tuning in to the same film via a Chrome extension and watch our pick of the week simultaneously. We can add live comments, pause it for a refill break, whilst keeping the usual banter going. We decided on the  film choice through a quick Slack poll, and are currently sharing tips on best film snacks and drinks. Continue your socials from home – The founder of Mindwave, Kumar Jacob, has  mentioned that his Whisketeer Club is premiering “a first” by recreating the monthly tasting event from home. Our COO, Katy Edwards, is having a dinner party this weekend with her friends, all sitting behind a nicely decorated dinner table in front of Skype and with a glass of wine in hand. We are also planning on a company virtual lunch on Thursday, with an interesting show and tell from our Project Support, Iulia Pirv. I personally am thinking that there may be room for a Mindwave e-yoga session somewhere in the week. Though so far, the responses are lukewarm to that one. 

Get creative – We take inspiration from the Hallmark TV channel in the US, who decided that what the world needs right now is all the good feels from Christmas. At Mindwave, we can’t argue with that. They are hosting a 3-day Christmas movies marathon. So get your ugly Christmas jumpers out, get the hot Cocoa going, and get in! If that is not your thing, perhaps do a paint-your-room party with your co-quarantinees. Or create a cooking club with your friends every Saturday afternoon. At Mindwave making linguini from scratch has been particularly popular since our CEO organised an afternoon of delightful cooking at the Underground Cookery School in Shoreditch for our Christmas party event. Now we have spilled the beans on how we are getting on, we’d love to hear from you! How do you stay social? Please share your thoughts or tips with us.

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