30 Remote Culture Activities

Random Observation/Comment #674: The new normal doesn’t have to be lonely. We are physically distancing, not socially.

Why this List?

Our new work from home world can be hard to navigate. Luckily, ConsenSys has been a remote-first company since the beginning. I’ve already created a set of self-organizing work posts from the pre-covid days:

In order to foster better community and culture within our global team, we’re looking at a program for rotating “team culture leads”. This person would voluntarily provide a 15-30 minute activity for their team pod in order to keep things playful. Here are some ideas:

  1. Webinar watch party – Group watch of an important webinar that may have been played outside of our timezone. Watch it with an open shared doc for live commenting and answering of questions.
  2. Zoom Show-and-tell – Bring an item from your home and describe it to your team and its significance
    1. Antique item competition – Competition to show the oldest item
    2. Useful item competition – Competition to show what everyday non-electronic item is most used during this pandemic
    3. Travel souvenir competition – Share your favorite travel souvenir
  3. Scavenger hunt – Look for a list of items around the house
  4. Bring your favorite joke – Prep one of your favorite PC-work-friendly jokes and tell it to your team
  5. Practice a pitch and receive feedback – What top project are you working on? 5 minute pitch with useful feedback from your team on the delivery.
  6. Writing Circle – Our chief content officer used to be an English professor and just shares some of the best writing pieces that provokes thought. Thank you, Avery!
  7. Internal Culture Competitive analysis – Exercise to think about who we aim to be? Review aspects of these companies and try to implement some of these changes.
  8. External Branding Competitive analysis – Which products look and feel the most successful? Is it branding? Are the products easy to follow? Is there something we can experiment with?
  9. Book / Podcast club – Do we want to discuss topics around politics, economics, crypto, or discuss specific podcast episode internally.
  10. Special technical topics presentations – I have a personal list of 30 I’ll post later around special technical topics. This can be open ended to a topic anyone wants to present on that might be of Subject Matter Expertise.
  11. Experiment with team building exercises – There’s a few icebreakers and exercises you can find online
  12. Photo sharing channel – This could be Ethereum sightings or simply pictures of the nature, landscape, sky, flowers, etc
  13. Beginner ETH Project – Getting people started with a developer experience setup on their laptop and being able to run a quick demo
  14. Multi-week class project – 1-hr per week for 5 weeks on a non-work related group project – maybe it’s pure research or problem solving for a humanitarian topic (e.g. receiving stablecoin donations)
  15. Live Design session – Mural/interactive web board session on a specific use case that might be interesting to explore.
  16. Mentor / Mentee program – Informal program with guidance on activities.
  17. Celebrate team successes and important events – Low tech would be to have a slack channel for gratitude. A more formal method could be a retro. A less formal could be budget to get a piece of useful swag for everyone about the event.
  18. Make a budget pool for culture building and discuss how to best use the money together – SWAG? Learning Sessions? Useful home items?
  19. Celebrate birthdays – Digital care packages – Create an Ethereum-based pool and use the aggregation to buy something the person likes. Create a long-standing profile for that person that might be useful for the holiday swap.
  20. Your passionate causes – Highlight a non profit or initiative people can help support. Do a presentation on this or request people to donate to this cause for your birthday.
  21. Unsung heroes” highlight – An organization has a lot of hardworking people to make things tick.
  22. Gaming channel – Play multiplayer games within your team. This is probably tough to do if we all get too competitive.
  23. D&D Channel – If someone wants to DM, I’d totally play. It’s really the art of storytelling.
  24. Happy Friday Gratitude! – I spend most of my Friday mornings sending 7 thank you’s to specific people in the mesh about their contributions. I’ve started an airtable to keep track of who I’ve messaged and had virtual coffee chats with in order to follow up.
  25. Employee onboarding checklist – Create a new group to help new employees better understand the ConsenSys culture. It may benefit them to walk through the set of tools we use everyday like Confluence, Salesforce, Jira, etc.
  26. Game night – Virtual charades? Maybe some shared online pictionary session?
  27. Daily Polls – Ask for a status of how you’re doing and what would make your work or personal life better for the week. This can provide management feedback on weekly/monthly sentiment of employees. Would be great to be able to graph these to see who has had good and bad days/weeks.
  28. Question of the Day – Open question of the day for anyone to answer. We had done this during the first few months of lock down.
  29. Virtual Coffee Chats via donut (on slack) – Random assignment of members for quick 30 minute chats.
  30. Group List of 30 Writing – Come up with a topic and crowd source across the mesh a list-writing session for the day or week

~See Lemons Maintain a Digital Culture