Virtual socialising by Linda Fred (OOSS Community Connector)

Posted on: 08/11/2020 in
I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at the thought of having to spend anymore time on Zoom in order to have fun. As there is nothing fun about Zoom especially when it's your 17th meeting of the week on a Friday afternoon at 5.00pm! But hear me out as this might change your mind...

I used to love working from home on ad-hoc basis as I felt more productive, but 8 months later and now that everybody else is also working from home...It has become a completly different story.

Despite covering more work, I find myself working much longer hours as I no longer have the commute home which used to enable me to switch off.

In the past, I would a limit myself to a maximum of 2 physical meetings a day, but now I can easily attend 6 Zoom/MS Teams meetings which can sometimes take up the entire day.

Although this might seem practical as I am getting more work covered, the downside of this that each meeting requires me to actively participate by engaging, leading and steering the conversations. In addtion to contributing, taking notes, and retaining information.

This can be very exhausting, and at times I even dread upcoming 'Zoomsday' - And yes before your ask it is a play on the name Doomsday, as Zoom can feel like a DC supervillan at times too. lol

Which is even more reason why I find scheduling some virtual down time with my colleagues extremely helpful. although there many forms of virtual socialising, here are 3 of my favourites;

1) 1-2-1 Virtual Socialising

My colleague Reena and I regularly schedule what I like to call ‘Lunchtime Mukbang*’. This occurs usually around payday, and gives us an excuse to sample and order some of our favourite foods...Okay mostly Nandos but you get my drift. lol

We take the opportunity to momentarily switch off from the Covid chaos, check up on each other on a personal level, which often leads us to some great discussions.

But most importantly this gives us an opportunity to step in if we feel that the other is burning out. - A 'Nurturing Buddy' tip we learnt from our Resilience Training with Khulisa.

2) Team Virtual Socialsing

Virtual Socialising can also benefit the entire organisation.

As we were not able to have an away-day this year, we decided to take it in turns and host our own virtual events instead.

I hosted the first one last week, although I was a bit nervous at first as I was not sure how it was going to be received, a few minutes in I was completely at ease as my colleagues were all very excited. -Probably because they no longer has to spend the afternoon sifting through chain emails they had unnecessarily had been CC’d’ve been there. lol

We really enjoyed ourselves, we spent the afternoon painting (see below), drinking hot chocolate, and bantering whilst listening to 80’s pop music. And were even joined by our colleague Becky who is currently on Maternity leave with baby Dorothy (Who BTW is by far the cutest and youngest @Youngh_f team member. lol)

This also served as a great opportunity to welcome our latest partnership director Nadia, as it enabled us to get to know each other in a more relaxed manner.

Which further reiterated people's need for virtual socialising in this current climate.

Team Virtual Socialising can be as creative as you want, as we’re even thinking to start a virtual book club next!

3-Antisocial Virtual Socialising

Let there be no mistakes, virtual socialising is not always fun and laughter.

There have also many been times where I have not turned my camera on at events, or even felt like speaking to anyone.

But on days like that I still choose to participate whilst muteing my camera & mic, as it allows me to soak in the atmosphere and white noise, whilst doing some work like I would usually do in an office space, and this is also okay!

My point being that there are no right or wrong way of doing it.
Doing what you feel best for you in that moment is paramount, as we are all the same roller-coaster of emotions at the moment, and nobody is going to judge you for it!

I would love to hear some of your experiences, ideas, tips, and tricks. Contact us at if you would like to write our next blog post.

*( Mukbang literally means eating show in Korean, the term became popular youtubers starting consuming large quantities of food while interacting with the audience.)

- Linda

Below are the painting we created, can you guess which one belongs to who?