🛋🥔 : Staying connected with loved ones outside your home.


When all of this COVID-19 intensified, many companies across different industries had to change what they do and/or how they do it faster than lightning. For us at Upgrowth, when we turned the “switch” to fully working remotely, it wasn’t a big change as we were already set up for it and empowered to work remotely as we needed. What you can’t really anticipate though, is that working remotely now and again is very different from the whole company working remotely day after day after day. There are some things we are experimenting with and learning along the way, and we thought we’d share them with you too.

This is the second part of our series, focused on staying connected with loved ones outside of our home, if you’re interested in what tools we’ve been working with check out the first post.

All of our situations are different — whether it’s living by ourselves, with a partner, with kids, or even family extensions — but we do all have something in common: maintaining our relationships outside of our homes. Feeling loved and connected is a massive part of our wellbeing and it goes without saying that it directly impacts our work. Here’s how the team at Upgrowth is staying connected with our loved ones while staying isolated.

🤳 Video Chats

This is obviously obvious, but we figured we’d say it anyway 😉. FaceTime, Duo, WhatsApp, even through Instagram, there’s a million ways to quickly connect with our friends and family. Some of us have found that organising times work best while others have been surprised how an impromptu incoming call is exactly what was needed. Many of us are also dealing with major time differences which can be challenging and have found that just doing mundane morning/evening routines while chatting has also been really nice.

🍸 Happy Hours/Parties

Remember how a month ago trying to wrangle everyone’s schedules for a simple happy hour was difficult? There are some blessings in disguise to this strange time, and open schedules is definitely one of them! Many of us have been using Houseparty and grabbing a drink to hang out with groups of friends at the same time. You can also make it interesting and have everyone get the same few beers or wines and enjoy a “flight/paddle” together!

🍽 Dinner Dates

You can go as simple or as far as you’d like with this, whatever you and your friends are into! Some of us have organised ordering from the same restaurant or making the same ‘type’ of food and getting the same bottles of wine to enjoy together. This also goes a long way in supporting your favourite local spots so that they are still there on the other side of this!

🎲 Game Nights

Much of our team are really into games from video games to tabletop games so it’s natural that our friends are too! Some of us have been playing video games with friends just like before, especially as some newer games are introducing cross-play. Jackbox Games is also a fun favourite that you can get really silly with and has some great packs. Tabletopia is great for simulating board games from as simple as Uno and Checkers to some more complex strategy games — it even automates quite a bit so there aren’t any errors! So whatever you enjoy, game nights are still easy to do despite being miles away from each other!

💪 Workouts

Let’s face it: motivating for the gym or a workout was tough before, but now when we don’t have anywhere to be? We’re out of excuses but motivating ourselves can be even harder now with extra sleep time and no one meeting up with you. But wait — you can still have or be an accountability partner! There are heaps of videos with online workouts (our team is digging Joe Wick!)or slow it down and do some yoga, just pop up one screen with the video workout and one screen with your friend(s) and do it together. Alternatively, build a workout plan together and keep each other going!

🚶‍♂️Walking/ 🏃‍♀️ Running/ 🚴‍♂️ Biking Together

Keeping ourselves healthy right now is so incredibly important, and most of us aren’t even getting our regular commutes either. Formal workouts aren’t for everybody, quite a bit of our team loves going for bike rides, runs, and walks. All of these are such a great and easy thing to just do a voice call with a friend while relieving stress/tension, and getting activity and fresh air in — that’s four bonuses in one!

🎨 Maker Hangouts

With working remotely we’re spending so much of our time in front of screens and straining ourselves even more with video calls. Sometimes, the last thing we want is another video call after a full day of them. Introducing ‘maker’ hangout! Whatever your vice is: building legos, colouring, knitting, drawing, etc. the idea is for you and your friends to do that while simply chatting with each other too. It gives your brain something else to focus on, keeps you off a screen, gives your hands something to do, and you get to hangout while also doing something you enjoy!

📚 Book Clubs

With so much more couch time on our hands, many of us are reading more. It’s a great time to start/join a book club for the first time or pick it back up! Pick a book, grab some friends and get reading! If books aren’t your thing, pick a movie and run it in the same way!

🍿 Go to the Movies

Many of us at Upgrowth are big movie/show buffs and really miss going out to the cinemas or getting together weekly with friends to watch the newest episode of our favourite shows. But being isolated isn’t stopping us! Pick a show/movie, pick a time, get together with your friends and press play! The hardest part will be “on 3 or after 3?” 😆. Netflix Party makes it really easy to watch together and you can even level up with getting moving snacks and popcorn!

What have you guys been trying out? We’d love to know in the comments below or you can tweet at us!

This is part of our “🛋 🥔 Couch Potato Series” where we address some of the challenges we’re facing professionally (and personally) during this strange and intense time, and what we’re experimenting with to take them head on. We may update certain posts as we experiment, iterate, & refine, and we’d love to hear any of your feedback!