If you ask me now what I miss so much in this pandemic period, I can honestly tell you that the office sound misses me. It’s fine to work home but sometimes I need some entertainment. I need to hear my colleagues saying: “It’s so noisy in the office! Shut up, please! I can’t focus on!” or “The shopping box is coming!”

But this fall I found some funny applications that treat all sort of remote work loneliness. So, let’s see:

  1. Sound of colleagues
    Someone thought of me and has launched this funny app, a virtual white noise machine that emulates the sounds of keyboards, a coffee machine, telephones, printer, an opened window, rain, and even an office dog. On Spotify, I have also found another funny sound: desk neighbor eating breakfast, annoying colleague, and a surprising reaction, Friday afternoon.
    You can choose the sound effect that most reminds you of your office life and you have the option to play with the sound, increasing and decreasing the volume of each sound or mute it (an option that you don’t have in the office :)). So, let’s set the volume on people or keyboards and start working!

  2. I miss the office
    How many times have you wished you could choose a place for you in the office or control how many people are in the office? Well, now all is possible, due to I miss the office app. So, close your eyes and imagine you’re in the office. Click all the things in the office to turn them on sound. You can hear noises such as the squeaking of an armchair or someone humming nearby. And now is the moment to take a big decision: how many coworkers you’ll have around.

  3. Water Cooler
    Maybe the most awaited moments at the office were cigarette breaks or discussions around the water cooler. Well, these offline moments can be relived in the online version, using gaming platforms, such as Water Cooler Trivia, a site that mimics meetings around the water cooler. Water Cooler Trivia makes the work week more fun by organizing weekly contests in which all the members of the team can participate. Trivia conversations bring virtual teams together.

    Why do we need an office life simulator?
    Over 50% of participants in online games, such as Water Cooler Trivia, get to know a colleague better, through weekly contests.
    You will find out your passion and your colleagues’ passions.
    The conversations are much more interesting than the ones about the weather and the weekend plans.
    You can test your acknowledgment and be champion in one or more categories: Culture, Science, and more.

    4. Hipster Sound or coffee/restaurant sound
    The lunch breaks with colleagues are now the most wanted moments. But, we have to adapt to the new reality and even we have lunch in the living room, we can add the buzz of a busy Texas cafe, the sound of Charmants cafes de Paris, the gentle chatter of a Danish restaurant, or the bustling vibe of a Rio de Janeiro restaurant. When you want to turn back to your office tasks, you can turn down the cozy fireplace sound, the music from the piano bar, or the waves outside of the ocean.

    5. Virtual Team building
    Maybe the most asked question in this period is: “When will be finished this pandemic period and when can we leave in a team building?” So, until then, we can go to virtual team building. Yes, I know. It cannot be similar to a physical one, but a virtual team building is now the safest option. You can find ideas for teambuilding on teambuilding.com
    Let’s take a look at my favorites and activities. I can honestly tell you that ones of them have surprised me:
    – Tiny Campfire – Yes, now it is possible to get together around a virtual campfire. Before the virtual campfire team building event, you have to organize a kit that includes a campfire-candle, wood matches and send it to your colleagues. Before sending this little care package, write them an e-mail, which is a great way to boost team happiness and engagement pre-event. The virtual campfire may include historic ghost stories, icebreaker questions, small team-building competitions.
    – Ski Chalet – Imagine that after the campfire you wake up in a ski chalet. For this moment, you need a festive hot cocoa kit.  A package includes all the ingredients necessary to make a delicious mug of hot chocolate that will be appreciated by your colleagues. Now you are prepared to enjoy the true cozy vibes of the season with stories about winter monsters, icebreakers, games and activities, and real hot cocoa making.
    – Virtual Hugs – your virtual hug could be a hand signal or a little card you hold up during calls. The power of virtual hugs isn’t in physical touch but in the symbolism of caring about your colleagues and finding a shared way to express it.
    – Never Ending Story. Decide on a movie. Each person writes at least 300 words of a story. You can develop the character, move the plot along, create an epic denouement. You can create a book with team stories and distribute it.

    So, with which one of these apps do you start to remember office life? My favorite and insightful app is the Water Cooler. Yours?

    Photo credit: Pexels.com – Daria Shevtsova

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