Looking for fun virtual events to stay connected? Here are our top team events from 2020 that helped Progress employees work remotely without feeling remote.
OK, 2020 hasn’t been the year we expected by any means. When Progress adopted a work-from-home policy to keep employees safe from COVID-19, we all had to get used to a new way of working. The “Hi, how ya doing?” in the hallway and the impromptu brainstorm in the kitchen turned into days of virtual meetings of trying not to interrupt each other.
As the newness of working from home wore off, Progress employees missed seeing each other around the office and the “Progress Proud” culture we all love. So Progressers got creative and planned a mix of fun and competitive events for their teams in hopes to lift spirits and remind each other that part of what makes Progress a great place to work are the people.
We hope our events can inspire you for a bigger, better and more-connected 2021. Here’s what we did:
Progress planned our first-ever company-wide talent show over the summer and it was a HUGE success. With a blend of livestream and pre-recorded videos, employees across the globe were able to share their talents in various areas, from musicianship, to artistry, to Lego art. Take a look at some of our employees’ work here.
Because the company-wide talent show was so successful, the Progress team in Hyderabad, India, decided to host their own talent show. Naga Jyothi Yellisetty, senior software engineer, said they took a different approach. Instead of showcasing existing talents, they wanted to highlight the new skills employees picked up during COVID.
Stefan Gyoshev, senior director of sales, developer tooling & test automation, wanted to plan a fun virtual event to connect his team worldwide. The idea was embraced by his entire team and with the help of Christine Deluca, senior executive assistant, developer tooling, a global online scavenger hunt was planned. With an event titled “Race Around the World,” the sales team competed in a worldwide competition where they chose a country and completed challenges related to that destination. The winners got a small gift to celebrate their teamwork and competitive drive.
Our Core Products Team has planned some creative events throughout the year, from costume contests, to team building games from Jackbox games, and collaborative word puzzles.
They also planned a virtual pub trivia night where employees were split up into teams to show off the random fun facts they knew. And instead of a typical pub trivia night that’s all about competition, there was also a charitable giving component to the event. Upon registering for trivia, Progressers were given the opportunity to donate to specific charities, worldwide. Progressers in the U.S. donated to the National Society of Black Engineers and employees in India donated to HOPE Foundation.
Virtual Trivia has become really popular at Progress, especially with our U.S.-based offices. Rachel Peters planned a trivia night for Progressers in Madison, Wisconsin, while Jocelyn Parfaite coordinated trivia for folks in Alpharetta, Georgia, and Dale Foster set up the Progressers in Morrisville, North Carolina, with a fun trivia event.
Nichol Goldstein, senior executive assistant, core products, has been behind the coordination of many of the Core Products’ team events. When it comes to thinking of fun activities to bring your teams together, she recommends, "Try varying the things that you're doing. Everyone has their own idea of ‘fun’, so don't be afraid to try new things to get your team engaged and participating. Whether it's a dress-up-day, virtual escape rooms, or drawing really ridiculous pictures with fat-fingers on your mobile device—the key is to offer enough that everyone can find something to enjoy. Variety is the spice of life!"
Virtual paint nights have become very popular at Progress. First starting with the corporate marketing team in May 2020, Director of Events Leah DePolo found a vendor that shipped painting supplies to all marketers interested, and when it came time to paint, all attendees logged onto Zoom and followed the guidance of a painting instructor. A handful of paint nights have been planned since then in various departments across Progress.
Marketing and Progress for Her (an employee resource group) hosted virtual picnics. Each marketing team member who signed up for the picnic received a picnic basket in advance with treats, games, and a blanket- all suited perfectly for a picnic. When they logged on for the virtual picnic, they were treated to a game of trivia. And the Progress for Her picnic entailed sharing favorite recipes with attendees beforehand and trying to make those meals in time for the picnic. All attendees received a Progress for Her branded picnic kits with wine glasses included.
These are just a select few of creative events Progressers have planned to stay connected with one another. In a year where it seems like time has no meaning, and you’ve been staring at faces on a computer screen day after day, it’s refreshing to put the work aside for an hour or two and spend some time with your colleagues where work isn’t involved. After all, 2020 has been a crazy year and we’re all getting through this together.
With all that said, you’re welcome to take these ideas and try them out with your own team 😊
Danielle Sutherby is a senior communications specialist at Progress, where she supports Progress’ employer brand efforts, raises awareness of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts, assists in PR activities, and strategizes employee engagement activities worldwide. Danielle is also the co-founder of the first employee resource group at Progress, Progress for Her, which aims to empower women at the company by providing leadership and networking opportunities. When she is not at work, you can find her writing, reading, or acting like a tourist in her own city.
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