Like many companies, stickee has traded office antics for lockdown life to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. While we may have swapped out desks for sofas, jeans for joggers, and face-to-face meetings with virtual screens, we haven’t yet lost our spirit. Staying positive and keeping the company morale high is important during this time, and what better way to achieve this than through a healthy (for the most part) dose of good, old-fashioned competition?
Every Friday lunchtime, we participate in a quiz hosted by our CMO, Karl. With a variety of topics that make us question our own intelligence, five teams compete to be crowned the winner, with bragging rights for the whole week. ‘The Flu Fighters’, ‘Quaranteam’, ‘Magpie and The Big Friendly James (and Ben)’, ‘Quaranmeme’ and ‘Mike is Self Isolating’ politely, gracefully and respectfully engage in a quiet and calm Q&A game… minus the politeness, gracefulness, respect, and quiet. It’s not really calm, either.
We don’t want to say we’re extremely competitive, but when it comes down to it, the teams take some pretty extreme measures to secure their victory. I mean, we’re techies, do you expect us not to scour Google for answers?
Allegations of ‘bending the rules’ have become stickee’s quiz scandal, with members of every team claiming those above and below have climbed the scoreboard through dishonest marks. Any honour disappears from the first in-your-face cheer, with any semblance of morality flying out the window alongside it. ‘Magpie and The Big Friendly James (and Ben)’ proudly hold onto their truthful streak, claiming to be “the only team to not cheat so I’d say we were the moral winners” despite ranking last. Hey, whatever keeps them playing.
It’s times like these where you see people’s true colours… and learn a lot more about the people you’re bumping chairs with in the office than you initially thought you knew. You think you know a person, and then a member of ‘Quaranmeme’ unexpectedly showcases their round-winning trivia of ‘Castles in the United Kingdom’, or ‘Quaranteam’ knows everything there is to know about Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and suddenly you have a newfound respect, and fear, for your colleague. And they said it wouldn’t come in useful once you leave school!
Our weekly quizzes have definitely shown us who the wolves in sheep’s clothing are. It’s always the quieter ones who come out the loudest. As a company packed with developers who have a tendency to get stuck in their work, Friday lunchtime quizzes have encouraged us to communicate more openly with each other and integrate between departments.
Many team members have found that the quiz has allowed them to talk to colleagues they may not normally during the daily 9 – 5. This brings us closer as an organisation, keeps us all in touch, and the banter from losing teams makes us feel like we are together again in the office. You can almost hear ‘The Flu Fighters’ chanting over the tears from ‘Magpie and The Big Friendly James (and Ben)’; can just about make out the accusations being thrown at ‘Mike is Self Isolating’.
Humans naturally crave contact and communication, especially during this difficult time, so using the quiz as a way of chatting outside of the pressures of work has been beneficial for both the happiness and productivity levels of stickee employees. Team-building activities like this (note: do not have to be as bloodthirsty) build confidence and encourage collaboration, which not only raises morale, but also increases our ability to function successfully as a creative and technology agency. When lockdown ends, and life starts adapting to its new normality, we will once again sit beside one another, play pool at lunchtime, grab Maccies midway through the workday, and laugh over the glare of our computers.
Our weekly quizzes have opened doors for more varied communication, honesty (or lack thereof, in some cases), growth and positivity. As well as a bucket load of kind-of-healthy-if-you-ignore-the-continuous-cheating-searches competitiveness that brings us closer as a team. Our recommendation for other companies out there navigating this new 9 – 5? Take a break, get your office together, and test everyone’s knowledge on 80s music or historical landmarks. Just have fun, stay connected, and try not to get too competitive with the scoreboards – unless you’re the winner. Then brag to the rest of the office.