For the past 2 months, we’ve spent our lunchtime every other Wednesday holding social sessions with our sister company Tusitala. These casual gatherings started as a way for all of us to relax, have fun and get to know each other. But playing games and interacting with our colleagues also taught us useful lessons that can be applied to our work.

#1: Creativity is key

We’ve played some drawing games during these sessions. They were fun yet challenging, since most of us are not artistically inclined. But it was also a chance to exercise our creativity. We found other ways to communicate our chosen word or scenario – whether it meant using more colours, speech bubbles or lots of circles and arrows.

My first instinct is to choose the easiest word to draw in the shortest time. However, the easiest word to draw does not mean it’s easier to guess. Hence, the importance of word choice coupled with the use of other techniques (e.g., using different colours and drawing tools, etc) for clarity is key to winning the game.

Skribbl has been fun and challenging in equal measure. Fun because I like the friendly competition and challenging because I’m not good at drawing, which makes it harder for others to guess what I’m putting across. But I have also come to appreciate how we are a team of creative thinkers – especially when we manage to guess each other’s peculiarly drawn words.

#2: Sometimes, simple is best

The bonding activities during these sessions were always kept simple. Most times, we kept to using a video platform and an online game. One session, to play a game of 2 Truths 1 Lie, all we used was paper, Powerpoint and the video platform’s poll function. As it turned out, these tools alone were enough. Free from overly complicated activities or agendas, we had the space to forge organic connections with our Tusi colleagues.

It was pretty interesting and fun to get to know one another through mini games like Skribbl and 2 Truths 1 Lie. It was also pretty interesting that through these games, we’re able to understand that we all have different perspectives and experiences that shaped who we are today.

It was nice how we were able to bond so easily over simple activities like a drawing game. I realised that it doesn’t take much to connect with people – all you need is initiative and an open mind.

When we played Garticphone, messing up meant more fun for everyone.

#3: Mistakes are good

Things didn’t always go as planned during the drawing games. Sometimes, we weren’t able to draw the prompt correctly, or misinterpreted it. But these were also some of the most entertaining moments in the sessions, because none of us were able to predict that the game would turn out this way.

It was my first time playing Garticphone, and I also found it super cute that the people at work made time to have some fun and bond. Some of the interpretations and drawings were so off-topic that I cried laughing – luckily, I was muted. I’m secretly quite noisy, hehe.
#4: Connection comes first

Many of us in Tuber are introverts – but surprisingly, we were all more vocal during the social sessions. Perhaps it was the fact that we were separated by a computer screen, or that the atmosphere was casual and welcoming. Either way, we realised that we enjoyed getting to know our Tusi colleagues, and felt comfortable socialising on a virtual platform.

Wei Ping­
It’s nice to see the fun side of my team members as well as making friends with other members outside of Tuber. Interestingly, it appears that we are more open to talking about ourselves on a virtual space than when we meet in person.

It was a nice bit of fun to get to know one another a little better through the games.

Playing and winning games is fun but for me, virtual socialising is best when we can see and learn a little bit more about one another. The chats on the side are always interesting too.

Even though we haven’t been doing the social sessions for very long, interacting with our colleagues in a casual setting allowed us to see each other – and the work we do – in a new way. Someday, we may return to the office and these sessions may end, but the lessons we’ve learnt from them will surely stick with us.

Illustration by: Xinyi