How Zipwhip Employees are Staying Connected While Working From Home

At Zipwhip, we’re used to gathering. Whether that be in our kitchen for our beloved Gourmet Lunch Friday or after-work beers, or in smaller one-on-one rooms surrounded by photos taken by our coworkers. It’s not uncommon to see a game of ping-pong taking place, or someone whizzing by on a scooter on their way to their next meeting. So, it’s safe to say that these past nine months have been a change of pace. Now, we have to double (ok, triple) check that our microphones are muted during Zoom calls in case of a dog bark or a baby cry, company meetings and gatherings have turned virtual and we must remind ourselves to take that extra step to connect with each other. Screen time has gone up while quality time with our coworkers has gone down.

While we all had that sudden panic when we realized that it was already October, this was followed by a sense of motivation and companionship with the introduction of the Emotional Wellness Month Challenge. Inspired by October being Emotional Wellness Month, this challenge was comprised of 31 tasks (see them all below) designed to help us increase connection with one another, ourselves and our surroundings. To put down your phone and pick up a book. To be present while walking and notice the things you might ordinarily miss. To connect with coworkers you might not usually meet with.

When we first announced this challenge, we thought we’d get 50 or so participants given everything else going on in our lives. To our surprise, more than 115 people ended up participating in the challenge! Throughout October, our designated Slack channel was buzzing with photos of new recipes, homemade cards mailed to loved ones and messages of inspiration. In total, we sent over 1,000 messages throughout the month. In fact, the challenge was so successful that we’ve decided to make the Slack channel permanent and continue to share what inspires and motivates us.

For the people at Zipwhip, Emotional Wellness Month was a chance for us to take stock of the things that are most important to us and to share them with each other. It also gave us a chance to learn a little more about our coworkers and what connects us. We can’t wait for the day that we can gather again, but until then we are so grateful to have a team that shares, inspires and values one another.

Want to join Seattle’s most emotionally stable team? Check out our careers page.

Challenge List:

  1. Go for a 30 min walk 3 times a week
  2. Read a book for at least 1 uninterrupted hour
  3. Meditate for 10 mins
  4. Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
  5. Listen to your favorite band/artist from high school
  6. Draw/Color for 10 mins
  7. Shop a local farmers market
  8. Start your day by making a gratitude list – 5 things you’re grateful for
  9. Invite a coworker from a different team to a virtual coffee date
  10. Delete social media apps from your phone for 1 week + track your screen time
  11. Wake up early and watch the sunrise
  12. Watch your favorite movie or show
  13. Check 3 items off your to-do list that you’ve been putting off
  14. Do 30 mins of yoga
  15. Pick up litter around your neighborhood
  16. Don’t use your phone while in bed for one week
  17. Challenge your coworker to a virtual game
  18. Make your bed every day for one week
  19. Try a new recipe
  20. Stretch for 10 minutes 3 days in a row
  21. Play a board game or do a crossword or jigsaw puzzle
  22. Do not eat at your computer for 3 days
  23. Drink 60-80 ounces of water each day for one week
  24. Get yourself a houseplant
  25. Send a postcard or physical card in the mail to someone
  26. Take a walk through your neighborhood and take photos of things in the same color
  27. Go meat-free for 2 days (if you already don’t eat meat you’ve crossed one thing off the list)
  28. Write a nice note to a stranger and leave it under their windshield wiper
  29. Nominate a coworker for DIRECT or Z Star
  30. Don’t use single-use paper towels for a week
  31. Cut out alcohol or added-sugar drinks for a week

Weekly Winners 🎉 :

Week 1: Carter Harris

Week 2: Michael Levine

Week 3: Camille Keefe

Week 4: Erin A. Wilson

Grand Prize Winner: Matt Gomes

Emotional Wellness Challenge Photos

Photo by Matt Bruhn

Limerick by Rae Clemans

Photo by Nimrod Vered

Photo by Blane Bremer

Photo by Camille Keefe

Photo by Brad Biltz

Photo by Natalie Schwab

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