Redwerkers' after work fun: quarantine edition | Работа в Redwerk

Redwerkers’ after work fun: quarantine edition

June 5, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and the massive lockdown will once become just a part of world history, but at the moment, we need to learn how to balance work and leisure in a new way. People all over the world have switched to remote work, which poses a number of challenges. Forced staying at home can lead to depression and reduced motivation as a result. However, everything depends on the perspective you choose, and Redwerk says “no” to boredom and negativity. Stay tuned to find out how we arrange entertainment activities in isolation and what we do to unite as a team.

Quarantine restrictions impact your mental health

Suddenly, we lost many of the things we are used to. Meetings with friends, shopping in malls, celebrating in restaurants, partying in clubs have all become temporarily inaccessible.

Any change in our lives means stress, and stress manifests itself both on the physical and mental levels.

During these trying times, many of us can relate to the following feelings:

  • anxiety (what will happen to our world tomorrow?)
  • discontent (I do not want to stay at home!)
  • grief (my beach vacation is canceled)
  • and even fear (I am afraid that the virus will affect my family and me)

These mental issues, although completely understandable, affect our physiological state in a detrimental way. People burdened with stress may experience overall health deterioration and continuous fatigue. Those with chronic diseases are especially vulnerable as some of their mild symptoms may reach the acute stage. Staying in such a strained condition for too long can lead to depression; therefore, your task is to mobilize and preserve a sound mind.

The easiest way to do this is to prove to yourself that life has not changed too much. The world is learning how to adapt to change - and you can accomplish the same. All you need is to surround yourself with your usual activities again.

Regain your joy with video games

At Redwerk, we are true computer geeks; that’s why, for the majority, the most obvious entertainment after work at home is playing video games. Be it PlayStation, Xbox, or STEAM, there are always a bunch of options. We prefer scenarios as we enjoy playing with colleagues over the network. To show appreciation and nurture a positive spirit, tech companies, perhaps, should consider covering the PlayStation Plus subscription for its employees. Apart from the opportunity to play with your teammates, this type of membership allows free access to exclusive games on a monthly basis. For instance, free games for May are as follows:

PlayStation also offers for free:

Nintendo offers for free:

Important! Do not lose your sense of time when you play online games. Gaming addiction is not fiction. Keep in mind that one day you will need to return to real life.

“I’ve been playing video games for years, and now that I work remotely and save my time on a daily commute, I indulge in gaming even more. I feel like I still get to socialize with my teammates through multiplayer games, and that is how we come up with inside jokes that lighten up the routine. But guys, I know my limits.”

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Nicolai, QA Engineer at Redwerk, explains the reason behind his choice of home entertainment.

Fight your fear with virus-themed games

If you feel that you are afraid of COVID-19, but at the same time, you understand that you need to recognize its existence, then try to play a virus-themed game. Carly A. Kocurek, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology, also shares the same opinion,

“For some people, horror films are a way to deal with anxiety, and games can be, too.”

Games with a central theme of a virus outbreak or a zombie apocalypse have not been developed overnight: apart from the coronavirus, humanity witnessed many other spikes of deadly diseases in the past. For instance, Plague Inc. was developed back in 2012 when nobody expected such a turn of events.

Important note! The player’s task in Plague Inc is to infect as many people on the planet as possible. If you want to act as a rescuer, not a destroyer, then choose other similar games like Operation: Eradicate (it is also perfectly suitable to play with friends), or Global Outbreak. Approaching a serious matter with a playful attitude is a sure way to let disturbing thoughts go.

Arrange a movie-watching marathon

Not a fan of console or computer games? We’ve got you covered. How about finding the coziest spot on your couch and watching those movies that you added to your must-view list a year ago? We bet, after going through at least some of IMDb Top 250 movies, you will significantly enrich your cinematic knowledge, learn more about different cultures, and perhaps start using some of the fancy phrases you managed to catch from your favorite scenes.

What’s more, it’s a great chance to share this engaging pastime with your friends and enjoy a sense of belonging and mutual support.

Online movie sharing options

The online movie sharing approach was developed long before the pandemic - and now it’s the ideal time to use it. Watch, discuss, share your impressions - nothing has changed except that now you need to maintain a distance.

Here is the list of applications for watching films with your friends remotely yet in sync. Pay special attention to these services:

Netflix Party. Redwerk strongly recommends subscribing and watching films exclusively on Netflix. All you need to do is to install the Netflix Party extension in Chrome and create a group watch channel.

One million users have already done it - so what are you waiting for?

“I must admit, watching movies is my go-to recreation now. When I feel down because of the quarantine, I know where to look for pleasure and inspiration. I prefer Netflix because it’s affordable and easy to use. Most of my friends also use Netflix, so I will definitely give Netflix Party a try.”

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Roman, Front-End Developer at Redwerk, comments on his movie-watching experience.

Vmeste.tv. Unfortunately, not all people who have become quarantine hostages have friends to invite them to a Netflix party. However, many Vmeste.tv users will be glad if you join their viewing - even if you do not know each other.

The Vmeste.tv platform allows you to watch movies together - just select the movie that is planned for viewing by other film-lovers and join.

Throw a cocktail party online

Being overloaded with disappointing news reports, people find it challenging to observe the development of events with a sober eye. Sometimes a short-term departure to another reality with the help of our favorite cocktail is what most of us need.

But please, be careful! Stay responsible for your health - one shake on Friday may still be okay, but nothing more.

So, while the ban on group parties is in effect, many bars can still offer catering thorough take-away and doorstep-delivery plans. Invite your friends, agree on the menu items and delivery options, grab your goodies, and connect via a conference tool of your choice. Remember to make screenshots or record the entire party to capture hilarious moments.

If you already have a collection of fine alcohol at your disposal, take a masterclass from a professional: bartenders all over the world share their tips and tricks through virtual bartending. HalfSmoke, Boozy Events, Ice and Alchemy, and LayLow are some of the options to consider. Still haven’t found a recipe for that tasty cocktail you tried on your last vacation? Well, maybe you will come across it through #cocktailmaking and #virtualmixology tags on Instagram.

So you’ve made a cocktail, but all of your friends are busy? Does it feel awkward to celebrate your mixology skills completely alone? If yes, STFH bar has got you covered. Launched specifically in support of the #staythefuckhome movement, this online bar provides a unique opportunity for everyone to visit a virtual bar, meet people, and make new friends. So far, there are two main virtual rooms that can host up to 12 people - STFH bar and English, Do You Speak It. As you may have guessed, the second one targets the English-speaking audience only. There are also smaller rooms with specific themes, catering to art lovers, music fans, lecture goers, brewery experts, and many others. With each passing day, new virtual bars are added to the platform. The entrance is completely free, and the interaction happens through the Whereby conference tool, which requires access to a camera and microphone. These can be turned off later at the user’s discretion. If solitary drinking brings no joy, give STFH bar a try!

Here, in Ukraine, bar owners and bartenders do not lose the spirit and replicate the most popular quarantine business initiatives to retain customers and stay afloat. Remember our guide (part one and part two) on top Kyiv bars every techie should visit? Guess what - some of those bars deliver cocktails or necessary ingredients right to your home. For instance, Loggerhead offers five cocktails delivered in cute bottles with a three-step instruction to mix the ingredients. On their Instagram page, you will also find occasional cocktail making tutorials with amusing video guides. ParovozSpeakEasy went even further: there are no restrictions on the choice of a beverage, and there is 20% discount for drinks from a special menu. HVLV decided to impress their regulars as well: apart from launching a website, they created a YouTube channel to entertain the public with their usual music and mini-comedy shows.

If you are interested in how to make Daiquiri, The Fitzgerald, Baker’s Dozen, Amaro-tonic, and Martinez, check out these tips and tricks from top Ukrainian bartenders. Nazar Makarov, a Ukrainian chief bartender and bar manager, will also teach you how to make Bombay Martinez like a pro here.

As for Redwerk, we have a different kind of party: every day we arrange group video calls on Skype and Zoom to catch up on the latest news and recreate the office experience we miss most of all - casual talks with colleagues during coffee breaks. We learn from each other and share the latest hacks that make our lives easier.

“I have a friend whose birthday is literally in a couple of days. Although I have already sent her my present, I feel like I can do more and add an element of surprise for her. I know she wouldn’t mind that pizza and beer delivered to her doorstep. What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

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Ekaterina, QA Engineer at Redwerk, shares her party-making ideas.

Rock out together with the world’s famous DJs

The outbreak sweeping the globe has shuttered once lively nightlife hubs, such as New York and Berlin. When COVID-19 first emerged, DJs, in collaboration with nightclub owners, took measures to prevent the further spread of the virus and started live-streaming their performances, either for free or small fees to support the industry.

For now, this initiative is implemented by the most popular New York and Berlin clubs. Check out New York’s nightclubs and streaming platforms:

In response to the mandatory shutdown of public places, Berlin’s nightlife enthusiasts united to create a one-of-a-kind streaming platform. United We Stream broadcasts live DJ sets from most popular Berlin clubs. Though most DJs hosted by the platform are Germany-based, you can also come across artists performing from other parts of the world, such as:

“I’ve been to Berlin, but I didn’t have a chance to visit any of its nightclubs. Now I am a step closer to Berlin’s nightlife culture, though I can’t wait to recreate the experience in real life. Definitely gonna make a donation to support such an amazing project.”

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Nataliia, Project Coordinator at Redwerk, shares her impressions in this regard.

It is also expected that other popular nightclubs will join the live-stream initiative very soon. You no longer need to spend money on air travel to visit a club in Ibiza, and you already know where to get cocktails. So feel free to enjoy your party!

Catch beneficial shopping opportunities

Quarantine is the perfect time for online shopping. Discounts and sales offers are really everywhere! Scroll your Instagram feed - and you will notice plenty of ads from retailers with extremely attractive deals.

Of course, those products that are in demand, such as sanitizing essentials, casual wear, sports equipment, laptop desks or office chairs, board games, Nintendo or PS consoles, are likely to have the usual price, if not higher. However, office clothing and fashion items are not that popular at the moment, and companies are trying to get rid of their seasonal stocks as soon as possible; therefore, discounts are inevitable.

Amazon, eBay, Overstock, Walmart, Target, Otto, Alibaba are all flooded with appealing deals. However, before you fully immerse yourself in the discount world, make sure your bargain is legit:

  • Find out the regular price for the desired item
  • Check whether rival stores have the same or a similar product
  • Pay attention to the delivery time
  • Compare the shipping costs
  • Make sure there are no customs fees
  • Read the refund policies

“Although I am aware of all the tricks marketers use to lure consumers, I do have a weak spot for special deals. I see it as smart investing as I would still buy that product at some point in my life, yet the price tag would be different. So far, I’m all set in terms of gifts for friends and family.”

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Alexey, SEO Specialist at Redwerk, comments on his online bargains.

Take care!

Well, now you see that everything is not that bad; it turns out there are a lot of things to do after work in quarantine. Apply these ideas to real life and use the extra time to your advantage, and of course, follow all of the prescribed rules.

Redwerk wishes you productive work and exciting leisure in your free time!