How a 26-hour Zoomathon Kept Us All Connected During the Pandemic

Michael Dean
How a 26-hour Zoomathon Kept Us All Connected During the Pandemic

One of our values at Peakon — and probably the one that means the most to me — is Be you. Be more. We want all our team members to celebrate one another’s individuality, and to support them in how they want to grow. A vibrant and inclusive company culture that supports development is one where you can be yourself.

Values are nothing if they’re not lived, and that’s particularly true in a time like this. However, with our offices closed in lockdown we had to be a bit more deliberate in creating a forum for our culture. Could we do this, and also raise funds for a very worthy cause in the process? That was the challenge we put to our team last week.

We decided we were going to try and host an epic 26-hour marathon Zoom call in aid of the Global FoodBanking Network, which is an international non-profit that supports food banks in 40 countries in a bid to help end world hunger.

Fifty-two 30-minute slots were up for grabs, and from a course on boatbuilding to a karate workout, urban walking tours and even a hot sauce tasting challenge, Peakons from all over the world assembled over Zoom to truly live our Be you. Be more. value for 26 non-stop hours.

Why staying connected matters — especially now

The Zoomathon started out as being a way for our company to do some good and have fun while doing it. But it was also a way of helping our people stay connected and keep our culture alive, even when we’re working remotely.

As the pandemic hit and pressed pause on our lives, it has only served as a reminder of the importance of human connection in a time when connection is limited. The past few months have changed the way we communicate with the people in our lives; the trusty phone call is up by 35% according to telecoms provider AT&T, while video calling has exploded globally.

This same sentiment translates into our interactions while we’re at work, too. At Peakon, staying connected while working remotely has been about the many ways we have been able to reinforce our togetherness online. Whether that’s informal Slack channels discussing running or TV shows, digital Ways of Being cards celebrating team members’ achievements, or just colleagues taking the extra time for a video call, it’s these different types of interactions that truly strengthen the bonds that make our company culture what it is.

Staying connected as a company during this time and truly  — and beyond — is all about communication. When you’re communicating effectively as a company, it means you can stay connected to the people and culture that drive your organisation forward, and foster an environment where innovation and inclusivity flourish.

As I hope you can see from our video above, we had a blast during our Zoomathon — and it reinforced how we are living our Be you. Be more. value to its fullest during this time, even when apart. My personal favourites included a session on the history of hip-hop hosted by Carol from our People, and a live wildlife photography class run by our CEO Phil — who then sold the prints for extra donations! The video soundtrack was created live by Director of Design, Mads Viktor, who produced the track out of clips people sent in during his session.

So far, we’ve raised over $2,400 for the Global Foodbanking Network but we’d love to beat that! If you like the idea, or want to use it in your team (please go ahead), we’d love it if you could make a donation via this link: https://www.foodbanking.org/take-action/peakon

Thank you to all the Peakons who took part, tuned in, donated, and made this one of my favourite events in the five years of being here. Be you. Be more.

Författare - Michael Dean