If you’re new to remote work, you might be nostalgic about the little things that helped you feel connected while at the office: water cooler talks, your deskmate’s music choices, even seeing who’s on snack break. In the midst of getting used to working remotely, our developer community has come up with solutions to bridge the gaps with some fun apps to help you feel close to your coworkers, no matter their distance.
Add a daily dose of fun to coworker interactions with Visual Office
Social cues—like seeing a teammate who’s heads down on work or getting an invite to a group lunch—are part of everyday office life. Visual Office exists to ensure that those cues aren’t lost remotely. Use it to update your Slack status and emotional state, and set your Do Not Disturb (DND) preferences, all from one screen. Plus, you can create private office spaces for your team, where you can see who’s at their desk and who might be open to a social break.
- Tie together your Slack status, DND settings, emotional state and a virtual office, helping to introduce social cues into your remote team
- Begin each day with a standup that covers workload and well-being
- Enter the “lunch” or “break room” in Visual Office, by way of adding you to a private channel for that room, where you can connect with other teammates looking for social time
Schedule a spontaneous meetup in Slack
When you’re missing the coffee meetups and hallway chats of office life, grab time with Snack. The app matches two random people in a Slack channel for a short, timed video call. Matching is based on your activity on Slack, your time zone and your interests, and it helps kick things off with a series of icebreakers to discuss.
- Match people for impromptu, video conversations with icebreakers
- Conduct meetings with time limits, which help reduce anxiety for people who want spontaneous conversation
Curate daily virtual art shows with ArtLens
ArtLens lets users recharge, get inspired and discuss different topics in a distributed workplace. It does this by sharing artwork every weekday from The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Open Access collection, inserting a moment or two of art appreciation into a busy workday.
- Interact with the @artlens bot and pick artwork from daily prompts
- Choose artwork and share your thoughts
- See your team’s selected works and comments at the end of each workday
Sync your whole team’s music with Resonatr
Resonatr solves an interesting problem: How do you share and synchronize music across your entire team, no matter where they’re working? With Resonatr, you set aside a channel for people to post requests or add songs to a playlist, and in turn it creates a station everyone can listen to together and work to the same beat.
- Create a Slack channel that maps to a Spotify playlist
- Add new tracks based on the audience’s top tracks and requests
- Synchronize playback for anyone who joins
Connect your team over topics with Polly
Polly is an old favorite and at its core is a great way to poll everyone for their opinions or track satisfaction through surveys. But recent updates—from trivia to team recognition features—have added a slew of ways to spark social connections in your team.
- Run an interactive trivia game: ’90s movies? Cooking? Music from the ’80s? Geometry? There are thousands of questions across dozens of categories
- Gather hot takes from everyone with a random prompt for a much-needed break from work
- Turn recognition into a team experience with a quirky, fun employee awards event
Track your time in no time with Remoty
Remoty offers a lightning quick way to track your time in Slack, courtesy of a few short slash commands. Use it to clock in and out, mark off breaks and let others know when you’re back. Remoty also does daily standup meetings and offers export files for preparing timesheets or billable hours for clients.
- Clock /in and /out with simple slash commands to track your time
- Export logs of data into a CSV file for payroll purposes
- Automatically post availability in channels so everyone has visibility
Creative times call for creative measures, and this crop of new and updated apps can help your team meet each other, work together, and stay up to date with one another wherever they are. With more than 2,200 tools available in the Slack App Directory, there’s something for every team’s needs.