Remember the last time you had an in-person team meeting, went out for a tea break, went over to your colleague's desk for advice, or enjoyed a lunch-break chit-chat with your office buddy?
Hard to remember, right?
Ever since the pandemic hit and the companies had to work remotely, workforce connection has been missing for sure. Being able to seek support in your team with whom you used to spend a significant amount of time got distanced.
And let's face it, working from home and the endless zoom meetings did make remote employees feel disconnected to some extent.
We could, too, feel the same way, and this is why we decided to organize REVIVE 2021.
No, it wasn't a regular office party, but a full day of fun and madness where we could revive the pre-pandemic times, connect with the team, and create memories of a lifetime!
Why REVIVE 2021?
March 2020, I am sure no one can forget this year or month, for that matter!
It has been nearly two years since the pandemic hit, and a worldwide lockdown was announced. During this crisis, we all had to normalize a lot of things that were entirely alien to us. One of them being work-from-home!
Yes, it allowed us to stay safe and close to our family. But it robbed us of the joy of working next to our team, sharing ideas and tiffin, taking chai breaks, laughing at silly jokes, sudden plans, or even extended shifts. And the list goes on and on…..
In all the comfort of working from home, we missed working together, struggling together, and succeeding together. Yes, we have been seeing each other through our flat screens connecting over weekend meets, but deep down, we were all reminiscing good old pre-pandemic times.
But we were not having any more of that! We knew it was time to break the monotony and bring back the feeling of proximity, togetherness, and have lots and lots of fun.
So, after working remotely for over 18 months, we organized a day full of fun, magic, and madness. And believe me, it was definitely a magical affair to remember!
It was an opportunity for reviving old and new connections! Read on to see the highlights of this magical event!
A surprise message from our CEO, Danish Wadhwa
While the whole team of webdew met in person for REVIVE 2021, after almost two years, our CEO was sitting on an entirely different continent. However, he made sure to be a part of the entire event and left a very special message for the team.
Of course, everyone was missing Sir's presence, and he missed everyone too. And though he could not attend the event physically, he was connected with us throughout the event over facetime.
That's the kind of love he has for the webdew family, that he stayed up all night (he was in a different time zone) to attend the whole event and see everyone having fun!
A fun rapid-fire
Now, who doesn't enjoy a fun, juicy rapid fire?
Of course, we are no KJo- the king of rapid-fire. But we did know how to bring our own touch to the rapid-fire game.
Our two lovely ladies Divya and Richa, took it upon themselves to break the ice and ignite that spark of excitement in the team members the moment they entered the venue.
Nah, we don't believe in the regular welcome. Like I always say, webdians do things differently.
So every team member was asked a set of questions, followed by a tongue twister, and let's not forget the photo booth!
Seeing that sparkle in their eyes while interacting with our Rapid-fire hostess Divya really did warm our hearts. And Divya being her usual self, knew how to make everyone at ease and open up. Perks of being one of the oldest webdians. (Shhhhhh…… don't tell her I said that!)
As a 50+ member remote team, most of us were meeting each other for the first time! So, a not-so-formal introduction was definitely required.
Honestly, none of us really felt like we were meeting for the first time. There was no awkwardness at all. We knew we were there to have fun; we knew we were there to create some new memories and enjoy the day to the fullest. And that's exactly what we did.
No event is complete without performances, be it dance, singing, or acting. So, yeah, REVIVE 2021 had the perfect blend of some mind-blowing performances.
But, there was a twist. Since we have been working from home since March, the only way for our team to connect was via online meetings.
So, yeah, we did the unthinkable. All the performances were rehearsed over google meets. Yes, you read that right!
And honestly, it was fun! We did not let the flat screens dull down our excitement for the event. Besides, we were not working from behind our screens; we were dancing, acting, and singing our hearts out for a change.
You must be thinking about how good performance can really be if rehearsed over online meetings. One word - AMAZING!
Don't believe me? See for yourself!
Our girls Meghna, Redhima, Nancy, and Richa, held everyone captive with their dance steps. And it won't be too far-fetched to say that these girls did set the stage on fire.
That sure was one heck of a performance to begin the event with.
Now that our lovely girls had already set the bar, it was the turn of our shy yet really talented guys on the Video team to show their moves. Oops, I meant not to show any moves.
And believe me, Sandeep, Shubham, Deepak, and Gurjent did a very great job at their expressionless act. As outstanding as these guys express themselves through their creative work, they did nail the task of not giving any expressions while dancing!
Let's face it, any event is incomplete without a power-packed Bhangra performance, especially in the heart of Punjab. And we had kept this energetic performance at the end of the event to recharge everyone. Of course, it did the trick!
Divya, Lakshika, Lavisha, Ananta, and Randeep made sure that everyone danced to the bhangra beats.
Now, this was one performance we were really excited about. Why?
Well, you know how most web developers and designers are considered too quiet, shy, or geeky? Yeah, you guessed that right; it was now the turn of our very own Web team.
The entire web team really did an amazing job making everyone roll over the floor. The storyline, dialogue delivery, everything was on point!
And the underlying message was beautiful as well - “Of course, there can be a difference of opinions while working in a team. But, it's teamwork that directs individual accomplishments toward a shared vision and organizational objectives.”
Now, who says web developers are geeks? webdew sure would like to disagree.
Wow, webdew does really have a vast pool of talent, from dancing to acting, not acting, and then singing. We could totally rename the event from "Revive 2021" to "webdew's got talent"!
I am not even exaggerating. From Balpreet's amazing voice followed by his impressive ukulele skills to Harinder's power-packed singing performance, it did feel like a Sufi night. And with Reena's performance of 80's and 90's classics, nostalgia was definitely in the air.
The most surprising element was Jagroop's performance. Who knew the serious-looking web developer could make everyone sing along. Not to forget, Prabhjeet's last-minute surprise performance on the special request of Chehak Ma'am to surprise Danish Sir was breathtaking.
All work and no play make webdians a dull team!
And like I said, we are a vibrant team of hyperactive and energetic people. So, of course, there had to be games, lots and lots of them.
Besides, there is no such thing as too many games! And Prabhjeet and Ritesh made sure to include everyone on this fun journey.
So let me tell you what all went down during the gaming section!
Straws in the glass
If only the game was as simple as it sounds. But, webdew does it differently.
So, there were two tables, one had straws, and the other one had glasses. The participants had to transfer straw from one table to the other and put it in the glass.
Simple? Well, if you had to do it with your hands, then it would have been a walk in the park. But, we like challenges.
So, the participants were not allowed to touch the straws. They had to lift the straws from their upper lip.
Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a straw mustache. Yes, that's exactly what it was.
And Sonu stole the show. Now that I think about it, did the straws sit there perfectly because of his own mustache???
Guess the tune
Ok, so this game is exactly as it sounds. A tune was played in the background, and the participants had to guess the song.
And the winner was one of our highly creative minds, Balpreet. Well, there were no surprises here as he loves music!
Pull the paper
Hmmm, now this sounds interesting!
So, the participants had to pull paper from under a glass filled with water while moving the glass from point A to point B. And they had to do it without tearing up the paper or spilling water.
And the winner was our bubbly Nancy.
Guess the food item
Did anyone say food? Now, who doesn't love food?
So, this sure as hell was the most tempting game of the event. And the best part was most of the food items that were picked up for the game were from the 90s.
The game was pretty simple. All the participants were blindfolded, and they were made to taste different food items. Well, that was fun. Besides, we got to relish the flavors of our favorite 90s candies and munchies!
And the winner was none other than Harinder! Now, we know who had the most candies and munchies in their childhood.
Balls in the basket
Now this game is as simple as it sounds!
There were teams of 2 members; one was facing the other one backward. They had to throw balls, and the other one had to catch the balls in a basket.
And without a stretch, I will share who the winners were: Vishal and his lovely wife, Kusum. Ahem, now that's how chemistry works!
Candle bangle, was it a rhyming game?
If only it was this simple!
Anyways, the participants had to stick bangles on a plate using candle wax vertically. And the participant who managed to stick maximum bangles on the plate was Afzal.
Blow the glasses
Hmmm, so this game was hands down one of the most entertaining ones!
The participants had to blow air in balloons and then use that air to move glasses over the path created over the table. And they had to be pretty precise because if the glass falls down, you lose.
Now, that was a bit challenging. But guess what?
Our chemistry king Vishal nailed this task as well.
Award ceremony of monthly performers
We believe in giving due credit to those who deserve it. And keeping up with the tradition of appreciating the efforts of the members whose performance was worth giving applause, we presented awards to all the Star performers of the month, right from February to October.
Let's see who won which title:
- February Fortune: Saurabh Chauhan
- March Maharathi: Nardeep Singh
- April Avenger: Richa Sharma, Jagroop Singh
- May Medallion: Meghna Biswas
- June Jubilant: Nancy Sharma
- July Jumpstarter: Reena Devi
- August Arjun: Sonu Kumar
- September Saint: Balpreet Singh
- October Omniscient: Jai Prakash
Bonus: Surprise awards
Now, this literally did come as a surprise to the whole team.
There was a special "Champion of the Year" award given to four webdians for their outstanding performance throughout the year.
Congrats, Meghna, Sandeep, Saurabh, and Pavan, for being awarded the "Champions of the Year."
To add to the list of awards, Divya won the title of "Instagram Star," and as promised, she was awarded an Alexa.
And Param, being the first winner of the "Learn, Teach, and Grow" campaign, was too awarded for his efforts!
Last but not least, Ritesh and Nancy were announced as Mr. and Ms. webdew respectively!
A heart-warming message from our COO, Chehak Wadhwa
This was the first time ever that Sir wasn’t there to attend the event physically. And just like the rest of us, Chehak Ma'am too missed his presence. And we could clearly see it in her speech.
Nonetheless, she kept her message short and sweet. It was neither a canned speech nor did she talk about big ideas for the future; she was speaking in the moment. And that was inspiring and motivating enough for the team to connect.
Cake cutting ceremony
No party is complete without cake cutting.
Besides, what could be a better way of celebrating such a special occasion than cutting a nice cake?
And like I have mentioned multiple times, webdians do things differently! And that's why we had a splendid hexagon shaped cake for the joyous event.
Celebrated every year by millions of people, Diwali is one of the grandest religious festivals in Indian culture, and it is customary to exchange gifts on Diwali.
Although Diwali may have been a lot different in terms of proximity with around two years of work from home, we did not fail to find a way yet again. And REVIVE 2021 was the perfect opportunity to share Diwali gifts.
Not to forget company t-shirts! We love webdew, and we never miss a chance to flaunt that love. So, we were all pretty excited to receive our t-shirts. I can't wait to wear my t-shirt for the next professional meeting!
Is a party even a party if there's no dancing involved? Of course, not!
Yes, we had reached toward the end of the event, but no, our energy was soaring high the way it was when we entered the venue. Our batteries were fully charged, and with every thumping of feet, we were so engrossed enjoying ourselves that we were reminded of lunch, but at that moment, dancing was our priority.
How did we manage everything with work-from-home?
Now, as you can see, there's a lot that went down on Revive 2021. So, you must be wondering how we managed to plan, prepare for, and conduct the entire event while being on work from home.
Well, like I already mentioned before, we did everything via online meets. Yes, everything from coordinating with the design team to create the invites, planning posters, and promotional content, giving feedback on finalizing the venue, to practicing our performances to the anchoring, everything was prepared online.
However, some of us met a day before the event to see the venue and tick off the final checklist to ensure that the whole event ran smoothly. And once we had things sorted, we headed to the nearest CCD to connect more and have a good fun time.
How else did we manage things so well? Here's how:
Being considerate of the PAN India team
Yes, you read that right!
Team webdew is PAN India. From Jammu to Maharashtra and Kota to West Bengal, webdians are literally from every country. Besides, since we have been working from home since March 2020, not many of us were in Chandigarh.
But we knew we had to meet, even if it was for a day. And to ease the participation of all the members, the management was considerate enough to give a day off before the event and a day off after the event.
Also, you must be wondering why we chose a weekday to celebrate, and why not the weekend. Well, webdew is all about family, and as excited as we were to meet the webdew family, we did not want to get in the way of our team having a good time with their respective families. After all, family is the priority!
Divided by distance, connected by Slack
As I said, webdians are spread all across the country, so yes, a few members couldn't travel due to the covid restrictions or long travel journey. But, they too attended the event, thanks to the efforts of Divya and Richa.
While Divya flooded the Slack lobby with every update, Richa was live on social media. And with the google meet link shared with all, the far-away members managed to attend the event virtually.
Acknowledging the efforts
One of the best things about webdew is that they do things differently. Although we could have shared a generic invite with the team, but as I said, webdew is a family.
So, we sent out personalized invitations to every team member, even if they were a day old at the company or even yet to join. Not just that, the spouses and children were also invited. Hats off to the HR and Operations team for going all out and not missing out on anyone.
How can I forget the brilliant hosts of the event who kept the spirits high throughout the event? Kudos to Redhima and Saurabh for not letting the energy levels down and flawlessly conducting the entire event.
Yes, all the preparations were done online, but certain tasks required some outdoor chores. And our admin was fully aligned to procure items needed for the games and other preparations as well.
And thank you to the entire webdew family, whether they could make it to the event or not. It was undoubtedly a great experience meeting everyone. If only we could have had more time, but hopefully, that would happen soon.
Last but not least, thanks to Danish Sir and Chehak Ma'am for making this happen. We really did need this day to connect and relive the old normal again!
There you go, folks! This was all about Revive 2021!
Ever since the pandemic, teams working from homes did start to feel detached due to the massive shrinking of workplace connections and informal interactions. Therefore, it is all the way more important to encourage small re-creations of after-work rituals and healthy virtual engagements to overcome organizational roadblocks.
Keeping this in mind, webdew holds online meeting sessions, organizes weekly talks, brings in fun elements through games, makes time for regular one-on-one interactions, and more.
Remember, having healthy relationships with coworkers is pretty essential. So, encourage your team to be more careful of their communication, be towards others' feelings, and be conscious of their behavior, to create healthy bonds at the workplace.
Until we meet again!