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70+ employees from Grammarly’s Vancouver and Kyiv offices met for the first time in Party.Space
With 400+ employees and 30 million daily users, Grammarly is the undisputed writing assistant market leader. Recognised by Forbes as one of 2020’s top 100 best cloud companies worldwide, Grammarly cares more about their employee experience than anyone else. The challenges of 2020 have forced Grammarly to adapt their team activities to remote working conditions.
In January 2021, Grammarly held their first-ever team-building event for two teams on different continents using Party.Space.
To minimise health and safety risks during the coronavirus pandemic, the global Grammarly team has been asked to work remotely until at least August 2021. During the 9 months of remote work, Grammarly’s support team underwent a significant expansion. And while working from home, maintaining a unique culture within the growing team, as well as organising team events, can become a real challenge.
“We were looking for a solution that would allow full-fledged team building for both teams. At the same time, we were not satisfied with the restrictions of conventional video conferencing like Zoom or Google Meet.”– Ilona Pavlius, Customer Support, Training and Onboarding manager
The problem with video conferencing services is their inflexibility. One can gather 70 people in Zoom, but they will always have to take turns talking about topics that are often not of interest to others. Not to mention that these services are traditionally associated with working activities and are not perceived as a place to relax. More specialized platforms for online events allow you to organize multiple video streams within a single broadcast. Another obstacle is the fact that these platforms are usually either too cumbersome or unfriendly and do not encourage informal communication.
After looking at alternative solutions, Grammarly settled on Party.Space. During discussions with solution engineers, it was decided to organise a single team meeting space with 6 separate rooms. Each of the 6 rooms united people around a specific activity or discussion topic:
- Workshops about travel during the pandemic
- Team games and quizzes
- Music discussions
- Movies discussions
- Meditation workshops
- Goals and dreams discussions
After a short presentation to all the attendees, each team member was free to move between rooms and join any discussion that interested them. The technical implementation of this idea in Party.Space was rather simple.
Party.Space works like any real club or event space. Guests enter the lobby where they are greeted by hostesses. The main focus of the celebration takes place in the common room. All major performances and announcements take place here. Towards the middle of the evening, all participants can join adjacent rooms, each of them entertaining separate activities.
“All participants noted the non-standard and very funny design of virtual rooms, which is conducive to exploring all the elements of the location”– says Pavlius, when asked what the teams thought about the design of the virtual space.
In Party.Space you can behave as you do in your social life. You can exchange a few words with the person standing next to you and everyone else in the room will not hear you. Or you can go to a separate virtual table and discuss something in the company of new friends.
Each room’s activity was moderated by a host from the Grammarly team. If you looked into a room as an observer, you would see dozens of people enthusiastically communicating on topics of interest, playing interactive games, listening to music.
“After the event, I received extremely positive feedback from most of the participants. The most surprising thing for everyone was the disappearance of the boundaries between the real and the online world. This astounding feeling of real presence came as a complete surprise to many of our teammates.” – adds Pavlius.
“Certainly” – is what Pavlius responds when asked if there are any other applications of Party.Space that she sees fitting in with her team and company. Today, when many companies are looking for ways to implement and maintain their corporate culture in remote teams, Party.Space provides the necessary to do so.
As Zoom is a must for corporate communications and Slack for project communication management, Party.Space is becoming a must for corporate onboarding and team building.
Summarizing the experience of the Grammarly team, Pavlius says: “On the topic of what Party.Space brings to the table, I can say it’s the huge interactivity, novelty, and competent organization of virtual spaces. This definitely won’t be the last time Grammarly holds events using this venue!”
Published Mar 29, 2021
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