All Zoomed Up and nowhere to go: How Strattic is handling Covid-19

June 28, 2020 - 8 minutes read

Four months ago, I thought I could just buy some masks and head out to the first-ever WordCamp Asia in Bangkok. And then, for days, I debated whether that was a good idea or not. And then, the decision was made for everyone when WC Asia was cancelled because of Covid-19.

I was bummed (understatement of the year).

But I can’t even imagine how the WC Asia community was feeling – both in terms of working so hard on the conference and also dealing with the impact that Coronavirus was having on their communities.

At that point, Coronavirus still seemed far away from me in Israel, and it was hard to truly grasp the implications beyond the headlines. I still couldn’t have imagined that we would find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic that has touched every part of the world.

And then, Strattic got featured in TechCrunch and we were elated to get so much publicity and love from around the WordPress world (I’m looking at you WPBuilds, wpMail, WPMUdev, MasterWP, and more) that we were distracted from all things Coronavirus for a while.

Hundreds of new users were signing up and using our platform, giving feedback and needing customer support that we were swamped, but in the best way possible #humblebrag.

And then several weeks later, as the virus got worse in Europe, WordCamp Europe, slated to take place in Portugal in June, was cancelled.

Around this time, we were told to work from home. This wasn’t such a huge change since we had a semi-remote culture anyway with some team members in Europe and the US, but it definitely held some new challenges, since this wasn’t just “work from home” it was “work from home during a crisis”.

When schools were cancelled, those of us with kids (like me) had to either split up time with their spouse or one of the parents had to take off from work in order to take care of the kids.

Screentime limits? Hahaha. Hilarious.

And for those on our team without kids, this new normal meant spending way more time solo than ever before, which is not easy either.

And then, slowly, but surely, the number of people infected with the virus in Israel and the US started increasing and parents of friends of mine were infected with the virus and it started to get very real for me personally.

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry

Some days the news is daunting, overwhelming, and incredibly scary. Other days there are glimmers of hope. I think we are all struggling and coping in different ways but here are some of the things we’ve been doing as a company that have lifted our spirits.

Humor on Slack!
For our team, our go-to coping mechanism is definitely humor, and attempting not to overly worry about things that are out of our control. You saw a funny meme out there? We’ve definitely shared it or created our own.

Here are some of our favorites:

Conference call in real life:

And this Zoom-inspired bingo game:

Our favorite song:

Overheard on our dev-random channel:
Liron: What happens after my kids have colored every single coloring page on the internet?
Ilan: Mazes! Then they can try to make their own mazes. Then they create an AI to make mazes.

Some Zoom advice: Never get angry at the end of a Zoom call. It’s much like slamming a tent flap during an argument (I think Mitch Hedberg would agree)

This guy interrupting his own zoom meetings:

And, as pointed out by one of my colleagues, even my Chrome tabs needed social distancing!

Exercise on Zoom!
The founders of Strattic, Miriam and Josh, hired a fitness instructor to do virtual exercise classes for the team several days a week. On the other days, we have virtual Yoga with Zac Gordon. And for those that aren’t into a formal workout, we recommend bustin’ a move with the JustDance app. With my new workout schedule, comes a new game that I like to play called “Are my muscles sore from the workouts or from sitting on my tush all day?” I’ll get back to you on that if I ever manage to figure it out.

Customer check-ins!
I love getting updates from our customers on how they’re doing and feel really touched when they really want to know how I’m doing. It makes me feel more connected to all you wonderful people out there rather than just being in my bubble.

Flexibility!
Strattic has been understanding and flexible about our schedules, and checking in with us on a daily basis to see how everyone is holding up.

Happy hour on Zoom!
Strattic has a weekly happy hour and that hasn’t changed now that we’re remote. In fact, we’ve started playing some really fun games like Two Truths and a Lie and Pictionary. And ain’t nothin’ like a boozy Balderdash!

Work “as usual”

Somehow (despite scrolling all the news feeds all the time…shh don’t tell), we are plowing ahead and have managed to release some pretty cool stuff recently like native support for Gravity Forms and Zapier! We’ve also released support for WPML and Polylang!

Mostly, I just feel really grateful and proud to work at Strattic, where we are able to support each other and our customers, and we’re trying to help out in a small way with our initiative to host Covid-19-related websites for free!

You can watch our CEO Miriam Schwab’s video response to Covid-19 that was featured on codeinwp:

Let’s hope the world goes back to normal zoom, I mean soon, and I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sending much love from the Strattic “offices”.

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