Some Workers Are Turning To A Never-Ending Zoom Call With Strangers To Stay Productive While Working From Home

When the COVID lockdowns started nearly two years ago, we were forced to find new ways to work and be productive from home. With offices and other public workspaces quickly shuttered in an unprecedented way, the way we communicated with colleagues and clients immediately changed.

The transition to remote work meant no in-person meetings or brainstorming sessions, no water cooler conversations, no client lunches, no office banter, and no after-work happy hours. For many of us, a regular day at the office was replaced with zoom calls in front of a laptop and working while wearing sweatpants.

At first, remote work may have felt like a much-welcomed opportunity. A bit of a stay-cation, if you will. But for many, the isolation at home, the lack of structure and organization, and the absence of co-workers wasn’t a positive change.

Recapturing That Feeling Of Working In-Person

Working in an office and collaborating with a group of people—with breaks to socialize–can be a catalyst for productivity. That human connection can feed creativity. So when COVID took that away, Los Angeles video director and visual effects artist Cache Bunny came up with a solution.

At first, she started streaming her editing work on Twitch. But streaming for five to eight hours each day was unsustainable. She quickly jumped to Zoom, started a call, and turned it into a never-ending coworking and social community.

The Never-Ending Zoom Call

In the spring of 2020, Cache Bunny started a call on Zoom titled Edit.Party—free for anyone to join—with the idea of it being a “virtual WeWork” spot. The goal was to provide the social element of an office to remote workers who spend most of their day alone, staring at a screen.

“I realized I don’t want to be showing my work necessarily. I don’t want to be talking at all. I really just want to be alongside people while they’re also focused,” Cache Bunny told Insider. “So then that’s where I kind of came up with the idea for the format.”

She said that within an hour of posting, people from all over the world started to join. It was immediately clear to her that everyone on the call was “cool and had similar creative goals.”

Members can log on at any time day or night, and feel less alone while they work because someone is always online.

On average, around 50 people are part of the call at any given time. And, it NEVER ends. The continuous call has been going on for 20 months and counting, and there’s no sign of it ending anytime soon.

How It Works

When you enter Edit.Party, it will look like any other Zoom call. In grid mode, you’ll be able to see the faces of everyone who has joined along with their names and social handles—but they aren’t from a specific company. The call hosts users from 72 countries around the globe.

People from a variety of professional backgrounds—musicians, coders, analysts, video editors, writers—are working while on the call and everyone has their mics silenced. To minimize distractions, a mix of EDM, Lo-Fi, and indie tracks play in the background.

If you want to communicate with others on the call, you simply join the ongoing chat located on the sidebar. That chat box is filled with people sharing different things about themselves and their work.

“It felt so nice to be able to come into a 24/7 open space full of amazing creators and just have people to edit with or hang out,” video content creator Jacob Rodier told Insider. “We even had a meetup recently where I met some of them in real life.”

The Edit.Party Culture

The call has evolved over the past few months and developed its own workplace culture. There are things like “Focused Sprint” sessions, where users can completely mute their computers to concentrate on a project for a specific amount of time.

Users claim that exercises like these help to hold themselves accountable for the time they were spending on work. And, at the same time, have the support of others who were doing the same thing.

Throughout the workday, users on the call will see others doing everything from eating lunch to wrangling their pets to chatting with roommates. But mostly, everyone is there to do their work.

“I have all my friends with me and they’re also being productive,” Cache Bunny said. “So it just sort of turns something that was once the least social activity in the world into this fully social activity.”

If you are easily distracted while working—or don’t like the idea of a webcam capturing the inside of your home for hours every day—Edit.Party might not be the remote work option for you.

But if you are still stuck working at home by yourself and have a desire to interact with “co-workers”, Edit.Party might just be the stimulating work experience you’ve been looking for. And, you can still wear sweatpants.

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