Discord for Businesses in the Age of COVID
Over the past nine months, many businesses have shifted to working from home full time. Offices have mostly closed down and we are left alone day in and day out, isolated in our homes. Communication between co-workers has been reduced to either Slack conversations or scheduled meetings. Whereas Slack messages lack voice and tone, even when we have a chance to speak in video conferences, we are often limited to specified time constraints along with an agenda’s worth of project-related topics to cover. We seem to be lacking a tool to help facilitate the day-to-day interactions, casual conversations, and relationship-building that an office environment allows.
I enjoy playing video games more so now during quarantine then even before. During this time I downloaded and explored a new and increasingly popular application called Discord. It’s targeted at gamers to provide space for groups to come together and communicate online. I belong to several of these gaming “servers” ranging from just a dozen participants to over 10,000. I was instantly impressed with the unique community Discord can develop by allowing users to interact over voice, video, and chat that other communication applications can’t match.
Most gamers use Discord for live ongoing channels where friends can communicate over long periods of time to do multiplayer activities together. However, I realized Discord could be a perfect place to simulate a company’s office community. I created a Discord server for my DOOR3 team and organized different voice channels for people to participate in. These channels simulate the different types of conversations that happen in an office. Whether it’s a team meeting, a touch base in a manager’s office, a developers’ war room, or just meeting your co-worker in the kitchen to eat lunch together and talk.
The jury is still out on whether our team is comfortable adapting to this new technology. People are resistant to change. But a Discord solution is one of those things where the more people who join, the more others will also want to jump on board and participate. And as that community builds, I believe companies from a wide range of industries affected by the COVID’s “working-from-home blues” could benefit from the “office” environment that an application like Discord can provide.
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