Sunnier Side Of The Home Office – May 13, 2020

"Is this the best day of your life?"

- Matt Hofherr is celebrating his birthday today, so we are sharing one of his many "Matt-isms". Have the best day of your life Matt!

Giphy Keeps it Positive
By: Jessica Bedussi 

*cue the somber music*
In these uncertain, unprecedented, social distanced times, one thing can bring us together: the power of sending the perfect GIF. 

And many people are doing just that as GIPHY’s April report shows a 65 percent increase in usage since February 2020. Not only are people using GIFs more, the terms they’re searching reflect what matters most to us right now: sharing love and finding ways to experience events virtually. 

The April report tells us people are looking for ways to share positivity and encouragement with each other. “I love you” was among the top-searched terms along with “laugher” and “hello.” GIPHY Cares, a channel for sourcing positive GIFs, received over 1.6 billion views, with top GIFs including “positive mental attitude,” “check in with family,” and “take time to stretch.”

Not only are people looking for positivity, they’re going to GIPHY to participate in events. Over the last several months, many real-world events have migrated online and we’re seeing an appetite for unique digital experiences. In April, the NFL Draft saw a 260 percent increase in searches compared to April 2019, while the WWE GIPHY channel had over 1 billion views with a spike during Wrestlemania. 

Right now, the best thing a brand can do is be helpful. If you’re a brand searching for ways to connect to your fans, GIFs, stickers, and videos on GIPHY are a great way to build community and bring a smile to people’s faces. 

Adding Levity to Lockdown
By: Ben Thomas

Depending on where you live, you’ve probably been in mandated social isolation for a couple of months, when COVID-19 moved from a fringe concern to a very real global crisis. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a significant amount of time in what I refer to as “the spiral”, an endless stream of depressing news headlines, inflammatory social posts and an inescapable feeling of sadness and separation. This feeling became the foundation for myriad “here to help”, “in this together” brand messages that came out at the time.

While those messages provided information about how to navigate a newly restricted world, and much-need feelings of optimism, people are signaling they’re ready for a laugh again. Brands are starting to recognize and respond to this shift by finding the light-hearted moments in lockdown, adding a healthy dash of humour to their content, and giving people something to break the bad-news cycle in their feeds. However, it’s a delicate balancing act for brands that want to add levity without being insensitive to a society experiencing collective grief. But if getting it right can make people smile - if only for a beat - isn’t that something we all need more of?

Sonic Nostalgia 
By: Joe Cole

My first experience with an ambient noise generator was this Reddit post in 2010: This+This=Chill as you never have before. I still go back to this from time to time when I need to CTFO. I hardly ever have any issues falling asleep at night (thanks, narcolepsy!) but on the rare occasions I need it, “Alexa, turn on ocean sounds,” never fails to relax me completely into slumber. 

There are many reasons people turn to something like this, from light sleepers to those looking to just quiet their anxiety down. According to Penn State associate professor Orfeu Buxton, “slow, whooshing noises are the sounds of non-threats, which is why they work to calm people.” 

Like many people, I’m looking forward to it being safe enough to return to the office. Besides seeing everyone, I miss snacks and the mental unspooling of the commute. But most of all, I just miss being in it. Whether you’re in an empty apartment or shuffling around the house between pets, kids, roommates, and SOs, it’s still an unfamiliar soundscape compared to the work environment. For anyone else nostalgic for the before times, Sound of Colleagues is an excellent noise generator simulating the ambient office noise we are used to working through. It does a little to quiet the persistent everything running through my head. 

If you’re looking for something more robust, myNoise has nearly every kind of endlessly customizable noise generator, from busy coffee shop to the rainforest. And, lastly, if you miss someone else putting on music so you achieve a flowstate, have I got the newsletter for you.

Be Kind to Your Mind
Tips to cope with stress from the CDC.

PAUSE. Breathe. Notice how you feel

TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 content

MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise

REACH OUT and stay connected

SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe