6 April 2020

Isobar Netherlands builds office in VR

More and more companies try to keep the team spirit alive with virtual Friday afternoon drinks during times of Corona. Last Friday, Isobar Amsterdam took this to the next level. The creative agency rebuilt their office in VR, so all employees could gather round and cheers to the weekend together in the office.

Over the last few weeks, the Netherlands has had a crash course in working from home. Team meetings, workshops and brainstorms now all take place via Hangouts, Zoom calls, Teams or Skype. Challenging for some, while others adapted surprisingly easily. But what we all seem to agree on, is that we miss the contact with our colleagues. You don’t run into them any more when getting a coffee, not in the hallway or during lunch. But perhaps the worst of it all: having Friday drinks via a webcam unfortunately just doesn’t cut it.

Isobar missed their beloved bar in their Amsterdam office. Which is why they decided to bring the bar to everyone’s kitchen tables at home. If they cannot come to the mountain, let’s bring the mountain to them, right?

Jasper Janssen (Creative Director): “Every Friday, we organise ‘Zieg und Zag’ (bad German for See und Say) at Isobar, where we invite someone that inspires us: filmmakers, designers or artists. Everything taking place in our notorious bar, where we more often than not start off the weekend together until the small hours. Even, or maybe exactly in times like these, we think it’s super important to stay in touch with each other. And not only to discuss the status of a project, but to have fun together, to catch up, be inspired and properly close off the week together.”

Luke Vink (Creative Technologist) was responsible for building the VR model of the office: “Our office is an extremely social and hilarious bunch, yet Google Hangouts are not the best place for 70 people to meet and have fun together. We were working on a brief where a client asked us to create a virtual event and it occurred to me that it should be pretty simple to recreate our absurd office into a virtual space. In a week, I had a complete model of the main floor of our office, and a few days later had added some subtle inside jokes around the space. We now host events in it, and use it to regain at least a little bit of the social culture we lost with working from home.”

Last Friday, all 70 Isobar employees were wandering around the office with their avatars. Catching up, joking around and cheersing to the weekend. Interested in what that looked like? Check out the video below.