Culture · 3 min read

FullStory's first virtual DERP (Drop Everything for Recreational Play)

Chelsea Cohen
Posted October 08, 2020
FullStory's first virtual DERP (Drop Everything for Recreational Play)

FullStorians love what they do. They are customer experience enthusiasts. They write code for their open source project on the weekends. They are, and aspire to be, masters of their crafts.

The downside? It’s easy to get pulled down the work rabbit hole. In our earliest days, we realized that sometimes folks needed a gentle nudge to close their laptops, step away from their desks and connect with each other in silly and imaginative ways. Enter: DERPs.

Office DERP 1

DERP stands for Drop Everything for Recreational Play.

A screenshot of Jason's screen

Meetings? Cancelled. Staring at a report? Cancelled. When we say drop everything, we mean everything. In the old, in-person days, DERPs included company-wide Rube Goldberg challenges, games of Balderdash, and spirited trivia tournaments. The possibilities for silliness were endless when almost everyone was together in the same building, but then 2020 hit. Fostering connections and holding the space to be silly is even more important now, but we wondered: Could DERPs work virtually?

Turns out, they can.

For our most recent DERP, we organized a virtual scavenger hunt to tap into our FullStorians’ competitive spirits. Here’s how it worked:

Each Family (how we refer to our internal departments) sent forth 5 volunteer representatives to compete against each other in the scavenger hunt. In lieu of a cheering audience, we utilized BWAMP to encourage audience participation.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt 1

In the virtual scavenger hunt, contestants were asked to find standard household items like a piece of fruit, a (clean!) sock, a shampoo bottle, a favorite snack, something that makes noise, or a book. During their turn, contestants had 30 seconds to scramble around their house and find the requested item, come back to the screen, and shout their Family name.

The virtual DERP was a huge success, and proved to be fun for more than just FullStorians. Kids, pets, and at least one Roomba joined in the fun–joys that we wouldn’t have experienced at an in-office DERP. A clown horn, a bottle of lice shampoo, and a whole bag of apples were just a few of the more memorable items that made appearances. We laughed, we learned about our coworkers’ unexpected hobbies, and we even grew a bit concerned when one sales engineer brought an entire coffee pot when asked to retrieve a mug.

Virtual Derp 1

But… who won?

The Sales Family (💰) earned the bragging rights this time around. (Word on the street is the Product Family is coming for them next DERP.)

But really, we all won by spending an hour together just having fun.

Now that FullStory has committed to going forward as a fully distributed company, FullStorians can expect to continue having lots more virtual fun through DERPs. It’s one of the many ways we’ll stay connected to each other and energize ourselves on our mission to make the web a more perfect place for everyone.

Interested in joining the FullStory team? Check out our open positions.

Chelsea CohenPeople Ops

About the author

Chelsea Cohen handles Recruiting Operations and Programs at FullStory. She is based near Washington, D.C.

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