COVID-19 may well be responsible for shutting down much of the country, but the Cartherics crew carries on in electronically caffeinated style.

By Leigh Dayton, Cartherics Communication Advisor

It happens every Thursday. Cartherics team members gather for a Virtual Coffee Break. Everyone brings their caffeine of choice and fronts up to their home computer screen for a chat. It is all part of their commitment to keeping spirits up and research going despite restrictive public health measures, thanks to the new coronavirus.

“We are running all our meetings online. Once a week we have a bit of online fun with a quiz, a coffee and lots of laughs during our virtual coffee break” says Executive Assistant Karen Loudon who organises the weekly ZOOM gatherings.

The welcome routine began when Cartherics CEO Alan Trounson announced the company would shift the way everyone worked.  “Essential lab work is still on track, but those that do not have to be in the office are not,” he notes. “It’s business as usual as far as possible”.

And that means taking a break with colleagues.  The break may be virtual but it is a reminder that everyone is part of the team, and it is an enjoyable way to discuss important matters, small or large.

“At these coffee breaks any topic is OK and often brings personal issues, challenges or changes to everyone’s attention. The mood is often light-hearted and funny,” says Trounson.

“We are a better team for the unscripted opportunities to interact informally in these ways, and it enables a more caring and positive team environment to flourish in the shadow of this terrible pandemic,” he adds with a wave at the computer screen.