The People Behind The Screens
Every workday for the last three months, I have been talking with the same colleagues and creating great connections- through computer screens. Imagine that working with the same individuals, eight hours a day, all online.
Following my final interview in March, I never would have anticipated that I was going to spend my entire summer internship working remotely. But as the pandemic took a turn for the worst, I realized my internship was going to be entirely virtual. I was left with so many questions as the months progressed leading up to my start date, how could I navigate this new workforce, will I be able to make still connections with the individuals I work with?
As the summer winds down, I can confidently say I was able to create relationships with my colleagues remotely! Even though a computer screen, we managed to spend the summer setting time aside to get to know one another. Whether it was through our daily stand-ups, weekly recurring catch-up meetings, or through funny GIFS that we send to each other through our Microsoft Teams Channel Chat, I was able to build relationships with so many great people at Skillsoft.
Another realization that came from working in a completely virtual environment is that I was able to get a slightly different insight into my coworker’s world. We’re all providing a small glimpse into our homes, families, pets. It’s anything that emerges onto our laptop’s camera or microphones. If there were no pandemic, we would be going into the office all following a preconceived notion of how we are supposed to dress, act, and carry ourselves. But that is all taken away now, and we are creating different relationships than we would have if we were still in the workplace. Perhaps these random real-life distractions that occur during the remote workday allow us to see we all aren’t that different with our day to day lives- we’re all humans doing our best to navigate these challenging and confusing times. For example, during our team calls, one of the fellow Digital Campaign Managers (DCM) daughter comes running down the stairs and appears on the video camera. Her pure happiness and joy on her face seeing her Mom makes everyone else on the call smile! Or one of the other DCM team members whose dog will sit next to her during our calls, appearing as if she is listening to our discussions! These little moments show my colleagues in a different light than in an office setting would have and brings all of us a smile as well!
Even though we have all managed to find the positives in working remotely, the DCM team I intern with still wanted to have a chance to meet up in person. Twice this summer, five of us met up for a socially distanced picnic outside of the Skillsoft office in Nashua New Hampshire. I was so excited to have the chance to meet up with the team because I never formally met most of them!
Once we were in person, we shared many laughs and were able to take all a break from the remote work reality. I ended up getting a chance to learn even more about my coworkers that I would never have gotten to know over the computer screen- not having to wait and come off of mute to share what we all were thinking!
Having these meetups enabled us to establish a connection and helped us understand each other a little bit better, making working remotely a little easier. Overall, it hasn’t been easy for everyone to pick up their daily routines and go remote, but I do think, in the end, it will make organizations even stronger than before. Thank you #Skillsoft!