As humans, we crave connection. As RVers, we thrive when working as a team. How can we continue to foster meaningful relationships when we’re all working remotely and staying socially distant? We reached out to our People Development team and gathered these pro tips for connecting when we can’t be closer than six feet apart.
Valarie Secker’s Top 5 Tips
Program Manager for People Development
Celebrate wins. We’re working harder and moving faster than ever, so it’s easy to forget to stop and celebrate accomplishments. As we near the end of an unusual 2020, think about how your team can creatively recognize achievements from the year. Is it an Oscars-style broadcast event, where everyone dresses up and gives goofy acceptance speeches? Or is it a virtual holiday party, where you play charades based on that year’s wins? Plan something that fits the culture of your team.
Express gratitude. Did someone help you crunch data, find that long-lost file you needed, or help you practice a presentation? Don’t forget to thank them. (If you were really impressed with their help, let their manager know, too.) In-person, it’s natural to thank someone at that moment. Virtually, we have to be more intentional about it.
Help others shine. A virtual workplace means fewer opportunities to step into the spotlight. I actively create and find roles for other RVers to stretch their skills. These roles include mentoring our Internal Tech Academy students, leading workshops, speaking at the Tech Summit, and hosting the RV Hackathon event. You can do the same for your teammates by intentionally partnering on a project, reaching out for input from another team, and offering others the chance to lead a project or a meeting.
Show you care. Even in a pandemic, lots of significant life events happened this year. RVers got engaged and married, had babies, bought their first homes, and lost loved ones. My dad passed away recently, and when flowers arrived from my “Red Ventures family,” it meant the world to me. Sharing heartfelt congratulations and sympathy is more important than ever when we can’t physically lean in for a hug or a high five.
Reach out. A few times a week, my coworkers message me to say they’re thinking of me and hope I’m well. It makes me smile every time. If you fondly think of someone, send them a message and let them know. You might make someone’s day!
Kelly Shockley’s Top 4 Tips
Senior Program Manager for People Development
Add a little more time than you think you’ll need for a meeting (e.g., 40 min instead of 30). I know everyone has Zoom fatigue, and it’s very real. Taking time to connect with people right before you jump into “business” can help fatigue. “How are you, how was your weekend, what’s going on in your world?” These are the types of conversations we are missing in our exhausting back-to-back meetings.
Say, “Good to see you!” When I see teammates I haven’t seen in a while in large Zoom meetings or cross-functional ones, I tell them it’s good to see them — because it TRULY is. I miss seeing colleagues from all over RV on campus. When I see an old familiar face, it makes me happy, and I’d like them to know that.
Show gratitude. I say “thank you” a lot. People’s time is more valuable than ever right now and giving time to others is meaningful. I make sure to tell whoever is spending time with me that I’m thankful for it— whether it be in a brainstorm, a working session, a 1:1, or another connection.
Humor helps. I try to make things lighter whenever I can. No doubt, this is way awkward. We are in our homes and personal spaces, and things are heavy. I try to call out funny moments or acknowledge awkwardness with laughter. It helps put people at ease and lets them know that it’s okay if this presentation, meeting, or interaction doesn’t go perfectly as planned.
Taylor Mckenzie’s Top 3 Tips
Senior Program Manager for People Development
Take time to talk “human.” Just because we’re not in the office doesn’t mean we can’t connect. I’ve found that spending the first few minutes of a Zoom meeting talking about non-work things, like my two-year-old’s latest word or a co-worker’s recent trip to Yosemite, really fills up my cup!
Check-in with Slack. Slack (or whichever messaging platform your office uses) is a great tool that can keep us connected. Of course, it comes with boundaries (no Slacks late at night, please). I’ve found saying hello to a friend and asking them how they are helps keep that connection tight and the conversation flowing. With back-to-back Zoom calls filling our calendars, sometimes a quick Slack check-in is all we have. Make the most of it!
Learn from others. One thing I’ve LOVED about being remote is connecting further with folks in our international offices. For example, I’ve enjoyed learning about different traditions in the UK. It’s also empowering to hear from fellow moms across the world and bond over the challenges that go with being a working parent during this time. Learning makes our big world feel a bit smaller and connected.
Want more tips on making the most out of your WFH experience? Check out these best practices from a few of our full-time remote RV teammates.