Nicole Tomassi, Marketing & Conference Manager
Like so many of you reading this, in mid-March the entire staff at Westchester’s offices around the world transitioned to a work from home setup. For most of our team, this was a significant change from the office environment we’re accustomed to and for some of us, there was the added factor of guiding our children through establishing their own routine so they could continue their education remotely.
We also kept our clients informed as we were making this necessary transition, detailing the steps we were taking and to making sure the changes would have minimal to no impact on the jobs we were working on for them.
Additionally, we knew how important it is for everyone within our team to maintain the social connections we have as colleagues while we are physically dispersed. To address this, along with the department meetings each manager conducts with their individual reports, we periodically gather together as a large group for a virtual Happy Hour. We use this time both as an opportunity to get caught up on what is happening around the company as well as have some virtual water cooler talks that help our mental well-being by sharing our experiences about what working from home is really like. Based on this article from Society for Human Resource Management, we’re on to something here!
Many of us have shared stories about our newest officemates during these Happy Hour gatherings. We’ve discovered some are enthusiastically jumping into their new roles, while some are lazy slackers that lay around sleeping all day. A few are even downright cattish, while others just bark out their demands. We’ve discussed appropriate remediation strategies to encourage better behavior, but these co-workers sure have a mind of their own! Thankfully, some are thrilled that we almost never leave but a few seem to be annoyed that we are around pretty much all the time. Maybe we just need to give them a little more time to understand our work habits.
Shifting to a way of life that is keeping us at home nearly all the time has meant different things for everyone, including spending more time with family, taking up new activities or renewing hobbies that had been forgotten due to competing demands for limited free time. Some of us are doing a really great job of maintaining our distance while communing with nature, too.
We are also trying to help out our industry by participating in the Publishers Weekly Books Are Essential campaign and you can join in, too. Simply post a picture with a book up to your face like a facemask, then using the hashtag #Booksareessential, tag Publishers Weekly on Instagram at @pwpics, Twitter at @publisherswkly, or Facebook at @Publishers Weekly. Pictures can also be submitted to PW’s Picture of the Day portal, for potential inclusion in the magazine or newsletters. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Tyler Carey, shows us his bookmask in the picture to the left.
What are some of the ways you and your team are staying connected while you are in multiple locations? Send us a message and let us know!