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Remote Work Was Horribly Isolating. Then I Did This.

By Beth Reed, Office Administrator

We are living in a time of isolation. While I’m thankful that TMG works with associations and nonprofits, allowing us to operate virtually, it only took a few days of remote work to realize how alone I was feeling.

Yes, I had plenty of work to keep me busy: plenty of emails to send, event registration lists to update,  and calls to be made. But I missed my team. The challenge became connecting, even briefly, with the coworkers I had come to see as friends.

One day when I was finishing up an early morning workout in my basement, I saw a game that I used to play with my kids when they were younger. Picking up the board game version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I thought it would be fun to interject a question to my team members randomly during the day. So, using our instant messaging platform Slack, I posted a question: Who was the first character to speak in the original Star Wars movie? R2-D2, Han Solo, C-3P0, or Luke Skywalker? The responses came in quickly from the team, with an eventual winner.

Someone commented, “I love this.”

From then on, the team started daily activities to connect. I continue to use the trivia or sometimes Worst-Case Scenario Survival Game. Another teammate presents a riddle of the day, one chooses a word of the day, and another presents a song of the day. None of these things take long or are invasive, just little gestures to remind us that we are being thought of until we can get back to our normal lives in the office.

Even though we are working from home, we can communicate and stay connected with our teammates in new and fun ways. We have adapted to the changes in our work environment in a positive way. Yes, I’m still looking forward to going back to the office, but these days I’m feeling much less isolated.