Cupcakes, camaraderie, and a little crying
I recently attended a virtual retirement party to celebrate the hard work and success of one of our dear colleagues. I wasn’t really sure how a virtual retirement party would translate. After all, we couldn’t hug her goodbye or give a toast and clink glasses. Since the company I work for, Work At Home Vintage Experts, is entirely made up of a remote workforce we had no other option than to use the cyber world for the going away soiree.
But I can honestly say it was a blast. Everyone in the company logged on to our virtual party room with video feeds going. We could see each other smile, laugh, and cry. We could give our heartfelt wishes to her and her husband, who also joined the party. We even had actual cake! The day before the party a box was delivered to each of us at home and we were instructed not to open it until the party. In the box were two jars of wonderfully delicious cupcakes-in-a-jar from Wicked Good Cupcakes. We all opened our boxes and together had our treat for the party. It was a great way to enjoy the celebration as a group.
The party lasted about 30 minutes and we closed our connections after our last goodbyes. The camaraderie of the event wasn’t lost on any of us. We all felt we really had been in the same room and it was surprisingly intimate despite the physical distance between each of us.
For anyone who may be afraid of what a remote workforce will do to company culture, I can tell you that culture isn’t defined by the proximity of your workers. It is created by the care and planning taken to ensure that interactions with your staff are meaningful, honest, heartfelt and sincere. The leaders of an organization define the “feeling” of a company and leaders willing to put in the effort to make interactions with everyone in the organization impactful will reap the reward of an engaged and committed team, no matter where they are located. – Elizabeth Kordek, CPCU Senior Placement Specialist