Of course, we are staying connected virtually. Working at Hometown Quotes (HTQ) has been a unique working experience for me. Our office environment has changed drastically since 2004 in Bob’s home office. Here is a quick timeline rundown:

For 16 years, HTQ has been a privately owned company that evolves exponentially each year in just changing up the norm. In changing up the norm, we have learned how to stay connected with one another well in advance of COVID-19 showing up on the scene. It’s not good enough to email or chat with someone every day. People need to feel comfortable and in tune emotionally with the company and colleagues they work alongside each day. 

This past Friday HTQ wanted to spend some quality time with our employees so we held our first BYOBTTZ (Bring Your Own Beverage to the Zoom). It felt so wonderful to see everyone smiling and hanging out. The plan was to not speak about work, but you know how that goes. One question or comment turns into twenty. All in all we were able to have fun and really connect professionally and personally. 

You had the person that came to the meeting, but we saw their chair more than we saw them. The person that wanted to be in charge of the meeting, but was not the host. We had the people that had been working here for 2-4 months that no one had ever seen before. The person that was still working, head down, and making sales. The person who hardly ever turns on their video, so when they do it always looks like a different person and place. You tend to notice everything when you haven’t seen people in awhile. The bookshelves in the background, the lighting fails, the blank walls, beach scenes, Zoom virtual backgrounds, big smiles, belly laughs, and the angles were all great distractions. We even got a drive by of a pink rabbit that kind of reminded me of Risky Business with Tom Cruise in how it popped in so quickly (to be specific, the hallway slide through scene). The “I’m hip and down with the times, check out my TikTok.” The eye rolls. And of course, the people who were silently judging everyone (me included). I am writing this post after all. 😊

The meeting was planned for 30 minutes, but 30 slowly crept into 90. I’m not sure if the drinks caused the laughter or if the drinks enhanced the topics of conversation. As I look back at the photos captured during the Zoom meeting, I am proud of the people Hometown Quotes calls employees. We have a great bunch here! We have our quirks and sometimes it’s annoying, but I love how we can all express ourselves and be heard. 

We are taking things seriously at HTQ and aren’t making a rush to move back into an office setting. We have learned to perform our duties exceptionally well and balance out staying connected on a more social distancing level. Make sure to stay connected outside of work related circumstances and let your colleagues know you are thinking about them, socially. 

Check us out having fun during our Zoom meeting!

 


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