Since mid-March 2020, we’ve all been working remotely and adjusting to the seemingly daily changes in how we are supposed to shop, work and interact. It has become a very virtual world as most meetings are held using video conference tools like Zoom. If I read this in a decade to find out that a $100 investment in Zoom this year would have resulted in a gazillion $$ in 2030, that will give me a laugh. #ShouldHaveInvested

As I have participated on video calls, I have made some observations, learned some things, and made notes about how I can improve, such as:

  1. It is hard to stare at the centered camera when all the people’s faces are on the right or left.
  2. The best meeting facilitators call on people by name instead of asking who has a question and letting awkward silence be followed by verbal stumbling as people try not to talk over each other.
  3. The even better facilitators call on two people at a time: “Anita, I’m going to ask you to comment on this next section and then I’ll call on you, Greg.”
  4. I cannot help but wonder what people are wearing from the waist down!
  5. People have pets and kids who sometimes attend by accident.

I am so impressed by how quickly our team pivoted to working remotely. That said, I know many of us miss face-to-face time. We have encouraged people to have an impromptu meeting with their teammates but all of us notice the difference and are more fully aware of our human wiring for physical proximity.

I have added more walking 121s and find them an excellent way to get in some movement while discussing a topic or just catching up. I also like the ability (with permission) to record a meeting. It helps me improve my communication style and realize how much I can miss if I don’t take notes. I have also really enjoyed interviewing co-workers and getting to know them a little better.

Zooming can be gloomy and I worry about how isolated and lonely some people might be right now. In a podcast I listen to, the interviewee stated that just a few minutes spent checking in on someone can have a dramatic impact on any negative feelings of loneliness. So, I have added a ritual to my day – reaching out to people, just letting them know that I am thinking about them. What I’ve noticed is that by doing so, I get the benefit too. I feel a bit of warmth in my heart when someone I care about appreciates the gesture.


– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO