Episode 10: Engaging Your Virtual Workforce w/special guest, Ashlee Green from Verizon

CA Short All-In Employee Podcast

Special guest Ashlee Green, CRP, joins Scott and Nelsa for a robust discussion about engaging the virtual workforce in 2020 and beyond. Verizon has shifted from a call center based customer support model to a home based agent model and it has been a great success. Ashlee helps uncover some of the strategic actions that were taken to make this move a positive and how they are engaging for success. Listen to the episode below or continue reading for a full transcript. 

[00:00:07] Welcome to the CA Short All-in Employee podcast, and I'm your host, R. Scott Russell, with Nelsa Weber, and we're so glad that you've joined us today. Let's dive in.

[00:00:27] Well, good day, everybody, I am right here with my partner Nelsa, while I say I'm right here, but she's in that car right now recording this podcast, so we might hope she doesn't get pulled over. We don't hear any cop sounds in the background, but it is time for our podcast here in the heart of fall. So Nelsa you're safe, you're doing good, but you're on the other end, right?

[00:00:52] I am great and funny I just drove past a cop, but I was being very safe.

[00:00:58] Please be safe. Hands free devices, hands free device. Hands free I promise. We are here in fall.

[00:01:07] It is certainly fall now. And part of our podcast. I'm very, very excited Nelsa for today's guest, we have the fantastic Ashlee Green and she is currently the senior manager of business intelligence for Verizon. And I'm so excited to have Ashlee with us because Ashlee is a very, very dear friend of mine. We have known each other since 2003. And we actually worked together at Verizon for 12 years. We worked eight to ten of those years in the exact same location and in fact, from the same team together for a great number of years. I also am excited to tell you that she is on the RPI board of directors, as you all know, that I'm the current president of. So welcome, Ashlee.

[00:02:02] Welcome we're so excited.

[00:02:07] Yes. Thank you very much.

[00:02:09] So we're thrilled to have you. And Ashlee, where are you recording with us from today? Where are you at?

[00:02:16] I am in the Atlanta, Georgia area, so just north of Atlanta, where I reside and living, living and working from home all in the same place these days.

[00:02:28] Wow. Wow. That's a whole different world than when you and I were together in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Very much.

[00:02:35] We've definitely come a long way, a lot of different roads.

[00:02:39] We've had together for sure, for sure. Ashlee knows every style my hair has ever been in. She she we know too much about each other. We have pictures too right?

[00:02:54] We do. We do see we know too much about each other is what I'll say.

[00:03:00] And we're thrilled to have you here today, Ashlee, and join in our podcast that we launched this year. So excited to have you. And, you know, tell us let's get started with why don't you give our listeners.

[00:03:12] Just tell us about you, you know, sort of the Ashlee Green bio, kind of you're a little bit of your history, where you're from, where you've worked, what you've done and sort of your area of expertise.

[00:03:22] OK. All right, will do. So and do just stop me if I'm given too much.

[00:03:27] But because you know me, I talk a lot, but I'll kind of start from the beginning where I'm from and kind of where I got into my career post school so and up to what I do today. So I am originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Love my home city. Love it, love it, love it. I really grew up there. Most of my really most of my career worked in that part of the state. I've only been in Georgia now for six years, but in that that was all related to job change and movement within the organization I work for today. But prior to what I would say, you know, after I got out of college and really started saying, what do I want to do for a living? Right. I mean, I've always been that person that wants to help others. And how do I enhance the experience with with other people around me no matter what it is? Right. And so I started actually in the banking industry, worked there for probably about six or seven years, if I can recall the dates and time that then then shifted into.

[00:04:39] So it was interesting. I moved from from working front line teller management positions, moved into an organization where I was in a call center environment.

[00:04:50] So this is also pre Verizon and it really was that front line employee taking calls and it was the linkage from finance, because then I worked for Ford Credit and so I helped import or helped customers with their, you know, their calls around their bills or their car payments, you know, very interesting industry. But then after about seven or eight years, I had an opportunity to move over to Verizon in a call center setting. So started out as a supervisor with Verizon back in 2003. And Scott, that's when you and I met, right? That's when our our relationship formed and worked in the call center environment, was front line supervisor for a bit and then shipped it into an operational role and really has kind of touched almost everything you can think of, you know, in an operational turning point. Right. With within Verizon. I've worked on a lot of different projects, a lot of different focal points. But really over time, I was able to move into other positions in the company, helping support other groups within customer service. Did even a little bit of a stint there in our marketing department.

[00:06:06] And what I mean by that is I was still in a I feel like customer service capacity to a degree, because I was that channel engagement partner that links between customer service and marketing and what we were focused in on and how we needed to sell products or services and really just overall provide that value back to the business that most recently I have been in. The current role that I'm in now is I've been I've been in for two years, and so I'm back under the customer service umbrella. And what I do is I build out all of the headquarter, really just everything supporting all of our employee incentive programs. And so what that means is all of the programs that me and my team designed today, we we start from from everything from taking it from concepts all the way through build, launching it, measuring it in, really just kind of doing a full a full support around our program.

[00:07:13] So it's driving performance above and beyond what we what we need.

[00:07:18] Right. So we find pockets of opportunities within the business, within our customer service teams to drive that performance where we need to. But also with that. Right, it's a package saying performance, employee engagement. How do we present to those employees? How do we pull them into the focus of what we need to do as a business, but also then celebrate their successes. And so we do that in a very formal way. But it's it's a lot of fun with the way we present the information to them, you know, have opportunities for employees to be able to to purchase what they want with the rewards, etc.. So it's it's interesting because as you even talked about with the RPI organization, you know, you and I actually you kind of pulled me into that years ago. And I love it because it's allowed me to learn about my job that I do today to another level. Right. So if I look at my peers, you know, I have more of an educational background and its connection into the industry and really an understanding of why we do what we do and in all of everything that we touch on a day to day basis. So now, you know, like I said, I'm doing I guess my title is Business Intelligence. There's some of that that does go into that role, definitely for sure. But it really is all strategy and operations around building out these programs for employees. And and today, as you say, across the board, we have close to twenty five thousand employees we support in this program.

[00:08:56] Oh, wow. Wow, that's great. Hey, I like asking you questions and letting you run. 

[00:09:07] Great resume. Yeah, it is.

[00:09:09] And Nelsa and I like to talk a lot, too. So this helped us is like this is great. I know we love guests.

[00:09:17] We do. One of the reasons that I wanted to have you on the show was because, you know, Verizon was really, I think, an industry leader in the in the switch and push to virtual working. And I know that when we were together, when we worked all those years, it was not that way. Right. We did have some people in our organization that were virtual workers. But predominantly you were either in a call center or an office or something like that. And several years ago, you guys actually sort of pivoted and started making that change. And then, of course, now you've got the covid era and lots of other followers were coming behind you. But I think as a leader, it's very I wanted to bring you on just to talk to us a little bit about how did that transition go, what maybe are a few of the learnings or takeaways from that? Like how how how are you engaging constantly as as a giant organization? I mean, Verizon is a very large organization as a whole. How are they keeping those employees engaged and recognized? And how's that working out?

[00:10:32] Yeah, I mean, it's definitely been an interesting year for sure, but but I think, like you mentioned, because we really were at the forefront and been kind of in that virtual space, really modeling that out, using that probably over the last five years or so with part of our work groups within customer service specifically. So we had close to about five thousand employees that we we had worked to build out that virtual setting. So they work from home one hundred percent of the time, you know, really learning along the way. And I think that really has helped us understand, you know, does it operate? How does it operate? What you know, what do we get? What things do we need to account for different than when you're in the office? So a lot of learnings, I think, has helped us as we had to transition this year. Right. You know, that that was all kind of forced on us. You know, it it really we were able to take those best practices and you know, how you stay connected. What else do you need to do to maybe supplement that face to face interaction that all along, you know, continue to push and drive what you need as a business? You know, I know one thing that we learned this year because have this band beyond right. Customer service, it really impacted everybody. And our leaders were really what drove, I think, a clean approach as clean as you can to how we shifted to home. So, you know, not just customer service. We did have to take, what, five thousand almost to twenty five thousand. Right. And shipped home. Right. How do you do that? How do you make sure they have the right equipment, the right connections, you know, but then also caring for the emotional and mental well-being of your employees. So it's not just doing the work, it's now how do you change and ensure that, you know, everybody is good at the end of today? And I think that's something we've learned along the way. You know, but but on top of outside of our organization, obviously, we have sales, we have telesales. We have a lot of different pieces of our business. And our leaders overall had a great plan. Right? I mean, it takes it takes your H.R., it takes your CEO, your all of those at that level really to be on the same page. And so I think as a company, when when all of this covid activity started and really hit around that March timeframe, they shifted this home very quickly. It was caring for those logistical needs. But then we immediately had connections in daily with with our CEO. He has a message for us every day. And it was daily Monday through Monday through Friday. And as far as, hey, what do we know how it is really being open and transparent and talking about what we have in front of us and taking things, you know, in bits as far as as we learn and then care for.

[00:13:48] So there's there's been a lot of activity on how we do this and how we've been able to be successful in that shift. I would say some of the major key points is that connection, right? Just being able to have that transparent conversation about what it is and then caring for those different different things. I mean, I know even our team, my team that I'm part of my organization, there's about 50 of us in total in my specific group where we did extra touch points. We meaning instead of meeting every month as a whole team, we now met every week. And it wasn't just to talk about the we did care for, obviously, you know, what does it mean and how do we work? But it really is caring for that person, the person itself. Right, getting into making sure that we show compassion, that we really listen. So from a leadership standpoint, we had to invest extra time and extra extra conversations and focus and add those extra layers in just to connect with our employees in a way we never have before. Right. And really get to know them at that individual level. What's concerning to them? What do we need to help them with and so forth. And then not only just from that standpoint, we layered in activities to keep things exciting. I mean, it could have been a happy hour or just let's do a team mixer. We just get together. We don't talk about work, but we talk about what's what's on your mind. What do you want to talk? Talk to? We did a lot of fun games, you know, team builder type of things. You can do virtually. And there's so. Out there, that's available, if you look, but they just being creative along the way to to really make sure that we're all connected, even though we don't get to see each other face to face daily.

[00:15:47] You really answered a lot of my questions off the bat, because that's one of the things Scott and I have been talking about on the show, how do you engage your remote worker? Because that's such a new frontier for businesses. And I just want to make sure that people don't lose what you've said because there's so many valuable nuggets in just that little bit that you've shared with us. But, you know, caring for your person individually and getting to know them beyond work, you know, doing some mixers, doing games, you know, going beyond just how's work going? How's your connection going, you know, digging deeper into a level of empathy and compassion that maybe a lot of managers and leaders have not really ever been comfortable doing before and get into a personal level that, you know, goes beyond just the work, polite, you know, kind of speak right on the job. And I think that's just worth highlighting because so often we've been we've been talking about how do you make people at home feel like they still have that same sort of connection to the people at the office and not feel like they're so far distant and so far removed that they, you know, feel like they're on a satellite station, in Mars, as opposed to just a house. So I think that's remarkable that you all were able to do so just to execute that so quickly in such a large corporation. And, you know, some companies with much fewer employees still are struggling, you know, trying to find their rhythm. So that's really fabulous. I just I think that's awesome.

[00:17:30] No, thank you for that. In just just to kind of add to it, I mean, like I said, there's so many things that we've done. It's hard just to speak to, you know, to all of it that, you know, some other additional pieces and you think about it. Right. This impacts everybody in today's world or even before covid, we we would get on phone calls and not necessarily use the video technology that we do today with Zoom or, you know, all the different platforms that are out there that we leverage for calls, conference calls and, you know, just learning the right balance for when to share your your face on screen versus, you know, just having it just as an audio connection because there needs to be a balance. And I think a lot of people and what I've heard and what you know, what would even I've experienced it right, there has there has to be a time and place when it's important to do to use it and and when we need to not go so far overboard with with with being on camera all the time. Right. Because that's that's exhausting mentally to an employee or just a person in general. There's could be days that, you know, we just we're just not camera ready. But I think there is a there's something to that. Right, that there is a balance of when when it's appropriate or just making sure that that's managed and cared for as well, you know, because that that probably that could lead to just a lot of people that get very stressed about that. And then you think about it, you're on camera. You know, are you focused in on that camera or are you focused in on the conversation? Right. So if you don't have if you don't have your camera on your typically, you know, there is that sense of your your brain is actually processing the words and you're really listening where if you're on camera, you might be focused on what that person's doing, like what's going on in the background behind them or, you know, why are they making that face? Right.

[00:19:27] So you're not really 100 percent invested in that conversation. So I think that's what I mean by that, is that you have to know what what your subject is, what your audience is, and care for that accordingly.

[00:19:38] So I'll give a I'm going to give a secret to the whole world about how Ashlee and I enjoy doing conference calls together, because for anybody that's ever been on one with us, what you probably don't know is that behind the scenes, if we're on camera with everybody, she and I are usually texting each other talking about what exactly what she said.

[00:20:03] We're talking about his roots haven't been done. We're talking about his house is a disaster, right? We're talking about who's disheveled and why are they on camera like it's our secret, but we have a great time doing it. So we just know that she's right. You know, I think there's an appropriate place and time. One of the reasons Nelsa and I love the podcast because we're not always camera ready either. So I love the fact that we can hide behind the podcast and use our radio voice instead. Right.

[00:20:35] And I know to tell people today, Ashlee, you know, back when you and I worked together and we started with Verizon, we actually had gosh, I think it was 24 call centers maybe around that right at that time, and I know now that that number is much smaller because you've shifted to at home to an at home base. Right. Which is a very it's a huge difference. Right. Like it's a big difference from then to today. Right. And it's just that that amazes me the ability, you know, that Verizon always an industry leader, but how they they really saw this coming before anyone else did, right?

[00:21:21] I mean, they didn't know covid was coming, but they already realized from a business perspective that there were advantages as long as you could obviously monitor the work, still keep the quality at the highest level and engage those employees, that there was a great business benefit to switching thousands and thousands of employees out of buildings that cost money that you have to maintain, that you have to keep up with technology things in your own buildings. And now you can pretty much you know, that's a great business savings out there if you're able to kind of make that happen. So I just, you know, I applaud the company and how great my tenure there was. Wonderful. You know, I have a great love for Verizon. Always will. And just they just think they're always on the forefront when it comes to technology and how how to manage business. And I'm just always impressed by that. So thrilled. Thrilled to hear that today. And Nelsa, do you have any other questions for Ashleigh regarding sort of virtual working or because when we're done with this section, we are going to talk a little hot topics, which, you know, is always the fun.

[00:22:34] Like I said, a lot of the things that I was curious about, Scott, she was all over it. So kudos to you, Ashlee and Verizon, for what you all are doing to keep your keep your employees motivated. And one thing I would like to know, have you all seen, you know, any trends in retention now that employees are working from home during the pandemic? Have you seen any kind of trends with, you know, turnover or.

[00:23:06] You know? Yeah, I mean, that's a great question. And, you know, from my perspective and what I see and in the knowledge that I have or the insight there is, is that everything has been very steady. I mean, I think because of the way Verizon has approached this, you know, this whole pandemic and how quickly we were able to shift and still show support for our employees and you know, that we were care. There's a caring component that's now layered in it, probably a different level than we probably ever expected in the business world. But, yeah, I mean, honestly, were we still we still see the same people that were here a year ago. They're still here with us today. And I think it's because it's not you know, it's not just, hey, I get paid really well. This company company's doing really well. It's everything that is around it. Right. The whole package. And, you know, so, so and and even more so, you know, I talked about, you know, I talked about how we engage and and stuff just to ask a little bit more to it. I mean, I really think that overall, just the number of people that we're all in one, you know, I guess at the end of the day, right. We're all on the same page. We all know we have to have the right balance and support. So other activities that we're using, the technology we have really to connect with our employees. We're ever evolving that. I mean, that's that changes even with, you know, not only phone calls and how do we push things to our employees through the different ways that we work. Right. Whether it's through email or, you know, maybe there is a platform that we share information. But, you know, just having even a huge culture and engagement calendar where there's things going on even in the social media world and keeping it alive day after day after day. And so where you feel like you want to engage as an employee, you have like an endless possibility to connect there. And if it's too much, that's that's really on you as an employee not to engage in those those areas, but they really is a team of a lot of leaders in our business that keep it up and running to make it successful.

[00:25:21] Well, that is awesome. And hats off to you and the team there. I know many of our old friends, some of them are still there. Some of them have moved on after time. And but but always, always, always glad to hear from you and to hear from them. So I just think that's awesome. And I think I can grab a little bit of that and be able to take that back with them about success in the virtual world.

[00:25:48] Thank you, Ashlee. So let's talk a little hot topics today.

[00:25:53] Ashlee, can you stay around with us? Sure, of course.

[00:25:57] All right. My first one today is OK. I'm going to ask you this question. 

[00:26:02] Have either of you tried any of the new, like, impossible sandwiches or the beyond meat sandwiches that are the plant based substitutes?

[00:26:15] I mean, we have to say, what is that all about?

[00:26:18] I don't know that I'm what you the Whopper has the and I think it's what, the impossible whopper or something like that

[00:26:30] OK, OK.

[00:26:32] Yes. Not me. Oh, I didn't try to any yet. OK, so Nelsa you have.

[00:26:38] So you have. Right. Huh. What's your feedback.

[00:26:44] Um, well, you know, I'm kind of like this, I haven't I haven't gone vegetarian permanently, but it's OK.

[00:27:00] So I will tell you what I'll share with you is I will say this so I've had a couple of different things. I've tried the impossible whopper, though.

[00:27:09] I'll just, you know, don't hate me out there, Burger King fans, but I've never been a big Burger King person. So so that one's probably not the best one for me to try. But I will tell you that Jeff and Melanie, who I hang out with quite a bit, they often cook beyond burgers. Now they've replaced their regular grilling out burger with the beyond burger. And I'm going to tell you what, it's pretty top notch. They've convinced me that that is really good. But my favorite thing so far has actually been at Starbucks. And if you'll try, I want you to try this for me.

[00:27:41] Try the impossible breakfast sandwich, because it basically is a sausage, egg and cheese. And I would lay money down that. You cannot tell that that is not sausage. Because I literally think it's fantastic.

[00:28:01] So I want you to try that, but the reason I've asked you this question is because so the impossible foods, which is known for making the plant based meat, is looking at a new range of products, including plant based milk.

[00:28:19] Oh, yeah, you know, I have to drink almond milk because I have a dairy allergy, which is why I sound like this on the podcast today, because I ate a salad that had sour cream on it.

[00:28:33] And I'm actually dairy.

[00:28:35] I have a dairy allergy like I guess. So this might be great for you that well.

[00:28:41] So I'm all right. I've tried rice milk. I've tried almond milk. I've tried coconut milk. I'm that person.

[00:28:48] So yeah, I don't mess with my milk kind of person. I want my I want my whole milk. I want Vitamin D, red cap, whole milk. Don't give me watered down milk. Don't give me fake milk. Don't give me plant based milk. I want the real deal.

[00:29:05] Listen Scott let me give you something for my doctor, OK. This is what I learned when I was 22. That other mammals after you have finished drinking your mother's milk, there are no other mammals besides humans that drink other mammals milk. Did you know that. I did not. We are the only animals. If you look at the animal kingdom, we are the only animals that are drinking other animals milk and there are no other animals that do that. So it really, you know, when you look at how many people have lactose intolerance and people like me who are dairy and dairy allergic, there's a reason for it.

[00:29:45] We're not supposed to. Listen, I growing up, that was probably my drink of choice. And Ashlee knows I used to drink a lot of it.

[00:29:55] Right. Remember, I'd start my day with chocolate milk every single day. Right. I have I have moved away from that, though I will tell you when I'm thirsty, nothing quenches my thirst more than a big cold glass of milk.

[00:30:07] But but needless to say, that's just one I had to kind of talk about a little bit that way and just kind of throw that one out there at. It's so. OK, here we go. We've got another headline that I wanted to just tell you about. So so today, actually, this was this was shared today on LinkedIn and it was an idea of the day and it was talking about valuing curiosity.

[00:30:29] And there's a quote in here that only by asking questions will we see the full picture and really challenge how things have always been done.

[00:30:39] Do you think I wanted to ask that question. So do you think that that businesses today value curiosity?

[00:30:47] It's not a word I hear a lot, and I don't think of it as a value. But do you think that that is something that's happening or is that something we should bring to the light more?

[00:30:57] I mean, I, I have always I mean, I think we've all been in situations where we get people many questions and we're like, oh, can you can you just stop asking questions?

[00:31:07] But but, you know, curiosity truly does lead you to what's next. Right.

[00:31:13] And so I really saw that headline and it stuck with me. So what do you guys think? Do you think do you think it's important to value curiosity?

[00:31:27] Yeah, I mean, I'll step in there. I mean, I, I do I mean, I know what you're saying as far as when you have that person that you go, oh, my gosh, are they just they're just going on and on. But but I think there's something to that. Right?

[00:31:39] I think that there is you know, we a lot of times just always kind of move to a solution or or think, hey, this is because I'm thinking this this is the right thing. Right. We need to kind of focus in on on what my my roadmap is. Right. And how we solve for stuff. But, you know, I think it's it's being curious and opening up to others thoughts and reasoning. This is to to have a better solution at the end of the day. Right. I mean, we have to stop moving so fast in our world and really stop and absorb, you know, everybody's. You thoughts around, you know, there could be reasons why people are asking certain questions that maybe because we haven't, you know, we haven't really addressed what whatever that specific need was right. In their questions or curiosity. So I. I really do. I feel like there's there's a way for us to do better at that than we ever have before, especially today. We go back to that compassion conversation a few minutes ago. But, yes, I mean, it really is it's really about the you know, how do we connect? But by doing that, it's understanding, you know, like maybe your perspective, their perspective. And then where do we share the same perspective and where do we differ? And then let's talk through those.

[00:33:05] So question for you guys, so how many questions on average? Does a child ask in a day?

[00:33:17] I know that's general, but it's a trivia question. At least a hundred. You're close. At least a hundred. Seventy three.

[00:33:29] Wow. I don't know if I believe that. Seventy three is the data point that I have here. Children ask a staggering 73 questions on average a day. I think I've had employers who ask double that in one day.

[00:33:45] So is there anything there is there anything that says like what age, you know, that's encompassing?

[00:33:51] Is that like a certain it did and know that it could be a level of general?

[00:33:56] Well, and it's interesting. It's interesting. It would be it would be kind of interesting to know what what does that mean? You know, from whatever that age group may be, it is just anybody under the age of 18.

[00:34:07] Right. And then what that next set of groupings would look like. Do we evolve as humans? Do we change our patterns or is it really upon our personalities? Do we maintain that right? Do we ask do we continue to ask questions even as we get older?

[00:34:25] And you know that maybe in a day? I don't know. I'm probably more than seventy three. I will tell you that.

[00:34:33] I really do think it has to do with conditioning and programing. I think it has to do with, you know, if you are in an environment where you're encouraged and you know where your curiosity is valued, or if you're somebody who is in a in an environment where you're kind of told to stop that, don't do that. Quit asking questions. You know, follow my instructions. Just do what I tell you. You know, I think it all has to do sometimes with environment, how we how we develop curiosity and leadership and, you know, any other skill. I think it has to do with your program. And sometimes because there are some companies that are really put in an environment where they flourish. And, you know, there people think that you're born a leader or you're born that way. And I don't I don't agree with that at all. I think a lot of it is environment and who you are around and how that is encouraged or discouraged and just seeing certain children. In my former profession, you can see who they turn out to be as adults based on, you know, who was guiding them along the way. So I think it has a lot to do with that that early program in that children get.

[00:35:53] I completely agree. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. In that environment is we.

[00:35:58] So my last little hot topic for today, because I know we can't we can't keep you forever Ashlee, though I would if I could circle back a little bit to working from home. And this was an article posted by oh.

[00:36:10] I'm going to not say this yet. I think it's Cat Capucine Yeomen's. What a name. Almost like Cappuccino. And she's an editor and at LinkedIn. And it said that eight months since millions of our employees were sent home.

[00:36:23] And while most are generally content, there's one problem. We're lonely.

[00:36:28] And it says at issue is particularly prevalent among extroverts and leaders and those who generally enjoying their coworkers. And it says experts are actually suggesting that you follow the examples that are set by gig workers who take more time to build relationships, routines and a sense of purpose and workspace. And I thought that was very interesting. Do you do you think that that is one of the things you see, Ashlee, in your group or our group?

[00:37:00] I will tell you, I have a couple of boys that after getting the opportunity to work from home for a while, actually did feed that back. They said, you know, while I enjoy the freedom, there's a sense of loneliness that came with it because the interaction isn't there. And that is even for me. I will tell you that while I do enjoy the occasional remote working environment, I feed off the people around me and the energy that here in our offices and always did when we worked together. So, you know, what are your thoughts on that last topic? Do you think there's a little bit more loneliness that comes just naturally with the virtual work environment?

[00:37:45] Yeah, I would say it's definitely based on a case by case basis, I am a major extrovert, as you know, and it impacted me and me be dealing with you really shift in emotion, right? I've been home since March. Now my job is permanently at home. So it's really understanding the reality of what that means and that it's one of the things that I think each person has to has to walk through that, you know, maybe it's to me I almost look at as the roller coaster ride at times. Right, because because as soon as they announce, hey, you know, this is going to go beyond September, October, we're going to now be home completely. And so it's me in my natural tendency to say, no, I don't like that. I don't want that right. But I've learned to adapt to it because I do appreciate I mean, I do love the fact that I'm set up perfect at home with everything that I have in front of me that I need. Now, that connection, that human connection is something that I hope that we eventually get back to, whether it's through travel or, you know, maybe having big meetings where we all do come together at times. But that yeah. I mean, it's something that we I think we have to care for, too. But but yeah. It's impacting across the board. And then then it's you as an individual to find your balance, your right balance, so you don't kind of get yourself out of that loneliness. And, you know, maybe it's just you have to do, you know, with with other family members or other ways to connect, especially right now. I know you can't get out and about as much, but but how do you find ways to maybe go to lunch, you know, and meet up with someone on a regular or have belayer in some of those extras, things that maybe wouldn't have been in your world before because you would have seen people been in front of them, you know, in your natural light, go to office, work state. So, you know, I think it's I think it's just unique to the user. But, you know, even some of the things that we've done and we try to do is don't sit by your computer from eight to five, make sure you're taking breaks, make sure you adjust, even meetings.

[00:40:08] You know don't run them for a full hour, run them for forty five minutes.

[00:40:10] Give that break in between. Well, and walk your dog if you can. If you're on a call, you don't have to be in front of the computer. Right. So I think it's up to each unique person and what what they need to feel like.

[00:40:22] They're not just behind walls and another room right next to where they sleep.

[00:40:30] That's great feedback and I really appreciate you sort of joining us today. Nelsa do you have any other final words for this episode?

[00:40:39] Oh, no, this was awesome. Ashlee, thank you so much. We've been looking forward to having you all year. Awesome.

[00:40:45] Well, thank you. Thank you, guys. I appreciate you having me for sure.

[00:40:48] Well, we have we're so- no go ahead. We're so glad you joined us.

[00:40:54] Well, thank you again.

[00:40:56] Well, listeners, Nelsa and I will be back in our next episode and have some more fantastic guests coming up before the end of the year. We're so excited you joined us today.

[00:41:07] And don't forget about your holiday programs. That's right. Holiday programs. All right.

[00:41:14] Thank you guys for joining. We'll talk to you again.

[00:41:23] Thank you for joining us on this CA Short All-in Employee podcast. Scott and I will see you next time.


Topics: wellness

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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