Like many other employees around the world, the coronavirus has Gresham Smith staff working from home for the foreseeable future. We’ve pressed pause on casual conversations in the kitchen and hanging out in the hub, instead finding ways to connect with our colleagues from behind the screen. We asked some of our employees about how their teams are staying social while social distancing—see what they had to say below!
Our team is so collaborative that wearing headphones at work actually makes us inefficient, so I typically don’t listen to music during the day. However, by my third day working from home the silence of no music was really lonesome. I figured there were others who felt the same, so I asked my studio to send some of their favorite songs and I built a playlist. It has provided an opportunity to discover new music, it fills the silence, and most importantly, it offers a way to feel together even though we are apart. It’s really special to hear the sounds that make up the Nashville Corporate + Urban Design studio. “Quarantunes” is going to outlive the quarantine and will always be something special that we created together when we needed each other the most.
Emaline Brady, AIA
One day last week the Land Planning market spent our lunch break playing Pictionary via Microsoft Teams. We took turns using the whiteboard to draw a random word that was generated by a website while our co-workers in Nashville and Louisville shouted out their guesses. During this time of self-isolation it was nice to sit back and share some laughs with colleagues—something we haven’t been able to do for several weeks now. I’m glad we tried it out and there are even talks of trying to play a game virtually once a week!
I had heard about offices hosting virtual happy hours and thought it would be fun to try with our Aviation market as an effort to stay connected. Our inaugural happy hour, which didn’t last one hour but TWO, was a great way to catch up with each other, meet pets and see what everyone’s drink of choice is. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we now have a standing virtual happy hour every Thursday and we’ll continue having virtual happy hours even when we aren’t working remotely as a way to connect across offices.
Krystal Anderson, AIA
We asked employees to submit their favorite photos (and clever captions) that encapsulate their work-from-home experience, and used them to create a virtual photo wall that everyone can look through. We feel a little closer to our colleagues by getting a glimpse of where they’re spending their days. One thing’s for sure: there are a lot of Gresham Smith dogs and cats out there enjoying their extra companionship!
Internal Communications Manager
Earlier this week, employees from all five of Gresham Smith’s Florida offices started our morning with our first virtual “Coffee with Coworkers.” It was so popular that it will be a weekly event for at least the next month!
The administrative assistants in our Nashville office typically gather in the Hub for lunch each workday, so we certainly didn’t want to let COVID-19 disrupt our daily lunchtime gathering! We are using Microsoft Teams to still enjoy lunch together, work permitting. It’s been great to still see everyone’s faces!
Brandi Amos, CAP
Training and Development Administrator