Working in IT is certainly the job in which you meet many people in a face 2 face moment, right 😉
Not really, or let’s say often only virtually. At least not if you have a job with global outreach, your office is in Düsseldorf (Germany), the headquarter is in Espoo (Finland), your closest work colleague is based in Sydney (Australia) and your internal customers are working in every other part of the world.
As much as I was typically glued to my laptop, every possibility I had to interact with people f2f, I enjoyed to the fullest. Over the years I was able to travel to many locations, always making the most out of the fact that I could meet people, taking time at the location. Especially if you work remotely, the ability to travel and really go to the desk of a colleague or customer, talking to them, listening to them, ‘reading’ their body language in a conversation, or for a change just to make them smile!
I remember one particular moment, another trip to Finland and I walked to the office of two managers I worked closely with. They immediately started talking to me about an ongoing issue, I never heard about it before, ’cause unless I visited them in person, they kind of ‘forgot’ that I was out there in Germany, just one chat/email away to help them as I was in charge of this area. That was almost 10 years ago.
So I used every possibility along the way to cross the virtual working boundaries to meet people in person. One of the habits born from this necessity involved sweet treats and approaching every person I could reach in an office. To be used while travelling, we once carried several kilos of Fazer chocolate around the world, we spoke at different locations about ‘dry’ IT process related topics, so we wanted to sweeten up the topic. During stressful times, walking just couple of minutes in our headquarter offering everyone I met a smile and a sweet treat. Oh my, the reactions were amazing, smiles, laughter or “You saved my day” – puff, all stress gone or just to get a quick & healthy break from work.
One day, I approached a member of our IT leadership team with a sweet offer, she reacted, oh, the Chocolate Angel is here! The name stayed with me every since, I spread my wings to fly. Out there to inspire & unlock the human and positive side of working.