“Virtual Phone Home”

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Phoning Home

One of the greatest movie moments of all times is when young Elliot begins to understand that ET wants to phone home in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic, ET the Extra Terrestrial.  With music swelling, the audience is brought along for the comprehensive and emotional ride of how important it is for ET to be reunited with his family, his friends – his kind. 

To be with my kind

I love my job and working remotely from home is a dream but there is always something missing.  It is that feeling of walking through the door into a place where you know support and friendship, encouragement and motivation, work and challenge await you.  Yesterday, I flew the red eye into Montreal – to work for a few days at the headquarters of my company, Technomedia.

I have written quite a bit about how to make virtual employment and virtual teams work while you are away from the home office or headquarters of your organization. But there is much to be said about “being at the home office”.  It is vitally important to reconnect and recreate touch points, to reproduce that feeling of belonging and excitement about why you chose to work for the organization to begin with.

A Team – Your Team

We need to laugh, we need to shake hands and hug those who we sometimes speak with several times a week via email, IM, Skype, Yammer, Salesforce, FB, LI, or regular old phone. Great opportunity lies within, as well as between, moments of real. Don’t get me wrong, I love working remotely and having the flexibility to begin my day at 5am, should I choose. But the necessity to phone home, to go home every once in while is very real.

Last night, we sat around a table where great food was spread and good drink was served, I was home.  Another home – a place where I make sense, where my friends who happen to be colleagues share that feeling. Reunited in purpose, we move forward with renewed impetus and drive. We are a team, we want the same thing and sometimes, erasing the real miles is the perfect anecdote for “homesickness”.

The R’s for Remote Success

1.  Reconnect with Colleagues
2.  Recreate Touch Points
3.  Reproduce Excitement for Work
4.  Reunited in Purpose
5.  Renewed Impetus

The “real” of Virtual

Never underestimate the value of looking into someone’s eyes as you speak with them, sharing ideas, collaborating, or merely shaking hands.  The “real” of virtual is relationships – every once in a while, they must be nurtured – we must phone home.


by Rayanne Thorn

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