We have to admit something. We’re not perfect and if you’ve ever somehow been privy to our team’s internal Zoom meetings (or had a lot of your own this year), you’ll know exactly what this blog is talking about. At Helix House, we’ve gone through three phases of Zoom meetings so far and we think that perfectly sums up our 2020.
Today, we’re cracking open our calls for your entertainment…for better or worse.
Phase one; how young and naïve we were during phase one. Phase one happened back when we first started working from home. We all still wore our business attire, sat up straight, smiled into the camera (we still do that), and kept up the illusion that it was business as usual, despite us being at home.
The meetings weren’t perfect, but they felt normal. We laughed, we talked, we spent way too much time on certain topics — you know, the usual. Everyone did it in business casual attire, nice shirts, and done-up hair. The ladies of the office even wore makeup like normal.
This phase lasted pretty long, actually. We didn’t break it for a few months, though we’re a bit shaky on the timeline. During phase one, going to work every day, though work was a few feet from our bedrooms, still felt normal. We still tried to keep to the same routines and stay in the same mindset. We were a strong and immovable force.
Like I said, we were young and naïve. And then weeks turned into months and it all started to change. We all transitioned into phase two at different times, but it was clear to see that something was definitely different.
Phase Two was a good one. It was lighthearted and fun. We were all trying to make the best of a situation that we were sick of and reconnect with people we missed. We enjoy talking and hanging out together when we’re in the office and phase two brought a little of that spark back.
It all started with virtual backgrounds. When Zoom implemented that feature, you bet we exploited it. We never knew what Dungeons and Dragons, Legend of Zelda, or SpongeBob, Disney, or Studio Ghibli photo would be hiding behind one of our coworkers. It was always a fun surprise.
But the insanity really began when Nathan Rea was promoted to Chief Creative Officer. When the news dropped, we all coordinated behind his back. When he joined our team meeting, he was met with 7 different photos of himself.
Beyond the backgrounds, we also stopped trying to pretend we didn’t have pets. From cats walking in front of the camera whenever they pleased, to turning our screens so everyone could see a snoozing dog, it was all fair game.
Some of us even started calling in from places other than our desk. The most common area? Outside in the sun (before it reached 100+ degrees). It became very clear that we were all going through Zoom fatigue and needed a change. Between that and a short-lived stint where we tried to work in our office again in June, phase three quickly consumed us all.
Before we get judged too harshly, please believe us when we say that we never conduct meetings with clients like this. Everything in phase two and three happened in team meetings only. Don’t judge us. Please?
Phase three. We’re in that phase right now and it’s simultaneously the best and the worst. We just stopped caring about presenting ourselves in a business-like manner. Gone are the days of makeup and polo shirts, to say the least.
Now, we wear Santa hats, T-shirts (for days we don’t have client calls), and blankets. Let us tell you — working under a blanket is a blessing and curse. It’s so comfortable and warm, but staying disciplined enough to not snuggle under the blanket and just zone out for a few minutes is beyond tough at times.
We don’t do Zoom backgrounds anymore, but we also don’t care about our backgrounds. In phase one, it was blasphemy to have our significant other walk behind us, or to be walking around the house while we chat. Even last month, someone was doing the dishes while we were having our morning meeting!
However, that’s not a bad thing. We’re all human and we’ve grown to recognize that. Sure, it’s hard to work from home, but we’ve adapted to the change and embraced it. We’ve learned to work with our distractions without it impacting the quality and timeliness of our work.
That’s why we’re comfortable with sharing our Zoom call phases with the world: because polo shirts or not, our work is still polished and ready to go. Give us a call and see for yourselves.