Virtually celebrating one another, business success and preparing for 2021

Date: 2020-12-16
Author: Michael Samara

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I didn’t fully grasp the concept of being part of a multinational company until I joined Versasec.

With employees spread across seven countries , the concept of being one company was difficult to comprehend. As the most recent addition to the Versasec global team, it was a very positive experience to discover how despite being spread all over different time zones, we can and do work together as one cohesive and inclusive team.

Here’s a good example. As is company tradition, every year Versasec brings all its teams together for an all-company meeting focusing on brainstorming, training and, most importantly, team building. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, this year’s meeting, not surprisingly, was virtual. So how could we accommodate a half-day event with teams as far as Kuala Lumpur and Austin, Texas? Easy: Start at 6:30 a.m.!

Considering this was a four-hour event, the company made sure no employee would be distracted by hunger. Versasec sponsored a meal for each employee no matter the time of day or the time zone. So, while I was eating breakfast tacos in Austin, Duy was having homemade Pho in Germany. Vincent explained that if it’s not spicy then it’s not food, and meanwhile Tanya had a tray of sushi in the South of England while Joakim was enjoying some strange herring in Stockholm. What a great way to start and have fun. We each shared what we were eating and the time of day, giving each other perspective into our days.

During the virtual summit, each department shared a 15-minute presentation that highlighted its accomplishments for the year, current challenges, and what they were looking forward to in 2021. As a newly minted employee, this was very valuable information for me.

Embracing the idea of remote togetherness, we participated in a series of challenges on Zoom organized by https://teambuilding.com/. They kept us on our toes, splitting us in groups, and competing against each other. We played games, drew, did some creative thinking, tried our hands at trivia, and more. What a fun way to do this with people bringing their own perspective from different parts of the world!

While the food and games were great, the highlight of the day was a challenge posed to us in advance of the event. The concept is called “The V idea.” Our executive team invited us to share our ideas for the company, and any idea was valid. Ideas revolved around how to improve our productivity, our product, new features, teambuilding, tag lines and more. All submissions were anonymous. The voting committee cast its votes and awarded prizes to be the best ideas. First prize went to an idea that would improve our team productivity. The second prize was awarded for a proposed new feature to our product. The third prize was a fan favorite: “Virtual Coffee Breaks.” Once a week we have the option to join a video call and catch up with our colleagues around the world for 15minutes. I’m looking forward to this time.

In a “normal” year we would have done this event in person, but even being physically separated, I believe everyone who participated felt a strong sense of togetherness as a team. I feel more connected to my colleagues spread out on different continents and have a better working relationship with them because of how our event was put together.

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