I did a trip to Florida last week to get caught up with my colleagues at the home office since I work from home most of the year in Maryland. It had been 14 months since my last trip, which is the longest stretch I've been apart from Florida in many years.
I wasn't able to visit the beach so I wandered around Coral Springs where I was staying and visited all our old haunts. I went to the Barnes & Noble three times and didn't buy anything but took lots of notes, love B&N but not the prices.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being in the company of my co-workers.
I’ve heard my boss say this for years, we need to have face time with each other and with our clients. I usually ignore him because it’s like listening to mom and dad give the same advice day in and day out, until you experience the gap in not spending time with someone, you might think it’s an overblown concept as well.
Last year when I went to Asia in October, it had been 18 months since my last visit. There had also been a large gap in seeing our biggest client of about 6 months.
2018 was a hard year, my mom's husband passed away in April, we found, bought and moved into a house within 6 months and moved mom as well. Along with our annual trip to Texas and packing, I don't see how we could have squeezed any work trips into that time frame.
I’m very thankful my job was understanding and not pushy, but when I did finally arrive at each location – Asia, client, Florida – I could see how my absence had created gaps. It’s hard to explain but being in person with others creates comfort level that can’t be replicated in phone calls. I will not admit this in person though, my boss will have to track down my blog to ever see that I might acknowledge he’s right in this case.