ITS finds weekly Zoom meetings keep us connected

Friday 10/23/2020

Throughout the months FSU has been remote, ITS has been working in overdrive to provide the necessary technology and support to keep the university and its systems running. “I’m so impressed with the ITS staff when I think of what we accomplished together in the last several months. We have supported new services, increased communication efforts across campus and worked as a team to provide a great experience,” says Jane Livingston, associate vice president and chief information officer. 

While ITS has been working hard, we've also maintained a focus on connecting with our coworkers and ensuring a sense of normalcy.

Before the pandemic, ITS was working to build a connected culture across teams through office social events, town hall meetings and personal and professional development sessions. When ITS went remote, many felt disconnected, and the adjustment of working from home became isolating. To bring some normalcy and sense of togetherness, ITS leadership implemented a weekly ITS staff meeting via Zoom.  

The weekly meeting became our open forum to ask questions, voice concerns and a place to discuss current university projects. In recent weeks, it's become a forum for bad jokes and checking in with co-workers to see how they're doing in breakout rooms.  

Thanks to Zoom meetings and breakout room discussions, ITS has become more connected and informed than ever. We have met coworker’s children and significant others as they sprint across the background of the video or made virtual friends with everyone's pets as they force their way onto the screen. “There have been several positive surprises during working remote, and one of those is the new relationships that have been formed during the last several months,” reflects Rebekah Dorn, director of ITS Change Leadership and Planning. “People often tell me that they have enjoyed getting to know each other through virtual meetings, and people actually feel closer than they did than when we were in person.”  

In addition, each individual team has also been encouraged to implement weekly or daily team check-in meetings as necessary to promote team cohesion and assist in project needs. ITS also created an ITS-Staff Microsoft Teams page with sub-groups for sharing project updates, thank you messages from campus partners, recipes, pet pictures and fun weekend plans.  

And after seven months of working remotely, ITS has found that sometimes seeing a co-worker's face and having a few minutes to chat before a meeting officially starts makes all the difference.