September always makes me feel butterflies of excitement. The change from summer to fall still paints faint memories of me looking for the perfect Trapper Keeper with a velcro flap or of dropping my kids off for their first day of kindergarten.
So much of those “first days” days involved the excited, sometimes nervous, and often vulnerable feelings around socializing. Will I make new friends? Will the teacher be nice? What will the cafeteria food be like and who will I eat with?
Going back to work as we continue to manage through COVID harkens back to that collective “first day” moment that most of us have experienced whether we are 5 or 50 years old.
The FruitGuys has been no different.
We’ve been operating in person to produce our regional mixes of fruits and snacks but also have taken a flexible approach to some roles that don’t necessarily have to be in the office every day.
Last week we had a larger, in person, multi-day planning meeting with people from a number of states who mostly hadn’t seen each other in nearly 18 months.
What amazed me was that it took us a while to get used to being “in person” again. The first day felt just like the first day of school–we had to get to know each other all over.
We did a “transition in” exercise to break the ice but there were still awkward moments because, as we all admitted, we weren’t used to working together in one place anymore. This COVID time of isolation from professional environments has impacted us all. We will, as a society, have to get comfortable with working together in person again.
But it’s worth it. By day two, our team was smiling, laughing, making eye contact, bouncing ideas off of each other, recognizing patterns, and finding solutions for strategic knots. We got more accomplished in four days than we could on Meet or Zoom in four weeks. Every single person said it was the best work session they’d had in a year.
There is tremendous value in being together — not just for work but for our connections as human beings. Humans are social animals– we need each other– and the workplace environment is critical to our social development. It’s where I learned critical skills and met my wife (thank you San Francisco Bay Guardian!) and how we’ve built The FruitGuys Family team over the last 23 years.
There are lots of things to think about as folks begin heading back to work and as the hybrid work model evolves. The Harvard Business Review ran an article I found thoughtful about best practices for re-onboarding all staff during this time of continued change.
We are happy and excited to be part of your re-onboarding solution. We can support you with a weekly icebreaker of healthy fruit that boosts your immune system & connects you to nature, as well as nourishing snacks to punctuate your afternoons.
Please let us know how we can be helpful to you and your teams as we all navigate the “new” office and hybrid work models.
Welcome staff back to the office with fruit:
Try a large Harvest mix (50 servings), our biggest selection of seasonal fruit plus bananas. Right now grapes are in season and they’re delicious. Start a Fresh Fruit Wednesday and encourage your staff to eat healthy at work and at home.
Send healthy gifts to remote employees so they don’t miss out on the deliciousness and feel connected until they get to come to the office and eat fruit with you in person.
We can do it all for you and we are here to support you as you navigate this new back to work year.