All of us have been forced to adjust our professional and social lives to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. People now realize how much we crave real, face-to-face human interaction. This is just as true in an industry where remote working is the norm, as is the case in our own field of software development.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the AccelOne nearshore office in Buenos Aires to meet new team members and reconnect with old colleagues. We also took the opportunity to engage in a team-building event with a major client. The unusual circumstances imposed by the pandemic had made such a gathering impossible for just over two years, and the long-overdue reunion impressed upon me the need to actively connect with one’s team, customers, and colleagues personally. The energy and hospitality shown to me was nothing short of invigorating. Our personal relationships are what drive us to excel in life, and our technologically connected world has only made that more apparent.
Bonding in Buenos Aires
AccelOne’s Buenos Aires office is our nearshore development office–close enough to our headquarters, culturally, but also capable of drawing from the diverse perspectives and talented individuals found in the Argentinian capital.
Our team of software specialists and supporting staff are an invaluable part of our global operations, bringing their expertise to everything from the standard application development, to virtual reality and blockchain platforms. When a company has offices in multiple locations, care must be taken to ensure that none of them feel secondary or ancillary. We are all organs of one body, working toward the benefit of all. Everyone should feel valued, and the best way to demonstrate that appreciation is with your presence – and if you have time, in their native language.
I visited our main office in Buenos Aires, as well as our co-working spaces, to meet various team members within every level of the company organization, from co-owners to developers and HR staff. The experience was made more special by my attempt to speak mostly in Spanish, when I could (and validated the years of Spanish lessons I’ve been taking). As Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” He’s right.
The workspace tours were capped off with a relaxed team-building event at a rooftop bar in Buenos Aires. Over local food, drinks, and stimulating conversation, I got to know my colleagues not just as team members, but as people.
Face-to-face time with colleagues does wonders for team cohesion. We naturally want to support and impress those with whom we have personal relationships, and we celebrate their achievements. We also feel much more comfortable reaching out for help and collaboration with people we know. It’s that human touch that gets you vested in the successes of your colleagues.
Clients and Colleagues Alike
The bonding didn’t stop with our Argentinian team. One of our largest clients joined us all the way from Chicago for a team-building event at the Sofitel Resort, just outside of Buenos Aires. Accelone is building an entire blockchain crypto NFT platform for them as part of updating their services with the latest in decentralized infrastructure. So far, the developers and client team had only been in contact via Slack, emails and short video calls, but with some time to unwind together in the resort, both sides got to know the humans on each end of the partnership.
Relationship management between a specialized service provider and a client benefits just as much from the human connection. The face-to-face time enables for a more vested and personal relationship. Even after a short time together, we get to know more about the personality behind the voice on the phone or the talking head on the screen. We better understand and anticipate each other’s needs and goals, and are even more motivated to help those friendly people with whom we shared refreshments on that memorable day in Buenos Aires!
It was great to see everyone and meet after not being able to for so long. It may sound trite, but the truth is that long-distance communication only goes so far as to bridge the gap. The social distance imposed by COVID-19 has taken its toll on morale across many industries as we’ve felt isolated from the colleagues that kept us motivated during our day-to-day work. These in-person visits post-pandemic are important and crucial to keeping your employees happy and your culture strong. And a culture of communication, of human connection, is what makes AccelOne excel at, and be proud of, what we do.
Director GerenteHenderson, NV, EE. UU.