Ever since we started working from home, I produce a daily vlog for all of our Yoast employees. I thought it was a nice idea to keep my colleagues close. In every episode of my vlog, I tell them what is going on in the company. And, I share videos of colleagues showing their working space and telling about their work projects. Today, I uploaded my 19th vlog. It’s been a big success.
People from outside of Yoast started to ask me about this project. I can’t share the real vlogs, because they’re in Dutch and because I promised my colleagues not to show their homes to the entire world :-). That’s why I made an artificial vlog in English, which I share in this post. Also, I wrote down some of my thoughts behind this project.
More about the vlog
This artificial vlog is a little bit longer than my usual vlogs. I always give an update at the beginning of each vlog and there’s always an episode of ‘workspace’ and ‘how’s work’. The other categories aren’t in every vlog. It just depends on the number of videos my colleagues send in. I try to keep the length of each vlog at about 10 minutes. Every working day around noon, I publish a new episode. Lots of colleagues watch it (with their families, I have heard) during lunch.
How are the offices doing
Some of our colleagues still work at our offices. They’re re-painting our gym for instance. Or they bring desks or other work-equipment to the colleagues who are working from home. Most days, I share some shots of our empty offices, just so everybody sees that the offices do in fact still exist.
Hey, who’s working there?
Every day we visit someone’s home office. We’ll have a peak in the home office of a colleague. That’s very personal of course. Usually, we also hear how someone is doing. A nice way to stay connected.
Something you did not know about a colleague
We’re not randomly bumping into each other at the coffee machine anymore. So, I wanted to do something in my vlog that would make up for that loss. That’s why I came up with the idea to share something we did not know before about a certain colleague. Just some fun or random facts. In a vlog from last week, Joost shared his new hobby: birdwatching.
What about work?
Usually, we talk to each other during lunch. That’s often the place where I find out what my colleagues are doing. While I am busy doing marketing things or HR-business, others are doing research or developing some cool code. I wanted to make sure that people still hear about each other work, even if they’re not on the same team. That’s why in the vlog one of our colleagues tells us about their work. It could be a cool project or something someone has just finished doing.
This part of the vlog is really fun. People are really able to tell about what they’re doing. And everybody in the company gets to hear about it. This is much more efficient than telling one other colleague about a cool project during lunch. So this is something we’re going to be doing long after we are escaped from our intelligent lockdown.
That’s so cute
Lots of our colleagues have small children or pets. They do the cutest things. And that’s nice to share! During the COVID-19 situation, Yoast has welcomed three new babies. Three of our colleagues have a newborn at home (they’re all not working now). Videos of these babies all appeared in episodes of ‘that’s so cute’.
Back in the days
I really enjoy watching photos and video’s from a long time ago. Especially now, when I am missing everybody! And Yoast has a tenth birthday coming up. That’s a reason to get nostalgic. In most vlogs, I share a video from the past. It could be a video from a YoastCon or an ancient promotion video. Great fun to look at how we all have changed!
We have so many zoom-meetings and it’s always a bit awkward to end a zoom-meeting. That’s why we always end a meeting with a zoom-wave. So, that’s how I end every vlog as well!
Why am I doing this?
Putting together a video every day is a lot of work. It’s not something I am particularly good at. I have someone helping me with the planning – asking colleagues if they want to participate and of course, I did not do any of those cool drawings myself. But apart from that, I do all the editing myself. And that’s a lot of work. It’ll take an hour out of my day for sure. So why????
These are uncertain times. So, it’s important to communicate. To tell people what’s going on. I also write posts on our intranet and I communicate in slack as well. I want people to feel informed.
But also, I want to keep people connected. We do so many fun activities in ‘normal’ times and we cannot do that anymore. These videos -unprofessional as they are- give a human touch to the information we give to people. And it’s usually fun to watch as well. My hope is that people will feel connected to Yoast. And, I hope that it’ll help people to feel connected to each other as well.
For how long????
The government in the Netherlands decided to keep up the current state of the lockdown (schools, restaurants, pubs closed, working from home) for at least up until the 28th of April. As far as the data of our government shows, we’re doing a rather good job at flattening the curve. But I don’t know whether we will be working in the office after the 28th of April.
I will continue vlogging up until the day that we’re back in the office. That’s a promise… we’ll just have to wait and see…