Earlier this week, Brooklyn’s version of Fall brought an overly crisp 35 degree morning to my apartment. I crawled from my bed to my desk, where I huddled in my office chair in a heap of blankets that made me look like Jabba the Hutt. Eventually, after some time spent typing with gloves on (as difficult as it sounds), our landlord got the building’s heat going for the first time this season, and I was able to downgrade from my lumpy blanket pile to long johns and some cozy socks.
That same day? Shannon had a view of a flawless, balmy Midwestern afternoon that clocked in a whopping 30 degrees higher than mine. Perfect for pumpkin patches and apple picking! She couldn’t invite Kimberly or Jenn though—they could hardly get any work done with the flash floods, mudslides, and hail storms plaguing the usually sunny California landscape.
Talk about weird weather.
One of the most curious consequences of working on a completely distributed team is that you experience the world around you in a radically different way from the people you interact with most. I talk to DPM team members more than sometimes even my own husband (don’t judge us! He works two jobs!), and yet, our physical lives beyond the virtual office software don’t overlap at all.
In fact, 50 percent of the DPM team is comprised of people who, despite being some of my closest friends, I haven’t ever met in person.
I couldn’t tell you what their homes or cars look like, what their go-to happy hour order is, or even if they are taller or shorter than me. But I can tell you what their kids look like—their little curly heads frequently pop into the video frame during our internal meetings—and I know whether or not they are having a good day based on their email sign-off.
You can imagine all the funny ways this influences our company culture. Virtual teams have to go above and beyond normal office interactions to carve out time to get to know each other and build meaningful working relationships. One of my favorite ways we do this at Don’t Panic is with the monthly playlists. Music helps us reach each other in a way our environments can’t.
And in this case, it helps us all appreciate the best version of October—which doesn’t really look like California’s current weather agenda, I can tell you that much. The playlist below will give you all the Fall feels. Grab a pumpkin for carving, apples for making pie, and your favorite #basic PSL. Press play, and enjoy the seasonal songs. Wherever you are.