Earlier this month, we were named one of Nashville Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for the eleventh year. In the best of times, this award provides a moment for us, as a group, to recollect on what makes this such a great place to work and what we can do better. This year is different. While we still need to take a moment to reflect, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the hard work and tenacity of the people that make working at Rustici so great.

Six weeks ago, we gathered our entire organization together and announced we’d be working from home until further notice. In one afternoon our employees gathered computers, chairs, keyboards, office plants, and even some of the perishable snacks; then, we went home. With three hours’ notice, we vacated the building.

We’re a great place to work even when we’re working from home.

When reading our website, it’s easy to imagine all of the reasons our employees might find Rustici Software a wonderful place to work, such as our unrivaled benefits, generous vacation policy, the Magic Whiteboard, etc. What’s less obvious is how much things like catching up over morning coffee, eating Chipotle on Thursdays, or having a regular Board Game Night means to people.

Now that we’re working from home it’s exciting to see our employees continue to find ways to make these moments happen. With video bakeoffs, happy hours, iPad Board Game Night, virtual hangouts for lunch every day, and other small things it’s clear that the things we all miss while working from home are the people and the time we spend together. You don’t always realize how much being around your fellow co-workers’ energy can add excitement and positivity to your own efforts. We’re already looking forward to the next time we can go to work together.

While we’re normally not big on awards, being honored as a Best Places to Work company for eleven years is a heartwarming reminder of what we have during these challenging times. We all feel unbelievably fortunate to work with a group of hardworking and empathetic people that make coming to work every day something we all look forward to, even when we’re just walking a few feet to our home office.

TJ is the Chief Technology Officer at PeopleFluent, another Learning Technologies Group company, though he used to be CEO here at Rustici Software. He is passionate, expressive and has the most distinctive laugh you’ll ever hear.