If you told me five years ago I’d be working from home, I would have laughed. As a social person who thrives on personal connections, I never envisioned a world where I’d work in solitude. Fast-forward to now, and I couldn’t imagine going back to an in-person office setting.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, the corporate world learned a lot about working in a remote environment, and one of the most important lessons was staying connected.
Our team went virtual in March 2020, as many companies did when the pandemic started. We thought we’d be back in the office a few months later. But we embraced this virtual environment and now function as a virtually distributed agency with employees in nine states across the country.
This strategic move presented challenges, one of which was: How do we stay connected, simulate conversation and cultivate a work environment like what we had in the office?
We did this, and continue to do this, in three ways:
- We communicate and collaborate with our team effectively. The evolution of technology has made it so much easier to connect. When I worked in our Orlando office, it was easy to work within the silo of our physical office, out of convenience. As soon as we went remote, we found ways to connect with the whole team daily, which facilitated more conversation and collaboration among team members with whom you may not have worked as closely with in the past. We now empower the team to share ideas and solve problems together, which helps them feel engaged despite the miles between us.
- We schedule opportunities for employees to connect in person. We do this by planning three strategic planning sessions throughout the year, where our whole team flies to a location and implements our “work hard, play hard” mantra. These sessions provide the team with an overview of the state of the agency, strategy sessions to discuss ways to increase client service and elevate our work, and allow our team to get together in person for team building and social interaction.
- We embrace the ability to recruit PR pros from all over the country. Going virtual allowed our team to expand our footprint and recruit employees from anywhere. We have brought on team members with varying degrees of experience and background who may not have otherwise applied for a position with us due to their location.
In our remote world, maintaining connectivity is paramount. Our team connections contribute to the overall success of our company by maintaining engagement, productivity and client service.
If you’re interested in learning more about our team, click here.
Vice President Kali Hammond, APR, is a member of the media relations team and is based in Orlando, Florida.