Originally founded in Florida and now headquartered in Jersey City, my company, PuppySpot, has a legacy of bringing people together across distances via connectivity tools and collaboration software. Nobody was totally prepared for this pandemic, but the fact that our first office was in Florida — which has been in the path of many hurricanes — taught us that we should always be ready to continue business operations without access to our office. However, that didn’t mean we encouraged work from home. Instead, we allowed it on a case-by-case basis.
One of the things I’ve focused on since taking the helm as PuppySpot’s CEO was bringing as many of our employees as possible to one central location. I believed — and still do — that there is power in seeing each other every day. The act of physically being together helps create a cohesive community for colleagues. Still, our company was spread across a few locations, so we had geographical barriers to deal with.
Given our multiple offices, we were all familiar with the connectivity tools we needed when we moved the company to 100 percent remote work in March. In fact, it was a seamless and smooth transition. I was concerned about how everyone would handle distributed work while also managing their personal lives, but it turned out my team was able to adjust on the fly. In truth, they have risen to the occasion well beyond what I had expected.
To some degree, I credit the structure and standards we put into place for our success. We have tried from the start to keep to our normal routines whenever possible. For instance, instead of our customer-facing team convening in person for daily huddles, they come together on Zoom. In a time of great uncertainty, with updates streaming in multiple times a day, the huddles serve as a critical core function for us. They connect our team on a professional and a personal level. Similarly, across the company, regular one-to-one meetings and coaching sessions are carrying on like normal.
Where I believe the real innovation is taking place, however, is across geographic divides. In the past, I’ve noticed that cross-functional communication is lacking and worried about the efficacy of our communications. Over recent months, that concern has been allayed. Read more here…