So many things happen in life that we can't control. Yet we are measured by how we respond.
The effects of COVID-19 over the past 13 months have only amplified this message for me in my personal and professional lives. But this is not a pity post or a prediction of what comes next.
This is a post of praise. Praise for the people that help each other, help our clients, and help our company weather the biggest storm we have ever seen.
Here are just a few examples of the strength, perseverance, and empathy that I have witnessed. Each deserves praise and I appreciate all of you more than you realize.
The Workshop Digital team took the challenges in stride
Holy cow, how did we get so lucky to have a team of professionals that care so much about each other? Our teams continually deliver amazing work and step up to meet any challenge that comes their way with grace and poise. Respect.
Abbie has worked tirelessly to recruit and onboard some amazing new faces even as we shift our hiring model to include full-time remote team members and a rapidly evolving industry on the move. This is no small feat for a team of one.
Karen updated our financials almost in real time, which allowed us to make decisions quickly and boldly without compromising our safety nets, core values, or priorities.
Our internal committees (Health & Wellness, Community, and Culture) kept finding creative and engaging ways to foster positive interactions within our teams. These were often welcome distractions from the new daily routines.
Solidifying and deepening client relationships
We had only one choice in the midst of the uncertainty—to show compassion and empathy to our clients that were facing the same storm as we were. As a small business, we know how tough it can be to balance the books and keep an optimistic view. We granted 100% of our clients' requests for payment leniency and contract adjustments. It was the right thing to do, and we were fortunate to be in a stable-enough position to do it without sacrificing our team's security.
We learned more about our clients' daily lives than ever thanks to the shared experiences of migrating to working from home. Despite the sometimes awkward and endearing cameos, I am grateful that people allowed themselves to be vulnerable when dealing with the spectrum of professional and personal in our shared spaces.
What really impressed me were the clients who were not afraid to ask for help when they needed it. The deeper partnerships and open lines of communication ensured we would all emerge from the uncertainty together.
Our newest members took the leap with us
I'm incredibly humbled that our newest team members took the risk to join a company full of strangers. We have expanded our geographic footprint and hired really talented, amazing people in Atlanta, Chattanooga, San Diego, New Jersey, Minneapolis, and Houston over the past year.
Our award-winning culture is transitioning from an office-centered culture to a remote-enabled culture. It is still a bit odd when I think about working with people I haven't had the opportunity to meet face-to-face. But that day will come, and we're already planning a reunion and homecoming when the time is right.
We celebrate the new hires and our existing team for welcoming virtual folks into the fold. And we're still hiring!
Our landlord and construction teams delivered an amazing new office
Despite the unfortunate timing of signing a 10-year lease on a brand new 10,000 sq. ft. office back in January 2020, we ended up with a beautiful new space that is going to meet our needs for many years to come.
Our friends at Fultz & Singh Architects merged their open, modern style with our vision. Our landlords at Spy Rock granted us some flexibility in the lease terms and move-in dates to share the risk and uncertainty. A multitude of construction teams showed up during a pandemic and worked tirelessly with fantastic results.
If having a lot of unused office space is the worst outcome we face after COVID passes, I would say we've done pretty well.
I appreciate all of the candor, grace, and empathy that I witnessed (and received) over the past year, and I truly hope that spirit of togetherness persists long after COVID is in the rearview mirror.