COVID-19, aka Corona Virus, compelled all the traditional corporations (including tech behemoths such as Google, Facebook, Apple Dropbox &, etc.) into rethinking how work gets done and overnight digital transformations. Overnight they switched from inflexibility or frowning upon on remote work (work from home – wfh) to encouraging wfh.
We being a startup meant that we had to be resourceful, think outside the box to attract and hire the right people. We do not have the brand clout, deep pockets to lure talent with catered lunch and other frivolous benefits. Besides these free lunch are a gimmick. It is designed to keep you on longer in the work environment. Anyways for us we always had to be open to talent regardless of their location. All that matters is getting the stuff done (GSD). So we were already somewhat of a virtual company with a physical office in Dunn Loring, VA (a stone throw away from the Northern Virginia’s Business District – Tysons Corner).
The physical office was a way for us to convene in one spot, get work done, and have clients & vendors over. We even hosted some of our meetups & local events there.
Being a firm believer in “Good is often the enemy of better,” and in the wake of the new reality, I kept asking myself, “Do we still need an office space?” “What can we do with the savings if we did not have to pay the high rent?” “What can we try?” “How can we continue to build a team bond?”
So after weeks (if not months) of deliberations, I’ve concluded that we should all cement our remote-friendly approach into a ‘Virtual First’ company.
What this means is that we are saying Good-Bye to our office space in Dunn Loring, VA. Instead, we’ll leverage technology more, meet over video meetings, and do periodic in-person planning, alignments, and team events.
The periodic in-person events will create an opportunity for us to get into the same room to organize, plan, and create a game plan. We’ll also arrange some fun team building activities that will make that deep connection, build our culture, and get us excited for the future.
In my opinion, it all comes down to hiring & onboarding the right people – team members. At marketANDgrow, our philosophy has always been to be flexible, hire the right people, onboard and invest in their growth, and see the magic unfold.
Going to work should not involve commuting that has is time-consuming—granted that we blessed to be in an industry where work can get done from the comforts of our home. There are industries such as Customer/Client Facing industries such as Hospitality, Medical, etc. that are not so fortunate and will have to commute still.
However, if all the companies that can adopt ‘Virtual First’ adopt, I believe we’ll make it better for the people who must go to an office for work. Fewer cars & passengers on the roads. A relatively more comfortable commute and lower carbon emissions & pollutions.
Talk about being flexible, attracting & retaining global talent, and doing good for others & the world. I’m stoked!!