Although RE PIXS has always been considered a "remote" team, we thought it may be useful for you to see how we stay connected. With quarantine and COVID-19 social distancing measures, many Real Estate offices have been closed, Realtors are operating from home, and it seems more and more likely that businesses will continue to remain remote for the foreseeable future.
Thankfully, we have experience in team building, navigating online communication, and creating a culture that supports families, remote work, and fun! Now, this list is certainly not exhaustive, but these 5 things are areas that we, as a team, try to place emphasis on to make sure we all feel supported and connected, even from afar!
1. Hold Regular Meetings: The first and most important thing to remember is that teams need regular communication. We try to host a team meeting once a quarter, with check-ins and management meetings held weekly. Whether in person or virtual, we make sure these are a priority because it means so much to our team to be able to connect, stay informed about the business, and just have fun together! This may seem like an obvious answer, but you'd be surprised how many businesses put team meetings on the backburner, or shy away from them. We are so grateful to know that when our team does get the opportunity to come together, it feels like family.
2. Be Involved On A Personal Level: It can be easy to ignore the personal life of team members when you do not have access to them on a daily basis. In an office, typical "office banter" allows you to make personal connections with your team that you may have taken for granted once you become remote. For example, in an office, you may know your coworker likes to drink a Chai Tea because they show up with one every morning. With a remote team, these opportunities are few and far between, so it is imperative to stay involved on a deeper level.
We know that our team members have lives outside of work and since we are working from home and in the community often, we have incorporated individual team check-ins so that we are always aware of what is going both personally and professionally. For instance, we know some team members only have one vehicle, and that can impact their family schedules. Other team members have children, and we pride ourselves on being accepting and welcoming of our little photographers in the making, especially the canine versions!
3. Provide A Resource For Team Communication: This one is HUGE for us. We all communicate through Slack, and it has really been a game-changer for the team. With remote teams, texting is not always the best option as it does not allow for a work-life balance and often teams are too large to fit in one group text without issues. Using slack has allowed us to create threads for scheduling, team chats, general information, and more! It keeps information organized, and Angie's stress levels at a minimum because she knows everyone is staying up to date and connected. We also take the opportunity to do a weekly wrap up every Friday via video, so the team is aware of what is going on AND they get to see our faces. Not only is it great for communication, but we also use it to facilitate our next two points!
4. Plan Virtual Events: Since our in-person meetings have been limited lately, we have decided to implement virtual planning to help with team morale and cohesion. If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that we have hosted several events "online", to include a virtual scavenger hunt and my personal favorite, team spirit week. The team was not required to participate, but they all did anyway because it was a great way to connect and have fun. You'd be surprised how fast some of these people can find items on a scavenger hunt, take a photo of them, and upload to slack when bragging rights and a gift card is at stake! If you ever need any ideas assistance planning virtual events for your team, feel free to reach out to our management staff!
5. HAVE FUN: Last but certainly not least would be to remember to always have fun. I'm sure you know by now that RE PIXS celebrates the professional side just as much as the silly and fun side. Each day, Bitmojis and GIFs are tossed around by all team members, and in fact, it is a requirement that you like GIFs in order to be our team. We try to keep the mood light, especially in such trying times. And we know our photographers work so hard every day, so the management staff will set up surprise drop-offs of care packages once in a while for them. Most recently, Angie and Amanda hunted down each photographer and planted a cooler, fully stocked with fun treats and sanitizer, on the cars of each team member while they were at shoots. Sometimes, it is a simple gesture that can make someone's day, and since we are a PEOPLE FIRST business, this is something we love to do.
And there you have it, 5 ways to stay connected as a remote team. RE PIXS operates with the highest standards as it relates to relationships, culture, and morale. If you would like to know more about how we operate differently than most businesses, subscribe and stay tuned for more updates!