Hey there, PALO community! My name is Cailey and I have been the Director of Operations for PALO since December, 2020. If we haven’t had the pleasure of sharing time on Zoom together, it is really nice to meet you! My job is to make sure that as a team, we are communicating, we are accountable to each other, and we are always moving forward.
When it comes to communication, it’s generally pretty easy to get in-touch with any member of our team, thanks in large part to the fact that our core team is made up primarily of extroverts. We’re fun, social people who like to shoot the bull as much as we love hustling to get our clients more customers.
As a member of this core team, it’s a relief to say that between moments of strategy and focus, there is no lack of the sporadic, genuine moments of joy amongst the team. This can be rare for an all-remote team! Some of this can be credited to genuinely liking the people you work with, and some of that comes from finding a balance between “too much” and “not enough” communication and face-time with coworkers.
Looking back on a year fraught with adjustments to the way we live, communicate, and show up for work, here are some tips and tricks for what PALO makes a priority as a company that has always been remote.
Communication, communication, communication
“Open and consistent communication” may sound like a buzzword phrase (along with pivot, synergy, and disrupt) in the modern workplace, but with a remote team working in different time zones, we know that our success relies heavily on the team staying in touch with intentional, engaging communication that works towards accomplishing company goals.
Probably the most important tool to any remote team is, not only how often, their means of communication. We use Slack to communicate both internally and externally with clients, taking full advantage of organizing company workflows and updates in #channels, direct messages, and beyond. We’re also big fans of the custom Slackbot, programmed for everything from an update on billing terms to team milestones to birthday reminders and so on.
Aaaand of course, we also use Slack for the occasional water-cooler convo or for sharing a picture from Grandma’s 80th birthday celebration (Happy birthday, Grandma Alice!).
All that to say, remote teams know best that they must use a communication tool that works for them, whether that be Slack, Microsoft Teams, or otherwise, to push their business forward.
Weekly video meetings
Okay, I know some of us are totally and completely over video conferencing, but hear me out. While many traditional office workers are shaking off their fatigue from the Zoom Boom of Spring 2020, companies like PALO who have always been remote know that the key to successful team connection lies within video conferencing.
We ensure these “face-to-face” meetings are an efficient use of time for strategy planning and status reporting, not only with teammates but with our clients and partners, as well. We’ve talked about building rapport with our clients and partners before, but it can’t be said enough how these weekly meetings are a great way for us to connect with our clients on a level deeper than just talking business.
Keeping the PALO ecosystem informed and engaged is the lifeline of building our brands, and with regular video conferencing we are able to create a sense of trust and accountability with hands-on management styles for our remote team.
Additionally, we carve out chunks at the beginning and end of our week that I’ve affectionately thought of as our “team time” to check in with each other. We know as well as any remote team that socialization is a huge factor in employee performance and productivity increases can be linked to how much time individuals get to chat with their colleagues. It’s just not within the PALO culture to come in or to leave a week without knowing the temperature of the crowd.
Finally, it’s so important for remote teams to meet in-person as an opportunity to work side-by-side, boost morale, and realign the company’s goals and culture. As the world begins to open up and we can travel safely once again, PALO is already planning out all our opportunities for meeting in-person this year.
As so many remote teams can understand, we have to use this time together wisely. For us, the goal is to not only have discussions around our annual goals and strategy, but to create opportunities for lasting connection.
Even more exciting, for a few of our team members (including yours truly) this will be the first time we are meeting our colleagues in-person! We see this as a huge opportunity to establish the PALO culture and reignite both the professional and personal goals of the team.
I would encourage anyone building their retreat agenda to ask not only what will benefit the business, but also what you can do to plan a retreat that supports positivity, restoration, and fun for the whole team.
All in all, the PALO team are big fans of face-to-face time. Through communication tools like Slack, video conferencing, and FINALLY getting back to in-person meetings, we become more focused and in-sync as a team, and overall happier individuals.
Team PALO, it’s gonna be a great year. See you in 20 minutes on our Zoom call!