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Communication and Productivity in a Remote Work Environment

In mid-March, we made the decision to transition the entire Procurated team to a remote work environment. We were a smaller team then, and most of us thought we would only be working from home for a few weeks. Maybe a couple months at most. Of course, the quarantine and safety concerns around the coronavirus pandemic have persisted since then, but that has not stopped all of us at Procurated from continuing to move forward. 

In the early stages of the transition to remote work we put a strong emphasis on communication, encouraging everyone to use tools like Slack, video chats, and live documents with real-time editing to keep each other informed. We were also lucky to be in position to hire several full-time employees since March, including four new full-time hires in key positions and several summer interns. 

“Initially, we wondered if we would lose out by not being in the office together every day,” said Procurated’s Director of Marketing, Alex Stonehouse. “But that has not been the case at all. Our new hires have meshed with the existing team extremely well, almost immediately. And many of my relationships with other team members have grown much deeper over the last few months because the one-on-one and small group interactions have become more meaningful.”

To ease the transition and ensure everyone at Procurated had the tools they need to do their job, we outfitted everyone with the proper hardware (laptop, second screen, microphone, headphones, etc.), software (shared documents, UI / UX design software, marketing software, etc.) and other tools or technology they needed, like a comfortable chair or fast wireless internet. As we have added new colleagues, providing them with the tools and technology they need before their first day has been key to successfully onboarding them onto the team.

“I feel fortunate to be one of those people who has experienced a nice productivity boost since moving to remote work,” said Becca Moran, Procurated’s Senior Director of Product Management. “I’ve been able to carve out more time to focus on my tasks throughout the day and balance that with scheduled time to collaborate with the team. Our morning stand-ups are a great way to stay in sync and stay connected.” 

Becca also mentioned that the entire company has seen benefits from transitioning all major goals and initiatives to the productivity software, Asana. “We’ve really stepped up our game now that we can track our work asynchronously in Asana,” she said. “The current structure we have in place gives the team the flexibility to get work done whenever they feel most productive.”  

Procurated’s Product Designer, George Puthukkeril, agreed with Becca.  “Using tools like Figma, a collaborative design tool, help to bridge the gap between me and the final stakeholders as we make progress on ongoing projects.," he said. "They can log into the tool and see me working, and at the end of the day that increased transparency leads to accountability and high-quality output.” 

While we do have ambitious goals, the day-to-day life at Procurated isn’t strictly about productivity for the sake of productivity, and all of our meetings are not in small groups or with one other person like mentioned above. We believe that the best investment a company can make is an investment in their employees, so we make a point to get together as a company twice per week. The first meeting is a strategic meeting where all of the teams within the company come together to discuss important topics and initiatives. The other company-wide gathering, “Fridays at Four,” is a relaxed meeting to cap off the week where we make a point to get to know each other a little better and share some laughs. On that call we also have fun with activities like   revealing the winners of  a weekly fitness challenge, playing Procurated trivia, or voting on dishes in a company-wide cooking contest. 

“There was something great about being in the office together with this group,” Alex said. “But we’ve managed to make it just as special and meaningful from afar. This team is full of talented, wonderful people no matter where we are.” 

So what does the rest of 2020 look like for Procurated? We still have several positions open that we are actively hiring for, so if you or someone you know would be a good fit to join the Procurated team, please check out our career options
  Jess Einstein