I joined the Mad Fish team in August of last year. At that time, I hoped to move to Portland and meeting my coworkers at some point that fall. Although that plan didn’t come to fruition, there have been silver linings along the way. We’re all looking forward to the day when every meeting doesn’t take place on Zoom, however, here are a few things I’m hoping to bring from this experience to 2021 and beyond.

Remote Work & Distributed Teams

Remote work has posed a unique challenge for nearly everyone during the pandemic. However, there are quite a few perks in having a distributed team. While I am the first employee at Mad Fish to be fully on-boarded remotely, I’m certainly not the last: remote work has expanded our team across the U.S., and I’ve loved getting to know the ins and outs of different cities through the people I’m working with.  

Aside from being able to expand our team in new ways, remote work created unique opportunities for staying connected virtually. From heated Slack debates on tacos vs. burritos to Creative Catchups with teammates, I was surprised at how easy it’s been to connect and meet people on our team virtually.

Mad Fish navigated the challenges of working remotely during the pandemic by keeping open channels of communication. The team emphasized creating a culture that prioritizes mental health & wellness. I don’t know what the future holds for our team, but I’m hoping for a hybrid model that encompasses the best of both worlds.

Showing Up As Your Full Self 

If there’s one thing the pandemic reminded all of us, it’s that we’re human. There’s nothing like the unexpected appearance of a dog or kid in a Zoom background to remind us that our personal lives affect the way we show up to work. 

Navigating a crisis that most haven’t experienced in our lifetimes created opportunities to be more genuine in interactions with clients and teammates and paved the way for deeper connection and trust. This “human” side might not be as visible when we return to conference rooms instead of Zoom calls, but I hope we’ll remember to approach these professional interactions with the same kind of empathy and understanding.

Being Adaptable

Providing an elevated experience for our clients during a pandemic has been an ongoing puzzle. Each day brings its own challenges; and being adaptable has been the key to overcoming those challenges. Every day our team has been helping clients navigate the changing digital marketing landscape. We’re adapting to find creative ways to connect clients with their customers in new ways. I’ve loved getting to see the innovative ideas from our team and the trust our clients have put in us to execute those ideas.

We’ve learned so much over the course of this past year and had opportunities to pursue ideas that might have seemed unbelievable a year ago. I hope we continue to have the courage to follow bold, unexpected ideas and leverage the flexibility that we developed this year as a tool for growth.