Remote work at Indigo Slate: What was a necessity is now a choice
We're prioritizing balance and growth for our employees.
By Liz Smith, HR Director
What happens when you combine a global pandemic, rapid growth, and a whole new way of working together? At Indigo Slate, we’re finding out. We’re excited to announce that we’ve officially rolled out our remote-first hiring and working model. It’s having a big impact not just on who we hire, but also how we work with our clients, partners, and colleagues. While we continue to have an office located in the Seattle area, our team members are free to decide whether to work in the office or from home—for the long term.
Prioritizing a work/life balance
Like many companies across the globe, we began transitioning toward a remote-first working model out of necessity at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We already used Microsoft Teams for day-to-day collaboration, which made things easy from a technical standpoint. Of course, individually, we had to deal with emotional aspects of the pandemic and get used to the physical distance between colleagues. But along the way, we saw that the remote working model has a lot of benefits.
We didn’t take the decision to change to a remote-first model lightly. We conducted several employee polls and surveys to gauge everyone’s feelings about in-person and remote working options. The results showed an overwhelming preference for the continued flexibility that remote work provides us. Our leadership team listened—now everyone has the choice to work remotely or come into the office on their terms.
We’ve seen the change have real benefits for our team members.
Flexibility – Team members can manage their work commitments around their personal lives, helping us to balance our health, families, and outside interests.
Safety – Employees feel safer when they can engage in their work from a remote physical space where they are comfortable and secure.
Sustainability – Remote work reduces the company’s carbon footprint, as driving or commuting to an office is no longer a necessity.
Lower cost of living – Several of Indigo Slate’s employees have taken advantage of the new remote-first policy to move to areas with a lower cost of living.
Supporting team growth
Now that we’ve fully shifted to a remote-first working model, we can hire people from outside the Seattle area. This freedom has helped us to keep up with one of the fastest periods of growth in the company’s history. We’re able to hire top talent nationally and even globally. Beyond that, it’s also allowed an increasing number of team members to relocate across the country. The number of employees who now live outside of a commuting distance of our Washington headquarters has quadrupled since pre-COVID times.
Like other companies, we’ve adapted our onboarding process to accommodate the remote work model. We deliver IT equipment to each person (laptop, monitor, mouse, keyboard, cables, and docking station) ahead of their start date, so they are ready to go from day one. And while we miss taking everyone out for their first-day lunch, we send DoorDash gift cards and encourage a virtual team get-together instead.
Creating a sense of togetherness while apart
With one-third of our workforce now living outside of a daily commuting distance, we asked the question: What’s the impact on our company culture?
Before COVID, we considered our office to be a fun place to work, with a lot of in-person collaboration, work friendships, and random conversations during the day. Since the shift to remote work, our goal is to maintain that sense of togetherness. We’ve implemented—and continue to evolve—our bi-weekly townhalls, internal team meetings, manager one-on-ones, happy hours, and coffee mornings so that people don’t feel that they are in this alone. Above all, we know that isolation can be a major risk factor for remote employees, which is why we continue to put so much effort into these touchpoints.
Our team members have also adapted. Those friendships and side conversations still happen—but now they happen through calls and video chats rather than around a physical water cooler. People might miss the random in-person encounters, but we’re deliberate in the way we bring our team members together. We don’t want to lose our culture and the sense of fun that makes our company a great place to work.
Who are we?
Indigo Slate is a full-service company with expertise in creating compelling content stories, experience design, and professional video production. We begin every project by learning the business context and market drivers. But most importantly, we seek to understand our audience's needs. Only then can we create award-winning messages, content, and experiences.