March 11, 2020

March 11, 2020, marks the last day we physically worked together in the office and started new ways of operating our business. On March 11, 2020, I announced to our (then) 16-person Uptown Studios crew that tomorrow, we would all be working remotely. I said, “This will probably last until August,” and I thought that was a LONG-ASS time to deal with remote working. Everyone gathered up their notes and books and left for home to work on their laptops for a while. The next week we delivered all of their computers to their homes. The following week we delivered their work chairs (since we all quickly discover that dining room chairs do NOT work well). And the week after that, we delivered “sit/stand” desks to their homes along with all of their personal belongings. And now, here we are.

One year into the remote working realm, and it is going pretty well. The team has adjusted to using all the tools that keep us as connected as we can be. Zoom is our friend, and Slack is even better for our internal times together.

One year and we have hired four new team members remotely—three of them I have never met in person—but things seem to be going really well.

One year and we have developed a new culture. We decided to create a formal, working document that describes how we keep the Uptown Studios culture thriving and growing. We have established “TeamUP,” a group that sets up dates for trivia, games, chit-chat, meal sharing, and more. It all takes more time to stay connected while working remotely, but it really seems to be working well for us.

One year of an empty building and mortgage payments. Now, we are trying to figure out what to do with the building and how to monetize the space. We’d love to keep it for team meetings and fun get-togethers for the community.

One year created what will probably become the way we operate permanently. This year has taught us we can work remotely and thrive as a business. But even more, our team loves working from home and its benefits to our home lives. They like being able to do laundry or having the dog right next to them, or accept deliveries.

2021 is going to be the year of vaccinations and slowly moving out into our communities again. Shopping for ourselves, eating out once in a while, and venturing slowly out of our homes. We are all going to be careful and take it slow. Working from home is now in our DNA.

Be well, my friends. I look forward to seeing you at one of our events in a year or so!

Tina Reynolds
By Tina Reynolds
Tina Reynolds is president of Uptown Studios, Inc. and has been running her own design firm since 1976. She is the community face of Uptown Studios and her blog entries are directed to business owners ready to make their materials, Easy, Fun and Popular.