And for now, we’re remote

Companies nationwide have shifted their whole workforce to working remotely, including our own, as we prioritize the health and well-being of everyone around us. We’re grateful and don’t take lightly that we are at an advantage when it comes to being able to smoothly transition over to doing our work through virtual means.

Even though we are no stranger to change, having to make even the slightest adjustments to the way we work and live is more relevant now than ever.

We wanted to learn from our peers what this adjustment looks like for them – ie. if it has had any effect on their productivity or their ability to work effectively and efficiently, and what collaboration now looks like.

Have you run into any challenges or roadblocks with the whole team being remote?

“Because most of our team was remote or worked from home several days a week already before the whole company moved to work from home, it’s not been very tough of a transition for us. We already had a good set of tools in place for remote communication, which is critical.” – Colin Rymer, Director of Engineering

Aysha Zouain, our Email Developer, supports various teams within the company for Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals and has had to heavily shift her focus on developing and deploying communications in a timely manner during this unprecedented time. She shared

It has been a trying time but I’m thankful to have a really supportive team that backs me up. We’ve remained busy as a team to support our users nationwide as they search for homes to live.” 

Apartment Guide e-mail newsletter

“Working from home honestly has not been a challenge so far but I do try to start early in the day (before the family wakes up) to get more quiet time.” – Satya Sundararaman, Sr. Product Manager of Rentals

Do you feel a loss of connection to your peers or customers due to the physical social distancing?

“Communication has always been key in how the team works together whether it’s making the time to have a video coffee chat biweekly or sharing thoughts and documents via Slack. Recently our Chief of Human Resources Officer took the time to video call each individual in the HR team to make sure we and our loved ones are doing ok – it really is like working with a family, just one that wants to do impactful work together.” – Christine Nguyen, Employer Brand Manager

“We make a point to use video in our calls as much as possible to help maintain the human connection. We’re also big users of Slack with several channels dedicated to non-work subjects that I find really helpful for building a better connection with people. One of our recent hires, Vance Lucas, suggested and led the start of a weekly “About Me” presentation where every week a team member gives a short presentation about their life, software development background, etc. which I think has been a great way to really get to know even people I’ve worked with for a while.” – Colin Rymer, Director of Engineering

Prior to the shift, our Sales Executives of Roanoke, Joanna Munsey, who is also involved with the Virginia Apartment Management Association, was very accustomed to setting up frequent events such as lunch events, dinner events and happy hours. She has since been hosting video coffee chats and recently hosted a virtual roundtable with speakers lined up to speak on

property management issues, everything from how COVID-19 has affected the multifamily industry to virtual leasing, to even down to the basics such as collecting rent.

Joanna also expressed that as an extrovert who loves in-person meetings more than video, that video isn’t ideal

but if we can get over the fact that video isn’t the same, we can still be social”.

And social we have continued to be. From virtual happy hours within the HR team to optional daily connects that simulates water cooler chats headed up by the Performance Marketing team (and many more across the board), our teams have quickly adapted to a temporary new normal.

Not to mention that a little bit of humor here and there can be good for the soul. RentPath has always had a more casual work dress code and we recently learned that Satya thought he would surprise his team on their weekly Rentals leadership meeting by coming dressed up in a suit.

Satya dressing to impress on video call

We play pranks on each other and usually have a lot of fun. Since we have been working remote, I wore the suit as a joke, especially since no one on the Rentals team (maybe with the exception of Nishant) has worn a suit to work before!” – Satya Sundararaman, Sr. Product Manager of Rentals

One thing that certainly hasn’t changed is that we are still hiring! Interviews are now completely conducted over video calls – please refer to our FAQ page for more information on our response to COVID-19 here.

Written by Christine Nguyen

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