The co-founder of DigiCards shares how business owners can increase engagement with teams that are working remotely.
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Courtney Spritzer is the co-founder of Socialfly, a social media and marketing agency, and co-host of the podcast Entreprenista with her business partner Stephanie Cartin. She spoke with Jessica Abo about how her company adjusted to remote work and the genesis of DigiCards, sets of cue cards for virtual meetings.
When Covid hit, Spritzer and Cartin had to make changes to how they ran their business.
“We had a lot of learnings and some things that we had to implement right away,” Spritzer says. “We wanted to make sure that we were still having face-to-face time with all of our employees and our employees were getting that face-to-face time with each other.”
Months into working remotely, Spritzer and her team found themselves on about ten video meetings a day. She says laying down ground rules from the beginning helped the company transition smoothly.
“We had to share with everyone what it means to work from home and share expectations,” Spritzer says. “Everyone still has to be available. You still have to communicate with each other. You have to over-communicate during this time. And I’m really thankful that our company was set up on Slack because now we really, really leverage Slack for interoffice communications and to quickly stay updated on what’s going on.”
Spritzer and Cartin have put extra time and energy into helping their employees feel connected. “We meet once a month as a team,” Spritzer says. “We do a virtual lunch and send everyone a gift card. Everyone orders lunch in advance, and we get together and play games and catch up and try to bond during that time.”
Spritzer says they also remind their team to take breaks. “You don’t really have that balance anymore of getting out of bed, getting out of your apartment or house and going into an office. Now it’s all blended and we have hours back in our day, and a lot of people are filling those hours with more work.”
After experiencing Zoom fatigue, the co-founders decided to create a product to make video meetings less painful.
“I remember that back in May I called my business partner Stephanie and said, ‘This has to be better and it can be better. What can we do to make this better?’ And I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had very colorful cards that we could use to communicate over video?’ Because a lot of times there are technical glitches and sound issues, so the best way to communicate is just holding a sign, essentially.”
Spritzer and Cartin created a set of 20 colorful cards that focus on different aspects of a video meeting to help people know they are on mute or to let everyone know when someone has an idea they want to share. “We made the product for ourselves,” Spritzer says. “It worked so well that we decided to roll it out as a business solution for other businesses. And we also saw that it could be used for remote learning. So now the product is also available to teachers and students.”
They are also making customized packages for brands. “Something that I realized in my business, and also in talking to other business owners, is that the culture of a lot of businesses is really suffering during this time, since there’s no longer an office for a lot of businesses to go to and build that camaraderie,” Spritzer says. “So we can custom-make cards for businesses. And now businesses are hiring us to redesign the DigiCards to put their logo on front, send this out as gifts to their remote workers to keep them more engaged and then also customize the individual card so that it ties back to their values and their unique business culture. Right now we are offering ten percent off to help entrepreneurs and educators with the code Entrepreneur10.”
Spritzer says that if you have an idea you feel passionate about, go for it. “Do your research, Google the idea, see if it already exists, see if this is something that people want,” Spritzer says. “Ask your network, ask your friends if this is a product that they would buy. Collect as much feedback as possible and then based on that, decide if it’s worth your time to push the idea forward.”