Today we start a series of weekly interviews with the partner team of VOLT Studios. First up, our fearless leader and VOLT Studios founder Steve Medin.
Steve, how has your leadership style needed to adapt during COVID?
“The biggest change for me was that I could no longer take our “togetherness” for granted since at least half of the company is now working from home on any given day. We do weekly zoom meetings, bi-weekly emails to keep us all engaged with each other. The other challenge was to stay positive, even during some really dark times. I think it’s worked out about as well as we could hope.”
What have been some of the biggest challenges for VOLT during the pandemic?
“Obviously, surviving the big downturn in work has been the elephant in every room. Keeping everybody smiling during a zoom meeting is one thing, but keeping the paychecks coming is obviously the thing that matters most. Luckily, we’ve been able to knock out all the projects with minimal fuss. So at least we have that going for us, which is nice.”
What are some tips you can give to help keep team morale high?
“I think the team knowing that their paychecks continue uninterrupted takes care of 90% of it—that, and seeing a decent number of projects coming up on the calendar. Keeping our sense of humor and having regular video calls to stay connected has been an important part of keeping our spirits up.”
How have clients who are used to being on-site adapted to the change?
“The clients have been great. We’ve been doing our work 99% unsupervised, using tools like Zoom to stay in contact and sending out WIP (work in progress) links as needed. The process has been smooth; the clients are thrilled to get the work done without having to come downtown.”
What takeaways will you keep in mind when COVID ends? Or do you think this is the “new normal?”
“I expect a combo platter. For the most part, the employees will be happy to come back to work and hang out. Probably a few clients, too. But we’ve proven that our projects sail smoothly, whether or not they are here supervising. So, some of the clients will be happy NOT to come downtown to get these jobs done. It’s fair to say that our new space will feel a little emptier going forward, so that’ll be a drag.”
“The bottom line – looks like VOLT has survived the worst of the pandemic, and that is incredible to me.”
Check back next week when we sit down with COO Charlie Lach and hear his thoughts on the pandemic and how VOLT has weathered the storm.