Unfiltered #11 – Back to the office

Ben's Blog - Unfiltered

From the CEO

Unfiltered #11 – Back to the office

(A note to Greensea staff)

All hands…

I am proud that Greensea chose a safe and responsible path through the pandemic. We locked the doors and sent people home, bringing only those back to the office as their tasking required. We could have followed the path of many companies around us and claimed we were an “essential business” and just kept at it. With half a dozen Government contracts, that would have been pretty easy. But we chose what I still feel was a better option for our staff and their families. I will always try to do the right thing by our staff.

One of the reasons I started Greensea, and one of the reasons I run it the way I do today, is to work in a great place with great people and to do cool shit without blockages. I love my team and I love the people around me. I love my company. Hopefully, I am not the only one. COVID and the related restrictions took a lot of what we love about Greensea away from us: face-to-face team work, collaboration, lunches, bullshit sessions around the office, relationships, field testing, travel, trips to the local pub, and even late nights together. Generally speaking, it took away the feeling and satisfaction of building and growing something collaboratively with a cool group of people. It took away the fun of Moving the Fucking Ball with my team. I miss you guys.

Many folks feel more productive working at home. Many of us have had some complicated family logistics solved by being home more. Some of us have replaced Greensea work shirts with pajamas. In many ways this work-from-home adventure has been nice. The company has certainly survived it, maybe even thrived through it.

But, I feel our team has suffered from the work-from-home era. It is tougher to on-board new hires, it is tougher to communicate, it is tougher to establish meaningful relationships, it is tougher to identify and remove blockages, and it is tougher to build cohesion within the group. Hell, there are people in the company I have not even met yet, and I really hate that. Oh yeah. We are also a robotics company. The robots live at the office and everybody is working at home. That is a problem. (And I fucking love robots, that’s the reason I do this job anyway! Without robots, this is just a software gig.)

Our company, our culture, is not meant to work from home. We are a team that works together, creates together, and grows together.  Greensea is about collaboration and relationships.

Now, with COVID restrictions easing, people getting vaccinated, and summer coming – it is time to get the band back together. No later than 1 JULY, I would like our staff back in the office at a minimum of 50% time. For some this may be 100%, for some it may be 50%. We will all work together to figure out the best schedules for everyone. We want young pups working with mentors, we want teams together on the same days, and we want to build back the community that has always made Greensea special, fun, and productive. So, there are details to sort, but this is the objective: minimum 50% office time for everyone starting 1 JULY. (We will of course be flexible and compassionate with summer commitments, childcare, transitioning out of pandemic schedules, etc. but, it is time to get back into the office.)

Those of you good at math may realize we have a larger team now (40% larger)  than when we went home last March for the pandemic. You may also have astutely observed our current Vermont team size is a tad larger than our Richmond office. So, here is what we are doing. We have signed a lease on a new space in town. It is large, well lit, new, clean, and has very quiet neighbors (sits next to a graveyard). We are keeping our beloved office on Main St but we will be moving into that building in May and June to spread out and reduce density in the Main St office. Kinda like a Greensea campus in town. Everyone will have their own desks and offices again, no more hot-bunking-covid-bullshit. No, we don’t know the details yet on who is going where but stay tuned. In true Greensea fashion, it is happening fast. The Plymouth office is ok for now but we will address space concerns there as needed. There are other options in the Cordage Park facility for us as the team continues to grow there.

So, I am looking forward to having the team back together. I am looking forward to having lunch together again and working on robots together. I’m looking forward to Moving the Fucking Ball with my people again.  More details to follow but mark your calendar: 50% back in office starting no later than 1 JULY. (If you are vaccinated, get your ass on in here!)

Oh, and there are plans cooking for a big ol Greensea weekend this summer in Vermont for everyone and families. We will be bringing our Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, and California people and their families to Vermont.  More to come on that as well, but it is gonna be rad.

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Greensea Systems, Inc.

10 East Main Street :: PO Box 959 :: Richmond, VT 05477 :: USA
802.434.6080 :: info@greensea.com