How (and Where) We Work Has ChangedPublished: March 3, 2023
Change is inevitable: you can fight it or embrace it. The world is very different now than just a few years ago. At DR, how we work has changed in many ways as well. We’ve chosen to wrap our arms around it and embrace change.
We can debate whether offices and remote work are good or bad. Arguments can be made for nearly every work style — we have learned a lot over the past three years and now know what works best for us.
DR has long been based in the New River Gorge area, in the town of Fayetteville — the doorstep to the newest national park in the United States. As the organization grew, our spaces grew. Moving from a two-bedroom apartment converted to an office to a 150-year-old house with plenty of inexplicable spirits, to a modern expansive space…that no one uses.
We signed a lease on what was to become our next great office adventure in March 2020. Literally days before a global pandemic was declared, stay-at-home orders were issued, and our organization’s operation was changed forever; we simply didn’t know it yet.
Since then, we have worked remotely for what will soon be three years with plenty of meet-ups, meetings and other in-person events. However, DR will never again require our team to work from a designated office space or location. The way our agency works has changed, and it…works.
What We Have Learned
It boils down to this: it doesn’t matter where the work gets done. Our organization has proven over the years that we can work from anywhere, with massive amounts of quality work happening in spare bedrooms, dining room tables, hotel rooms and AirBnB’s from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to Atlanta, Austin and Washington DC. Our work can also be done from state parks and campgrounds using our amazing Hiker Trailer; a ‘company vehicle’ outfitted with everything needed to work and play in the great outdoors.
Not only has the way we work and where we work changed, but the composition of our team has changed. I am grateful and proud to say that this organization has never been stronger or more geographically dispersed beyond our original hub of Fayetteville.
Our New Approach
As our new team structure has been built, we are no longer confined to geographic constraints to be physically “in the office.” The centrality of this organization has shifted as a result. While we will always have strong ties to the New River Gorge area in West Virginia, our central hub has shifted to our capital city, Charleston, where we will maintain our current space. It is worth noting that the space is an optional gathering place, not a daily workplace.
Our team will continue working from home throughout West Virginia, from Parkersburg to Huntington, Beckley to Buckhannon, Oak Hill to Pineville, and beyond our state borders in Charlotte and Roanoke. The team will also be encouraged to work from destinations and locations far and wide to create work-life balance and enjoy experiences of all kinds. Expect our team to appear on Zoom calls from locations ranging from luxury hotels to picnic tables in a National Park.
The roots of DR are deeply seated in travel and tourism. It has been the one constant in our roster of partners, and it is work that we have always looked forward to. The industry has some of the most passionate and fun leaders and individuals.
The work is fun and meaningful as it has a widespread economic impact on the communities they serve. We intend to seek more opportunities in this vertical and further engage with the travel and tourism community by helping to connect marketers, share ideas and spend more time working and playing in the areas we work to promote.
As we move forward by opting out of our office space in Fayetteville, we are excited about the opportunities ahead as we change how we approach our work. Check-in on our social channels or join our email list to follow along!