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company culture virtual worldThe Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) has announced its Hot Ticket Award Nominees, and BlueTreeDigital has been nominated for the Hottest Company Culture Award! We’re pleased to be among the innovative companies in the local tech community recognized for their hard work and vision.

But wait a minute: isn’t BlueTreeDigital a virtual agency? How can a bunch of people who aren’t even in the same office even have a “culture?” It doesn’t take a physical office to create one. Welcome to the future of digital marketing…and the future of work. What are the secrets to success for virtual teams in today’s environment?

“Telecommuting” Redefined

Talent couNVTCHotTicketld be next door, but more likely, it’s in the next state. How much time and energy do you want them to spend on the commute? Sadly, our region’s traffic is notorious, and our Metro has had a serious tarnish on its reputation lately, with delays and closings. Working remotely doesn’t mean a lot of paperwork, planning, or checking out company laptops—it’s simply how we roll.

Most importantly, our geography doesn’t limit what we can do to help our customers. We’ve been able to serve clients not only in Northern Virginia, but around the country. We’ve been able to keep up with our customers and their marketing tasks during blizzards and Metro shutdowns. In digital marketing, measurable, bottom-line results are the true yardstick of success.

The Right Tools for the Job

It’s never been a better time to work as a virtual team. Technology keeps finding new, affordable ways for the smallest team to collaborate. It goes beyond email and phone calls. Here are our favorites:

• Zoho Projects: For tracking projects, tasks, and time for our clients.
• Slack: Real-time messaging for a team, without the fuss of email. You know who’s online and who’s not available at a glance.
• Skype: Even we know there’s nothing like face-to-face conversations. When we can’t make in-person meetings, Skype helps us keep that visual connection.

All of these tools are free, by the way—and let’s be honest, “free” is an entrepreneur’s favorite word. Today’s marketing world is defined by incredible free tools: Google Analytics, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress. Shouldn’t our work culture reflect that?

Work/Life Balance—for Real

Our intrepid CEO Nicole Skuba has blogged about “having it all.” Work/life balance is a perennial hot topic in our always-on culture. As a virtual company, we can’t brag about pinball machines in the staff lounge or on-site baristas. We can, however, brag about the flexibility we offer our team for balancing work, family, travel, hobbies, and outside passions. And, by providing excellent marketing services for our clients, we can help them achieve a better balance as well.

So why have we been nominated for the Hottest Company Culture Award? It’s simple: companies like ours are on the cutting edge of a new way to think about the whole work/life debate. We are living proof that companies don’t have to compromise between a balanced approach to work and life, and a commitment to excellent work. It’s also proof that companies can hold strong values and still succeed. We’re hot because we represent the future of work.