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Building an Engineering Team Remotely in The Midst of a Pandemic

January 27, 2021
Dallas, TX
Screenshot of zoom meeting

In this era of COVID-19, working remotely has become the new normal and with it comes new challenges to the ways that companies have traditionally conducted business. The days of face-to-face gatherings and a welcoming handshake have been replaced by hours of zoom meetings and countless impersonal phone calls.

This is especially difficult for a company in the state of expansion, like Bowman. From the recent acquisition of a reputable MEP firm to enhance service offerings to the strategic growth of multiple offices across the country, Bowman continues to find innovative ways to press forward despite the ongoing pandemic.

New principal and team leader, Ryan Safford, who recently joined Bowman to expand the firm’s efforts in Dallas, Texas, is having to think outside the box to overcome these communication challenges. Despite joining the team amid a pandemic, Ryan has quickly developed skills to combat today’s out-of-office workstyle to cultivate client relationships and develop his team.

With a normal day consisting of zoom meetings, phone calls, and working out of his car at site locations, Safford is extremely focused on keeping Bowman’s culture alive while everyone is working from home. “The biggest struggle for my team and I is that we are all virtual and I am brand new to the team,” said Safford. “However, it is extremely important as a leader to be strengthening our culture in spite of these ever-changing limitations.”

Strongly believing in personal connections, Safford replicates the beginning of an in-office day with a virtual check-in to make sure his team is ready to start the day. Although in-person interactions are limited, Ryan has found ways to get to know each of his employees and has fostered a team built on respect and support. This same philosophy also applies to Safford’s business development efforts. With parts of Dallas still open, limited in-person meetings are continuing with safety in mind, and Safford and his team often hold virtual happy hours to foster relationships with potential and current clients.

Without a doubt, 2020 brought a lot of change around the globe; but with a little ingenuity and a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, the Dallas team is quickly finding their space in the Dallas market.