It's safe to say that 2020 was a pretty bad year for most people overall; so writing a blog about the highlights of CoPilot AI over the past year may seem superficial.
However, 2020 was a year of significant growth for CoPilot AI, both literally and figuratively. And though I debated writing this fearing that people may take it the wrong way, I decided that we could all use a little positivity and light heartedness after the year we’ve had.
It’s important to reflect not only on the negative, but also the positive events from a year that shaped us.
The Calm Before the Storm
The year started out strong - we released a new set of product features that focused on a cleaner, more simplified user experience, that was well received among our users.
We had also grown significantly the year prior, and as a result outgrew our office. We had plans to move into a brand new, newly renovated office space in the spring. So we had a lot to be excited for! Business was going well overall and we felt the year was off to a positive start.
But then March hit…
Social Distancing Leads to New Challenges
We had JUST moved into our new office when the city of Vancouver (and BC as a whole) went into lockdown due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in our area. For many at CoPilot AI, it was their first time having to work from home. We weren’t exactly prepared to be uprooted from our normal day-to-day office and make due with what we had at home.
What were once engaging in-person meetings now became virtual meetings via Zoom. It was a big adjustment, but we figured (naively) that it would only be for a few months.
Boy, were we wrong.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Once we realized that this wouldn’t be changing any time soon, we found new ways to engage the team and keep our culture alive (Zoom fatigue is real!).
Our culture committee arranged for ‘wellness’ packages to be delivered to each employee. We also allowed employees to book a time to go to the office to pick up any of their office equipment (including chairs and monitors) to make working at home more comfortable.
In addition, we began hosting virtual happy hours, online poker tournaments, and other games such as Among Us. Even though we couldn’t be together in-person, it didn’t stop us from enjoying company wide events. To top it off, on December 31, the company introduced a new Wellness program where everyone received $200 a month towards health and wellness as a way to prioritize the team’s physical and mental health.
Overall, this year has brought the team closer together.
Continued Growth in 2020 & Beyond
With growth being a focus for CoPilot AI, we continued expanding. We grew the team from 22 employees to 37. However, with that came new challenges. We had to overhaul our employee onboarding process as we had never onboarded virtually before.
It feels strange that we’ve already outgrown our new office, despite not being able to use it! We’ve begun renovations on the office space next to ours on the same floor in anticipation of when we’re all able to return to the office.
Despite the challenges we faced not being able to work together in-person, we continued to stay positive and focus on our goal of growth. In fact, we were named #140 on the Canadian Business and Maclean’s Canada’s 500 Fastest-Growing Companies list (and #15 in Vancouver), as well as awarded the Business Pivot Award on the 2020 Growth List.
This is a true testament to how hard the team has worked over the past year, and we look forward to seeing what next year will bring!
While 2020 had its ups and downs, we are grateful for all that we have accomplished as a team and are extremely excited to continue this momentum into 2021 and beyond.
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