Keeping Employees Connected and Engaged During the Pandemic

Working from home has become the norm for many companies around the country, including our companies here in Frederick County.  Working remotely has many positive aspects, including a more flexible schedule for employees, the opportunity to save time and money and to have a less stressful environment.  As we move towards this way of working, one of the issues businesses face is how to keep the team engaged and how to connect with them.  On this particular situation, companies in Frederick County have come up with creative ways to connect with the employees and keep them engaged.

Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s Senior Business Development Manager, Solash Aviles spoke to two local technology companies about how they were keeping their employees connected and engaged during these challenging times.  “We are very impressed with the creative ideas from our local companies on how they are keeping their employees connected, especially with the remote workforce,” stated Solash Aviles.

Nick Damoulakis, CEO of Orases, a technology company that specializes in building digital solutions,  shared their creative ideas.  Since the stay at home order was announced by Governor Larry Hogan, Orases team members started working remotely.  He has provided his employees equipment needed to work from home, including ergonomics features.  To keep everyone engaged, Damoulakis holds a weekly ‘all hands in’ meeting with his team to catch up on projects and daily workload. 

Damoulakis emphasizes that he sees everyone that works in the company as team members, rather than referring to them as employees.  He also has a very transparent way of leading his company, and he provides opportunities for the team to ask difficult questions anonymously in regards to the company’s status, job security, leadership and more. 

To help provide a sense of normalcy through these difficult times he has also been organizing engaging activities with the team and their families.  He has hosted happy hour events, family game nights and charades, all through Zoom, to be able to connect with everybody and have some fun as a team.

iHire, located in Downtown Frederick, has also found creative ways to connect with their team and keep employees engaged.

iHire offers a network dedicated to specific professions, enabling job seekers and employers to reach the employment goals by focusing their searches.  Kristina Kelly, Frederick Brand Manager, shared some of these creative ideas.  They have also started working remotely, and have allowed employees to take anything home to make their remote work more comfortable, including large monitors and docking stations. 

Wanting to change things a little bit from this new normal, they have an all-hands meeting where they focus on positive news for the company.  They have also kept everyone connected by hosting team building and social activities like trivia, show-and-tell and a competition for the best Zoom background. 

Keeping their teams involved and engaged through creative activities and providing the necessary tools to make their home offices comfortable and productive, is key to the successes for both Orases and iHire.

For more information on the technology community, contact Solash Aviles, Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1027 or visit