I started my current job in March of 2020. Many of us remember something clearly about the month that COVID started to shut things down. I remember being surprised to hear that my new on-site-only job would be starting in my living room over zoom. How do you lead a design team when none of the team members live near each other and creativity is highly collaborative? Taking from over a decade of working in HR software, I knew whatever I did needed to put people first. That what employees love about a job is often deeper than the work, it’s the culture, the relationships and people they work with. It’s the feeling that their work has value, and their contribution matters. In this talk I will walk though some of the rituals and best practices I have learned over the last two years building a remote-first creative team.