Post-COVID has shown some tremendous changes in the workforce, and we at SGM have had to adapt. I’ve also noticed as CEO of the agency my role has dramatically changed.

Yes, we were set up to be remote prior to COVID so going to full remote work was like flipping a light bulb switch. Luckily around 2013, I read the book “Remote Office Not Required” and I prepared the company for this. It came in handy in 2016 when we merged the agency a second time with our partner in Miami, Angel Matos. Little did we know what would then happen in 2020.

But even with being ready to be remote, we had to adapt to change and overcome some obstacles. For example, adding extra layers of security, and dealing with shipments of equipment, phones, and computers, getting rid of the office, converting the lounge of the studio downstairs to a mini office, dealing with mail, and installing a VPM network across the internal company. Also, think about the fact that some of the employees have only met on Zoom. When I went to Nashville for a mastering engineer meetup, I got to meet Ariana for the first time. When a few of our team met to drop off old computers to me, Ashley, Arad, and Ann all met each other for the first time in person. It was a shocking moment for me to witness being that I work with these people daily yet I realized how different our workplace became. It kind of reminded me of how I felt when I realized most of the artists our agents were signing around the globe I never met. I was actually playing their music or fans of theirs, so it was an amazing feeling but different from when SGM started in my house and I knew every DJ we worked with on a small local level.

Another major change was the hiring process, interviewing and hiring remote workers makes the hiring process different. And post COVID many workplaces saw a shift in employee retention. Our goal at SGM is to train our employees to be the best they can be, learn and grow within our organization. It’s imperative we find the right people to join SGM, and our hiring processes had to get more stringent.

We have a great team and I love seeing the progression from the talent to the in-office staff. We have our annual holiday party this year in January (yes, I know, but time and schedule permitting) in San Diego so we are flying the whole team out for a weekend and they are setting up a full calendar of events. It will be a great time for everyone to finally meet in person and hang out and I’m excited to see what happens.

Freddie Harb

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