Year in Review 2021
December 17, 2021
2021 brought us so many good things! With new hires, exciting project launches, and new initiatives, our team is the strongest it’s ever been. Before we head into 2022 with big plans and bright ideas, we wanted to share all our accomplishments this past year.
Adapting to a Hybrid Office
More and more people slowly started going back into the office. And with over 50% of our team doing part-time or full-time work in person, that meant more team bonding and Zoom-free meetings!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we also had remote employees working across the world in completely different time zones. Kurt, a senior backend developer, worked from Thailand and Ukraine. One of our project managers, Jason, joined us from the currently very snowy Saskatchewan, while another of our project managers, Kayla, worked in the warm Costa Rica sun.
With teammates all over, a lot of our meetings and events were adapted to suit those in office and virtual. We also adapted our office space to accommodate both flex and full-time in-person employees.
In 2021 Plank continued to refine our approach to having a hybrid team. We’ve had team members in remote timezones, 1000’s of KMs away, and we’ve made it work fairly well. We’ve been constantly experimenting with the right balance of communication and social time to make everyone feel like they belong. In our coming year, we acknowledge that we have a lot more work to do, skills to learn, and ways to balance having our physical and our remote space. We’re excited about the flexible future!Steve, Managing Partner, Plank
Say Hello to Our New Hires
Breaking last year’s record, in 2021 we hired the most people in Plank’s history!
Paisley joined our team as our Business Strategist. Alyssa, Robbie, and Nas joined as Front-end Developers. Matt joined as a Project Manager and Luke as our Operations Coordinator. In the new year, we also have Maelle joining as a Designer.
We cannot wait to see all that they accomplish in 2022!
2021 Projects & Loyal Clients
We launched a ton of exciting new projects.
Fresh Plank Schwag
We partnered with Paula Youwakim of C’est Paulette to create new Plank Schwag.
She created the beautiful illustration of our first office in 1998 featuring Warren and Steve.
She also hand-pressed and screen printed all our merch by hand on t-shirts, hoodies, and masks.
Our Ethical Web Design Framework
This year we launched our Ethical Web Design Framework to better represent our approach to building websites. Internally we have always been open about our commitment to designing ethically driven websites but we wanted to clearly define those standards and expectations to our clients and partners.
We outlined five user-centric principles that guide us throughout our web design process:
- Accessibility & Inclusion
- Privacy & Security
- Device-first Design
- Development Best Practices & Sustainability
- Environmental Considerations
Learn more in our blog post: Introducing Our Ethical Web Design Framework
The Beginning of Our B Corp Journey
With our ethical web design framework and a growing team of people that deeply care about building an inclusive, accessible, and equitable company, pursuing a B Corp Certification was the natural next step.
Our Business Strategist and project lead, Paisley Nyberg, alongside our B Corp team, has taken on the formidable task of performing a B Impact Assessment to evaluate and improve our business practices.
To read more about the why and how of becoming B Corp certified read our blog post: Plank’s Journey to B Corp Certification Begins!
Introducing The Plank Foundation
Helping our community and having a positive impact in the digital space has always been a priority for Plank. After years of providing pro bono work through our Plank Gives Back initiative, we wanted to delve into other things we could do to help those around us. After evaluating our values and goals as a company, it became clear that The Plank Foundation would be a great opportunity to do what we do best: create work that matters.
This past year, we completed a feasibility study with our old friend, past client, and advocate, David Moss. Through the study, we were able to determine the types of initiatives we could develop and what our next steps should be in establishing a non-profit.
To see our progress so far, read our blog post: Launching The Plank Foundation
Diversity & Inclusion Mentorship Program
In partnership with DESTA, a Montreal-based organization that supports black youth between the ages of 18 to 35 to help them reach their educational and entrepreneurial goals, we launched the second edition of our D&I Mentorship Program.
Our mentee, Cassandra, wanted to pursue her dream of starting her own copywriting business. She met with various members of our team who were able to give her advice on how to start a business, how to develop a brand, and how to market her services.
We are happy to say that the mentorship was a great success and Cassandra now works as a freelance copywriter while also working at a renowned advertising agency.
For an in-depth look at the program: Introducing Plank’s Diversity & Inclusion Program
To celebrate all of our team’s hard work over the past 18 months, we decided to change our annual Plank Appreciation Day (PAD) to Plank Appreciation Week (PAW).
With a variety of activities in-person and virtual, we were able to share meals, participate in a trivia contest, and wander around the city for a photo scavenger hunt.
The event was a major success and it will continue to be a part of our annual celebrations as it was a great opportunity for our team to bond and take a break from the regular workweek.
From Plank to you, we hope you enjoy the holidays and we wish you all the best for 2022!