Team Tripepi Smith Completes Virtual “Amazing Race”

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In a record-breaking feat of office athleticism, ten members of Team Tripepi Smith pedaled a collective 1,005 miles in just four days – all while working at their desks. Split into groups of five, the team engaged in a fiercely competitive virtual race from Los Angeles to the Bay Area, marking visits to twelve Tripepi Smith clients along the route. One team came out on top, with the other close behind. A rematch is set to take place in November.

Having embraced a remote workplace culture since 2007, Team Tripepi Smith has no shortage of creative methods for staying connected from their respective homes across the West Coast. The firm recently invested in under desk ellipticals for interested team members, allowing them to stay active throughout the workday with friendly team competition as a motivator.

Tripepi Smith Director Jon Barilone was the first team member to adopt the under desk elliptical lifestyle, garnering fascination and wonder from teammates who noticed his unusual movements during internal Zoom meetings. When Jon clued everyone in to the many-pizza-slices-worth of calories he was burning daily at his desk, he became an instant trendsetter. Teammates flocked to place orders for the elliptical machine. “The Tripepi Smith Wiggle” was thus born, increasing productivity on team calls with heads bobbing up and down in Zoom windows as associates pedaled away while diligently working.

To mitigate temptations of using the elliptical as a footrest instead of exercise equipment, the team decided to pedal together in a competitive setting. Junior Business Analyst Bryn Miller was the brains behind the “Amazing Race” concept. She used the Google Maps “My Maps” feature to plot the route and built a spreadsheet for each participant to track their progress.

The race commenced at 9 a.m. on Oct. 7, with a Google Chat message of encouragement from President Ryder Todd Smith: “go make me proud.” CFO Nicole Smith sweetened the deal with the promise of smoothie gift card prizes for the winning team.

Soon after the starting gun sounded, an obstacle was encountered. Elliptical wheels were producing an insufferable shrieking sound as they shuffled along the tracks. In the Google Chat group, team members exchanged suggestions for restoring the machines to their original quiet state. A drop of kitchen oil on the wheel tracks turned out to be a winning solution.

By the end of day one, a clear Most Valuable Player had emerged: Director of Operations Katherine Griffiths of Team 2. She continued to shatter records, ultimately pedalling a total of 250 miles throughout the race.

Katherine’s performance was paralleled only by Art Director Kevin Bostwick of Team 1, who edged ahead with a single-day record of 58.1 miles to Katherine’s 57.8. Team 1 maintained a steady lead during the first several days of the competition. When word got around that Kevin would not be at his desk for the penultimate day of the race, Team 1 shuddered in their athletic shoes.

Though Kevin returned with a vengeance and continued to log record-breaking mileage, Team 2 was catching up fast. Both teams had made such impressive progress that the race was slated to end three days early. On the morning of the final day, Team 1 officially clenched the lead.

The suspense was nearly unbearable as the final results trickled in, with the teams a mere two miles apart before the final two entries were recorded. In the end, Team 2 emerged victorious.

While Team 2 took home the prizes, every race participant was a winner when it came to team building and maintaining an active lifestyle. Cultivating a thriving workplace culture in a virtual environment requires time, effort and creativity. With strong leadership from higher-ups who walk their talk and a little enthusiasm from each team member, remote teamwork can be a great success.

About Tripepi Smith

Tripepi Smith is a California-based marketing, technology and public affairs firm that serves for-profit, nonprofit and public agencies. Its unique mix of marketing and technology prowess provides a competitive advantage to agencies seeking to leverage the internet to achieve their communication goals. The firm provides full content creation services, including: ghost writing, collateral development, photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns and website design and execution. Tripepi Smith clients include: City of American Canyon, City of Culver City, City of Cupertino, City of Daly City, City of Duarte, City of El Cerrito, City of Indian Wells, City of La Cañada Flintridge, City of Lakeport, City of Lake Forest, City of Napa, City of Paramount, City of Santa Cruz, City of Tracy, City of Vallejo, Cal Choice Energy Authority, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Rowland Water District, California Contract Cities Association, California City Management Foundation, Institute for Local Government, League of California Cities, Renne Public Law Group, Bob Hall & Associates and Climatec Energy Services.