One of the greatest challenges of keeping the culture in a remote team is, as we’re far away from each other, to sustain the connection and the energy of the team. We’re always seeking to be united and connected. We have invested heavily in tools that allow us to work side by side even when we’re miles apart. Although we manage to work in perfect harmony during the year, we maintain the practice of getting the whole team together in one city at the end of every three months. We call these Team Retreats.
So much has been said about remote work, different cities and places to do your work. Why, then, is it still important to meet face to face? Although we know there are several ways of keeping a remote team connected that don’t require in person meetings, we have implemented the Team Retreats because we believe in finding a balance. And also because the remote can’t, and shouldn’t, replace certain activities.
Anything goes during this time: we have lunch together; those who enjoy doing sports go jogging in the morning; there’s bowling, cinema, board games, picnic, happy hours and even live music sessions in the office. These are activities we love doing during the team retreats.
In spite of having so much fun together, the work doesn’t stop during this period. This is the last week we have to reach the goals we have established for the quarter. The team, then, takes advantage of this event to be in the Hackathon mode.
Because we follow the philosophy of Remote First, our way of work continues to proceed exactly in the same way. Even when everybody is in the same room, we continue to use our working tools. We document all the actions and respect the productive time of each person to avoid, as far as possible, the so-called interruptions that occur less when we work remotely.
Being all together doesn’t affect so much the way we do our work, but the most important thing about these face to face meetings is that we have the possibility to be closer to the people we admire as well as to build long lasting relationships. It’s an opportunity to dedicate some time to get to know each one of the people we work with more deeply.
Meeting clients face to face.
Despite the fact that there is a notion which says collaborative activities can’t be performed remotely, this has never been an obstacle to the implementation of any project requested by our clients. Even in the initial phase of a project, where so much planning is required, we also work remotely in most cases. When working on larger projects, we also adopt the practice of visiting our clients in person as a way of strengthening the bonds.
As in our team, we consider it’s healthy having face to face meetings from time to time to create other levels of relationships. We like to say that the client and we are one single team. Each time we meet face to face, this becomes more and more true.
Our face to face meetings are one of the rare moments we have to be all together in the office in the year. It’s incredible to be able to meet and work with the same people side by side. But it’s even better to be sure that either in an Office, a Home Office, a Café, or even on the other side of the world, our work is being done in the same way.