Last year the whole world went remote within a few months. Everyone had to find a way to keep up with their job and re-think teamwork.
Unfortunately, not all teams could adapt to the new reality. Some of them lost their momentum, and some fell apart.
Our team was lucky enough to have remote work experience and organized collaboration of distributed teams before. Represented in Europe and North America, we had an opportunity to learn how to arrange the workflow to let people be productive no matter where they are. Of course, we have room for improvements, but we also found our way to be efficient and have fun while being remote.
I want to tell you about small things that help us keep a collaborative environment across our key locations.
I am sure you have heard about them. Some people call it stand-up, zoom sync, catch-up, or whatsoever. Our teams have daily or weekly meetings where we sync on the work progress and keep track of results. We also share our concerns and challenges and ask for help from our teammates.
When it comes to cross-team collaboration, we have recurrent syncs between several teams working together on one project or overlapping in some business areas.
There is one thing to remember, though. Keep a balance when it comes to meetings at work. Sometimes teams tend to schedule too many catch-ups when their value goes down. As a result, some people end up jumping between zoom calls and not having time to contribute. We always try to ensure there is a value in one or other syncs. We also make cross-team catch-ups optional for team members so that they can prioritise things in their workload.
All Hands power & Transparency
Five years ago, I would argue about the advantages of town halls, but my life at Airtame revealed a different side of the company’s syncs. I definitely can see the value of monthly business updates now.
When the leadership team provides 100% transparency to the rest of the organization, the employees feel more inclusive and are eager to overcome challenges. It is like a monthly newsletter where you can gather details on how business is doing, see other teams’ struggles and ask questions to understand the next moves better.
I also use the pieces of information from All Hands in my conversation with our potential hires. It helps me give a detailed overview and impress them with some latest results.
Care about each other
We have 90 people spread out in various locations. We are a team of more than 20 nationalities. It is incredible how we managed to gather people with diverse backgrounds and different cultures. But all of us have one common feature — we are empathetic to each other.
Sometimes life gives lemons, and we cannot focus on work and need a break. In these moments, the simple understanding and support from team members are helpful.
Cheer them up
When a team grows rapidly, it becomes challenging to follow achievements across all departments and locations. But we believe when you play hard, you have to celebrate hard!
Of course, our most significant accomplishments would never get past quietly, and we would mark them on All Hands. But what about smaller wins, the primary source of team spirit and positive energy? They could pass fast, and teams forget about them right away. One of our fantastic colleagues came up with an idea of a #Cheer channel, where anyone can send their cheers to teammates or other teams for their excellent job.
It is impressive to see how the recognition from team members lifts the team spirit and brings a festive mood to our daily life.
Create memorable moments
Like I said, if you play hard, you have to celebrate hard. We are professionals when it comes to celebrations. If we get a bottle of champagne, we open it with sabrage. If we want to gather together for a special moment, we bring the whole team together.
Airtame has an annual tradition of bringing the whole team together for the entire week. We call it Summertame. Back in 2017, when the team was 50 people, we arranged the legendary trip to Greece. Lately, we keep bringing everyone to our HQ in Copenhagen.
It is a fantastic experience, where you meet your new teammates and have a chance to get to know them better. Moreover, we arrange different workshops to discuss important topics and get another perspective from colleagues. Of course, we cannot spend a week without parties! We get most of our spectacular pictures in the evening time📸.
I would like to share my most memorable moment from our latest Summertame, which happened two weeks ago. I was standing in the room of 80 people who joined us to support us in our mission. I saw them laughing and chatting with each other, and I realised how proud I was of ourselves. We found all these fantastic people, and we are doing our best to make them happy. It was priceless to see these 80 smiles in one place.
Those were our tips and tricks on the teams’ collaboration across different locations. What about your experience? How do you keep a great team spirit across all company’s offices or in a remote mode?