How often should remote teams meet in person? In 2022, most people who work in an office will fall into one of three groups: Some do most of their work in an office building. Some people spend time both at home and at the office. Lastly, some people work full-time from their home offices or other places.
The last group is where most of my teams fit. They are very far away. They are happy and get a lot done while doing it.
As their leader, I’m happy to give them as much freedom as possible. I’ve found that when we give people this freedom, they do their best work and are most likely to stay with us.
Fully Remote Doesn’t Mean Meeting.
Even though many teams like to work from home, that doesn’t mean they never want to see their coworkers again. Some people might think that way, but not most people. Most want to meet their teammates in person and are willing to do so. How can we as leaders meet this need while allowing people to work from afar?
Over the past six months, I’ve seen remote teams try out different ideas that team members liked. If you’re in charge of a fully remote team and haven’t brought everyone together yet, I thought I’d give you some ideas to think about.
Volunteering is the best reason I can think of to get your team together. You break out of the routine of your work. You help the people around you. You become a group. Everyone does well. Last week, I did this with my team. It was a great time. You can’t do yard work at a nature center or feed hungry kids over Zoom. You need to be there for this.
When your team reaches a big goal, you should get everyone together to celebrate. Yes, this can also be done online, but if you can pull off a party in person, it will be more memorable and have a more significant impact.
I’m sure that you can bond and have fun as a team even if you’re not in the same room. I wrote an article about that, but it’s also a great reason to get the team together. Have some fun. See a game, try an escape room, or have a picnic in the park. There are a lot of choices. You probably did things like this as a team in 2019, but have you done anything yet in 2022?
Gemba walk is a term from the Lean management philosophy that means “go where the work is done.” I’ll give a few examples of fully remote tech teams: Infrastructure teams can go to remote sites to see how their technology solutions are being used. Application teams can visit their customers in the field to see how their software is used. Sales enablement teams can go to a sales rally or go with a salesperson to a customer visit.
I’m always impressed by what remote teams can do, but sometimes it’s better to go where the work is being done. Just try it. Most likely, what you find will surprise you.
Fully remote teams don’t want to be in the office building every week, but it can be good to go there occasionally. All you have to do is find the right reason. “On-site is the new off-site” is a phrase I’ve heard. I like the idea behind it. Here are a few reasons why you should bring your team into the office building:
- Budget planning
- All-team meeting
- Strategic planning
- Annual performance reviews
- New employee onboarding
- In-person vendor meetings
- Talent reviews
Remote Team Meetings – Remember These
If your team has never met in person before, start slowly. Try a meeting that is both in-person and online. If you’re planning an event where you want everyone to be there, check with each person first to see if they’re comfortable and accessible. Only then should you make your plans.
In the end, being completely remote is excellent, but that doesn’t mean you never have to see people in person. Team members who work from home don’t want to drive to the office to show up and be counted. Leaders can get people to work together but need a good reason to do so. Not everything I’ve said here is about you, but at least some of it is. Why don’t you try it?
Do you run a team that works from home? Have you recently got everyone together? What did you do? What happened? In the comments, please tell me all about it (remote meetings).