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2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Shifting the way we live, the way we think, and the way we construct our perspective. Besides the global changes and transitions to a distributed lifestyle, our small gourmet team faced another challenge: we've been acquired.
In the beginning, there was ... silence. Literally. A 30 zoom squares filled with raised eyebrows, enabled Mute, and the burning question: "And now what?"
Since day #2, we began embracing the big transition and the new mentality of having a much larger distributed team. Suddenly, we found ourselves involved in various conversations, activities, tools and channels, and soon after, we felt discouraged and overwhelmed. Fortunately, with the right choice of tools and careful planning, our freshly adopted team started to adapt and find its lost productivity.
How we changed and what we think was crucial about keeping teams' performance and minimizing distractions? I'll share my key breaking points below.
I. Reduce some meetings
Have you met the Zoom Burnout yet? If not, good job!
The problem: Closing up the offices and moving to fully remote was the beginning of the first spike of meetings - Sprint reviews, plannings, 1-on-1's, catch-ups, zoom lunches, chit-chat, remote team building activities, and (I am sure) many more. The second spike came from the onboarding process, meeting the new teams, establishing connections, joining regular meetings, etc. I don't need to spend time in the kitchen to ensure that this is a recipe for disaster.
The solution: Reducing more than 50% of the meetings was a huge improvement, and I'm brave to say that there is room for more. People need the feeling of having control over their timeframes and the ability to save quiet slots focused on productive tasks.
II. Change is good
I do believe that change is always for good, even when it's not so obvious. People often refuse to accept change, struggle to stay on track, even sometimes sink in the void of depression. We put our efforts into showing the bright sides of such a transition: having a team across the whole world could be quite a fascinating thing, right?
Knowledge sharing, enhanced tooling, bigger opportunities, new perspectives, and even uplift of language skills are steps to improve our performance as a team.
III. Keep it human; we all have beating hearts
We often forgot that behind each screen, there is a human being. Starting the change in your mind will drive the change in your actions - simple as that. Imagine that behind those 140 screens, 140 high-performing individuals strive to be better in their work and life, and they are struggling the same way you do. I have a lot of confidence; this thought can improve how we communicate and treat each other.
IV. Create a proper workflow
One of the major post-acquisition issues is creating a unified working process for all members of a particular team. It's almost unicorn-rare two companies to have the same structures and flows, so carefully consider the pros and cons and start digging in this direction. Our marketing team struggled a few months before finding the proper solution, but we are close to achieving it!
And I'll be happy to share more about it in my next article. :)
See you soon!