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We have one team where one team member is permanently remote (in a city far away but in one of our office buildings). While collaboration works using Jira and Confluence pretty well, they feel a disconnect between the local team and the person sitting remote.
Team events and socializing they feel being a challenge.
Are there any good hints to improve the situation?
Hi Daniel! I second Alexander on the video calls - even for social events. For example, you could take the last hour of the work day periodically and do a semi-structured hang out. A format that I like is a round table where everyone gets to ask a question that everyone answers. Questions can be about anything, favorite food, something you learned recently, etc. This way everyone participates equally and you can learn lots of new things about people and find different ways you connect.
Having infrequent on-site visits help too. Our field sales team has a big bash in the summer and our remote workers in other departments spend 2 weeks on site each quarter.
Also, some of the best solutions are crowd sourced! - ask the team what they think would help everyone have the same opportunity to participate in social and team events.
The Atlassian team has put together some fun ideas for virtual hang outs here! https://www.atlassian.com/blog/teamwork/virtual-team-building-activities-remote-teams (Scroll down to see the list)
Hi @Daniel Ebers ,
I don't know how far is "far away", but what about he visit your team from time to time? I worked for company, which main headquarters were in the city approx. 200 km far. I traveled there often to meet with my team at least on a monthly basis. I think it helped a little.
Dear @Daniel Ebers ,
The most important thing I want you to know, is that I your drawing. The circle encloses the team but that separation is real. And the size of the distant team member really makes me resonate with that teammate more than the group that's collocated. Am I overanalyzing your picture? Perhaps. Does that make my appreciation for it any less valid? Nope.
From proprietary Atlassian research (hat tip to @Mahreen Khan running a lot of this research), we're learning that hybrid teams are having an especially hard time adjusting. One hypothesis for this is that remote and colocated teams alike use the same operating principles and rhythms, so it is known how teams should communicate, and in your case, socialize and engage with each other. If true, then it seems to me that the solve for engagement is to figure out what works for the team and then be commit to making those rituals happen.
But I think you already know that .
Curious to know what you've tried--what has and hasn't worked. And do let us know if you try anything from this discussion and whether that's helped your teammate out.
Can't wait to hear more!
Love these answers and your illustration!
@Daniel Ebers I've just started a role which is around an hour away from my office. The role only involves going to the office around once a month, so I'm trying to be as involved in video calls as possible
I have a recommendation that works quite well, meetings should be held separately even if people are in the same building, if some are not in the office they should each connect from their PC in a different room so you don't create "second class workers".
I second this! Remote workers should have the same seat at the table (with the same sized rectangle on a screen haha).
Actually, I'm very much like that person who works remotely. lol. The practice that has worked for us, it's to "have a coffee," with a daily stand-up approach, including informal chitty-chat.
Another good practice I've learned from some googlers is to include personals goals in the weekly team planning: it creates conversations within the team and gets them more aligned.
I haven't seen the "personal goals" in weekly team planning. That sounds pretty neat actually! Not only holds each other accountable, but first and foremost it brings people together on a more personal level. We're more than just the titles next to our names. I love it!
Exactly, it creates conversation within the team collaborators. It was quite an interesting practice.
@Daniel Ebers - Thanks for posting.
I think the key of a successful team is they should be connected and have collective bonding and understanding. There are many successful teams which are located around the world but still professionally connected.
For example - Try to have a Friday fun retrospective virtually or have a online coffee session("Bring your own coffee") etc.
Unfortunately, with covid we have had to live this situation forcibly, in my case, we have used the group video calls between all the members of the team once a day, in addition, we are in permanent contact during the whole working day, so in the end you feel accompanied. Meetings can be held (outside working hours) to play a video game, online yoga classes as a team, etc... anything that makes it possible to enjoy time together without the pressures of work on top of it. And also, if possible, and if the health situation allows it, it would be good to organise team meetings (outside working hours) to eat, talk, etc. face to face, in the case of people who are far away, to meet with the rest of the team as often as possible.
These events are the real team-builders!