how to stay connected to colleagues when no one works in the same place

With teams increasingly likely to be spread out across the country, managers have to figure out how to keep people connected in a very different context than when everyone is right down the hall from each other.

At QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about how you can ensure that geographically remote team members don’t feel the distance. It could even involve care packages! You can read it here.

{ 10 comments… read them below }

  1. the gold digger*

    1. Brownies are never wrong.

    2. One of our team members is in Lithuania. Most of the rest of us are in the US. She scheduled a meeting for late afternoon, which was strange enough, as it was really late her time, and then insisted that the team here assemble in our boss’s office, which also made no sense as there are not enough chairs for everyone.

    She shared her screen and started showing us wedding photos. Then she told one of my co-workers to take the surprise out of his bag. He pulled out a cake. She had gotten married the weekend before and wanted us to celebrate with her. It was really neat.

  2. Cajun2core*

    At OldJob, our team was all over the place, Alabama, San Jose, England, San Antonia, East Cost, Oakland, Surry, the Niagara Falls area, etc. One of the best things we did was we all installed Yahoo Messenger. It worked great. You could just ask someone a question, send a comment, respond to something, send out info just as easy (if not easier) than going talk to someone in the same office. It also allowed us to see who was at their desk and who wasn’t. It really helped.

    Of course, it doesn’t have to be Yahoo Messenger specifically, any IM software would do.

  3. ThursdaysGeek*

    So now I just need a good way to send this link to my manager. Most of the group is in one location, but a couple of us are one time zone west, and a couple more are one time zone east, and we do feel a bit disconnected at times. Some of us use IM. One thing they have done is had us travel to the main location, so we could at least meet the rest of the team in person, and that has really helped.

  4. Wendy Darling*

    As a new member of a distributed org who is currently feeling adrift, I love this list!

  5. The Optimizer*

    I manage a remote team and we start every day off with a group email. We talk about what things ranging from everyone has going on that day, brief project updates, news on upcoming projects/accounts, vent on a problematic client/account, when we will/won’t be available, FYI on the big boss’s time out of the office, something stupid our dogs did, how the kid’s volleyball tourney went and/or what we’re having or making for dinner that night. It’s our virtual water cooler and it’s a nice way to stay connected when we are scattered all over the country.

    1. Weekday Warrior*

      Even though my teams are mostly in one location, it’s a big building and people are on different floors/in isolated offices. The morning group email idea is kinda cool. It’s exactly the virtual water cooler. I wonder if instead of email another software could be good, i.e. to not clog up inboxes. Some kind of IM or even a blog format like AAM. The morning open thread!

      1. the gold digger*

        I gave my cats a performance review after their first six months in our house. They got “exceed expectations” on throwing up, shedding, and yowling loudly late at night and “need improvement” on vermin disposal (catching a wee mousie and dropping her in the bathtub is not the right thing to do), on affection (being all loving is not required when I am making dinner; however, it is expected when I am watching TV), and on eating all of your dinner AT ONCE SHIRLEY so I don’t have to hide it from Laverne and then get it out of the cupboard five minutes later because you have decided that NOW you are hungry.

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