Working from home makes collaboration inherently difficult between colleagues or teams.
We physically can’t see how people work and when they’re available. We may get annoyed when a colleague is taking forever to reply despite being online or when a teammate is messaging us when we don’t want to be disturbed.
If this sounds familiar and you'd like to improve 1) your team's focus time 2) your team's communication, keep reading.
This article is a walk-through of ‘Welcome to the hood’ - a simple workshop we created, for remote teams, to better work with each other.
- Prep time: 20 minutes per person (for each member of the team).
- Run time: 10 minutes per person as a group (meeting with the entire team).
- Run format: Virtual meeting over Zoom/Google Meet/etc.
- Materials: 1 online document (Meetric/Google Docs/Miro/Notion/etc.)
Step 1 - Schedule a team meeting- host only
Schedule a meeting for you and your team (count 10min per head).
In the agenda, add a link to this article and ask everyone to read it ahead of time in order to prepare for it (prep time: 20 minutes per person).
You can also use Meetric during the workshop (Schedule the session then sign-in to Meetric, copy-paste the template, and share the Meetric meeting URL with your team).
Step 2 - Answer questions - host & participants
Before the meeting, each team members needs to write down their answers to these six questions in the collaborative doc shared by the host.
Introducing your neighbourhood.
Picture a small, friendly neighbourhood that you just moved in— that’s your team.
Each house in this neighbourhood represents a team member.
Your neighbours (=team members) want to meet you and get to know you.
What's your house like? (What's your personality)
Search on Google a house picture that best represents you. Here’s mine:
When can we visit? (When am I available for my teammates)
9 to 5 is a thing of the past — and even if it’s still your thing, are you always available? No lunch break? no kids to pick up at school? The clearer you are, the better for everyone.
When we visit, where do we enter? (What’s the best channel to talk to me)
Do you live in Slack? Your email inbox? Is it different depending on the query — simple question vs project launch details?
What do you like about this house and neighbourhood? (What makes me happy at work)
What do you like to celebrate at work? What do you wish could happen 10x a week if it was possible? What do you really enjoy in this team?
What annoys you in this house and neighbourhood? (What annoys me at work)
Ignoring the obvious (rude or aggressive behaviour), what pushes your buttons? How can we tell you’re annoyed?
When to go for a walk around the neighbourhood? (When is a good time to socialise with me)
And not talk about work… Beers on Zoom Friday afternoon altogether? 1:1 virtual coffee chat?
Step 3 - Run the team meeting - host
When the session starts, get everyone to open the collaborative doc to see everyone's answers.
Then each team member (including yourself) presents to the team and:
- Explains why he/she picked that house.
- Reads aloud his/her answers.
- Lets the team ask questions.
People can add to their answers throughout the conversation.
Keep a 10-minutes timer for each team member. If it takes less than 10 minutes and there are no other questions, move onto the next person.
Once you’ve gone through everyone, give yourself a round of applause and end the workshop!
Step 4 - Keep a record and revisit
After the workshop, make the collaborative doc easy to find so that anyone — including future hires — can have a look and read someone’s answers anytime.
Once a quarter, organise a quick review session with the team to ask:
- Have their answers changed in any way?
- Has it been observed by the rest of the team?
If you'd like to run this workshop with your team, try Meetric - it has real-time collaboration, meeting timer and much more!