Reuniting your remote team post-COVID: how we have done it
At foryouandyour-customers, we believe that how we work is just as important as the work we do.
There is no doubt that the pandemic forced us to find new ways to collaborate with colleagues. To find what works best to stay in touch, up to date and informed about what’s happening at work. We have managed successfully to remain productive from a distance. But after almost two years working this way, we at foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam realised that, even though we see each other every day in virtual meetings, some of us haven’t met in person yet.
Needless to say how much we missed face-to-face interactions, and since fortunately the situation is slowly getting better, we took the opportunity to organise together with our customer HEMA on March 23rd and 24th, the HEMA-foryouandyourcustomers days.
The HEMA days allowed us to welcome team members from different countries, together with our customer HEMA to our new location of foryouandyourcustomers Amsterdam.
In the middle of the beautiful industrial building at the NDSM area in Amsterdam North, we took the time to think and talk about the future, and follow-up our sprint ceremonies in a way we haven’t done in the past two years.
At foryouandyourcustomers, we believe that how we work is just as important as the work we do. How teams collaborate and interact can make a difference and have impact on projects. That’s why we take the time to foster team engagement and build relationships with our customers. During the HEMA days we took the time to look ahead and define the roadmap for the upcoming three months. This type of session helps team members to know what topics will be addressed in the coming months, and to feel more involved and connected with the projects.
We also had the opportunity to perform a retrospective session in person. Retrospective sessions strengthen the bonds and boost team achievements. Retrospectives give the teams the opportunity to pause, take a look at what they have achieved and improve from there. Having coached several teams in the past we know the importance of providing a safe space where everyone feels comfortable addressing successes and failures. When we went to work remotely on a full-time basis, building that psychological safety became a challenge especially trying to involve new team members. This face-to-face retrospective improved communication between team members and made it more accessible to pay attention to non-verbal queues and introverted team members. Everyone in the team enjoyed this time and it has helped us grow as a team.
Looking at team members collaborating and thinking with us about new developments, finding ways to solve challenges, and most importantly increasing the bond that’s necessary for teams to grow and carry out the milestones and plans we have in mind, was in the words of our customer: “Almost like the good old times.”
The HEMA days reminded us that collaboration face-to-face still beats virtual meeting collaboration. That coffee breaks are just as productive times as sitting behind our computers. We learned that besides knowing our colleagues in the professional area, it is just as important to know and understand them in the personal area to help us become better teams.
Though we’re not returning to work full-time on-site, after the success of this event, we look forward to continuing the collaboration with HEMA and look forward to doing this at least twice a year. Are you planning to organise an event with your team or are you looking for ways to revamp collaboration with your team and customer? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to start a conversation.