Remote atmospheres.

Jota , "dont dream it, be it"
3 min readNov 6, 2020

One of my best memories from my experience in Bupa took place in 2015 when an important meeting started 2 hours later. (reasons do not matter anymore) I was standing outside the board with 3 other marketing directors, with no agenda, just coffee, sofas, and time.

I remember we were talking about opportunities, giving suggestions about how we could do things differently, about experiences, providers, things that went wrong, or learnings that we had.

For those 2 hours, we were listening to each other, building together, knowing each other and we all acknowledge that that time had been a gift and that we would try it again.

Never happened, obviously.

Since the lockdown hit early this year I have thought about that moment many times.

- Early in February my biggest concern was “how could I convince my company that we should work remotely (yeah , that WAS a problem back then)
- The first week of march the challenge was how to maintain delivery
- Then we learned how could we solve the problem of balancing work-life balance remotely
- Building communication channels, giving feedback remotely, keeping the team culture followed.

I remembered conversations about how efficient we had become at our meetings, celebrating the time that we had saved for lives, families, hobbies.

We were so focused on delivering on the task that we did not invest in our objective. To create a failproof ecosystem for growth.

As a high-performance team, you embrace the power of diversity in specific moments, and those were stripped out of the workday.
We did not have coffee together, neither we lunch nor share a beer. We would only focus on the task that we had at the moment.

We needed to create collaboration spaces.

What did we try?
The first thing that we tried was to set up a virtual coffee machine. A place where we would hang out for an hour to keep the mood. It was fun, but it took us nowhere. People had to stop what they were doing to go into that place, therefore no collaboration happened.

We established shared walls with Mural.co where the team could share ideas, problems, but at the end of the day, accessing asynchronous to a shared platform would not help with the urgent and important task.

Weekly challenges, emails, slack threads, newsletters won’t help either.

The best solution so far.
Jose a good friend and VP of Engineering at Consentio shared with me what has been the best idea so far.

They use Discord as a conversational communication tool. Developer teams have open voice channels and the mics on mute.
- If you do not want to get disturbed you leave the volume down and you signal it on the app
- When you are not available, you share it with the team on the status
- Once someone has a problem, open the mike and ask the team.
- This way you replicate the “I am in an office where people may help.

In the end is just like having a google meet or zoom meeting open the whole day, but with little features that help you to navigate through the frustration of “I thought you were connected”.

I wanted to share this tip as it really helped my team to approach things differently. It is “the best that I have so far” but I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Jota , "dont dream it, be it"

Passionate Rock Climber, Avid Mountaineer, and clumsy surfer. I create safe spaces for team development. Hands-On Marketing Director