In an era where remote work has become the norm for many companies, understanding how to maintain a connected and cohesive team is more important than ever. While remote work offers unparalleled flexibility and efficiency, it can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation and disconnect among team members.
This is where the strategic implementation of in-person events can be game-changing. On-sites can provide a much-needed physical space for collaboration and bonding and also play a pivotal role in reinforcing company culture and team spirit. However, executing one of these meetups involves planning and prep, and the task can sometimes feel daunting for remote leaders.
In this blog, we’ll explore the multifaceted benefits of in-person events for remote teams and offer practical tips for organizing successful meetups that resonate with and invigorate your team. That way, you can keep crushing it, no matter where you’re working.
In This Article:
The Importance of In-Person Connection
Tips for Structuring Your First Meetup
The Importance of In-Person Connection
Despite the efficiency of digital communication, face-to-face interactions have an irreplaceable value. A study from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that direct, in-person communication fosters a perception of authenticity and genuineness in professional relationships. Plus, in-person meetings have been found to positively impact creativity, as employees are less distracted and more engaged with their environment, enhancing idea generation and collaboration.
Beyond the stats, there’s just something nice about getting to know your coworkers in person. While you might collaborate with your team every day over Slack or Zoom, meeting face-to-face facilitates an understanding of one another that you just can’t get over the computer.
This is where regular on-site meetups can bridge the gap created by remote work, offering an opportunity for team members to connect, collaborate, and build community. Organizing these meetups, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming for many remote leaders. Fortunately, specialized companies exist to ease this process. Nomadic6, for example, is dedicated to crafting transformational corporate events for distributed teams so you don’t have to go it alone.
Tips for Structuring Your First Meet-Up
The key to successful in-person events for remote teams lies in the intention behind them. Are you pushing for an on-site to monitor your employees or to foster natural friendships, career development, and a better collaborative environment?
Matt Young, the Founder of Nomadic6, stresses that the latter builds a positive culture. He says, “It’s about creating meetups where team members genuinely want to connect, share, and grow together — think of a company retreat in Barcelona, not a return to the constraints of an office cubicle.”
With this mindset, planning your first on-site should aim for excitement and engagement, not obligation. Here are some tips to ensure your meetup is both enjoyable and fruitful for everyone involved:
1. Keep it Small and Personal
Smaller groups allow for deeper, more meaningful connections. Organizing multiple smaller retreats instead of one large gathering can be more effective, especially for larger companies. This approach fosters intimate interactions and ensures everyone has the opportunity to connect.
2. Balance Programmed and Unprogrammed Time
A mix of structured and unstructured time during the event can lead to a more fulfilling experience. While scheduled activities are important, allowing for spontaneous interactions can lead to the most memorable and enjoyable experiences, as it lets natural conversations and connections flourish.
3. Create Engaging and Meaningful Activities
Focus on activities that resonate with your team’s values and interests. Whether it’s a workshop on company values or an adventurous group activity, the key is to create enjoyable and relevant experiences for your team.
4. Don’t Forget Your Introverts
Designing events with the needs of introverted team members in mind can significantly enhance the overall experience. Creating spaces for recharging and private moments, such as quiet areas and individual rooms, ensures that all team members can engage comfortably and thrive.
5. Consider the Intention Behind the Event
As Matt Young suggests, the intention behind bringing your team together is crucial. Whether it’s for collaboration on a specific project, onboarding new team members, or just building a cohesive unit, the purpose should be clear and meaningful to everyone involved.
Incorporating on-site meetups into a remote work schedule is more than just a logistical exercise; it’s an investment in your team’s culture and cohesion. While remote work offers numerous advantages, the power of in-person interaction in building strong, collaborative, and creative teams cannot be understated. By carefully planning these meetups, considering the diverse needs of your team, and focusing on meaningful engagement, you can create an environment where both the individual and the team can thrive.
Want to learn more about how to schedule your first in-person event? Listen to Matt Young on Remotely Cultured.