A year and a half into the pandemic, most remote teams have figured out some ways to stay connected and aligned with their immediate work, with some combination of regular team meetings, async check-ins, and social activities.
Cross-team relationships can be more challenging, especially when the only time you meet is because you need something from each other — in the “before times,” these relationships often relied on ad-hoc in-office interactions to not be so...transactional.
Microsoft’s analysis of collaboration trends in Teams and Outlook showed that while working remotely, close connections strengthened, while interactions with distant connections (coworkers not on your immediate team) became less frequent.
This makes a lot of sense — in an office, if you’re working with another team or need to coordinate with product and design, you might find yourself working with a tech lead who you’ve had lunch with a few times, or the product manager you’ve chatted with in the hallway.
Now, it’s easier than ever for teams to function in remote silos, putting a strain on cross-functional relationships.
Meetings become more important than ever as a central place (often, really, the only place) for cross-team alignment.
With meetings the crux of workplaces around the world, teams should strive for well-planned interactions where everyone feels included and has time to strengthen social ties with those on the call.
To prevent team silos and misalignment, here are a few tips for using Range for better remote cross-team meetings:
Say goodbye to agenda-less “why are we here” meetings, where no one takes notes, or the Google doc disappears immediately into the void.
You can use Range’s meeting tool and templates to run an effective cross-team meeting — one that is engaging, effective, and efficient. Invite meeting attendees with just their email, and they’ll show up as a full participant in the meeting.
Only the meeting facilitator needs to have a Range account, so you can easily host your next Leads Sync or cross-team meeting in a structured and engaging way.
With cross-team meetings, meetings may be the only time you see these coworkers, especially if you are working remotely. Rather than dive straight into talking about what work needs to get done, take five minutes upfront to answer a connective prompt.
Some of my recent favorites:
These questions are built right into Range with an attendee spinner, so you can easily call on the next person.
It’s all too easy for action items from cross-team syncs to end up in a black hole — and the next time you meet, everyone wonders what you all talked about last time.
Using Range’s meeting tool, you can easily capture notes and action items, which you can assign to individuals, including meeting attendees who don’t have Range accounts. Each meeting participant will receive an email with their action items right up top, ready to be added into their regular workflow. These action items will be surfaced the next time you meet, so you can check in on whether they were completed.
Range users can easily see all their action items, across all their meetings. Here are some of my recurring meetings and action items:
All these meeting tips will go a long way towards rebuilding relationships across the company. But also, take the time to schedule non-work catchup time. That could look like a regular game time so you can share some laughs together, or 1:1 catchup time. If you’re feeling that Zoom fatigue, schedule a short phone call and go for a walk.
Being in an office isn’t the only way to have healthy cross-team relationships. Even if you are going back into an office, with many companies on hybrid work schedules, there may be people on other teams that you don’t run into at all anymore.
But not to worry — distributed and hybrid teams have existed and worked effectively together for decades.
For those of us this past year who went from in-office to remote work, we’ve all had a bit of a steep learning curve, but with a bit of meeting structure, tooling, and intentionality, you can stay much more connected to key collaborators across the company.
Ready-to-use agendas for better cross-team meetings