Najeeb Khan, Founder of TeamLand

How to foster belonging on remote teams

In this episode of Lead Time Chats, Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range, chats with Najeeb Khan, founder of TeamLand, about team-building and belonging.

Najeeb and Jean discuss:

  • why it's important for people to have a sense of belonging on their team
  • the challenges most teams are facing these days in terms of team connectedness and belonging
  • the biggest differences in fostering belonging on a remote team vs a co-located one
  • what leaders or managers can do to build belonging into their culture

Takeaways from Najeeb

Team-building and building a culture is ongoing

“We have to understand that it's not a once and done activity. Team-building and building a culture is kind of like farming or working out. But the good thing is just like farming will work out, there's many ways of doing it and managers can kind of choose the one that works for them. Whether, you know, you can do it yourself, get someone else to do it, but when you do it, it results in a better team.”

Deeper connections result in better team output

“High-performing teams aren't more effective because they work all the time. It's really the fact that they connect with each other and they're closer means they're actually allowing them to have a better output later on.”

Remember proximity bias in remote and hybrid work

“Whether they want to do fully in-office or they're going hybrid, there are certain biases that we have to be aware of. One is proximity bias. If you are sitting beside someone, you're more likely to enjoy spending time with them and look at them more favorably versus someone who you just see on a screen. So from a remote versus a co-located team, that's one thing we have to be aware of, that that's one big difference and how we interact with others.”

Enjoy Lead Time Chats?

Please leave us a rating or review on iTunes! It'll help these chats get in front of more engineers and leaders like yourself.

Don't miss any episodes!

  • Subscribe to the Lead Time Chats podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, so you don’t miss any episodes.
  • Join Lead Time Community, where we'll post new Season 2 episodes weekly. Lead Time Community is a place to connect, share, and grow with other engineering leaders.

About Lead Time Chats

Listen in on unscripted conversations between Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range and other leaders in tech to help you make remote teamwork a little bit less challenging.

Lead Time Chats is brought to you by Range. Range helps remote teams work better together — with asynchronous check-ins, integrated team-building, fewer and more effective meetings, and easy goal-tracking. When you run your team with Range, you’ll always know what’s going on — without having to be in back-to-back meetings.

Checking-in with Range creates more focus time for heads-down work, all while feeling a deeper sense of connection and belonging with your team.

To learn more about Range, you can check it out here (

Season 3 Episodes

» Episode 1: Jen Kim on how startups can hire better

» Episode 2: Kate Heddleston on managing burnout on your team

» Episode 3: Jessie Duan on the Chief of Staff to CTO role

» Episode 4: Dan Na on pushing through friction

» Episode 5: Pat Kua on flavors of tech leadership

» Episode 6: Anna Sulkina on Endurance Sports and Software Engineering

Season 2 Episodes

» Episode 1: Camille Fournier on making boring plans

» Episode 2: Tess Rinearson on early career engineering managers

» Episode 3: Kim Scott on building for systemic justice

» Episode 4: Sumeet Arora on moving on from a big company

» Episode 5: Rachael Stedman on IC manager work

» Episode 6: Chris Bee on Behaviors of Effective Eng Leaders

» Episode 7: Lynne Tye on the Engineering Hiring Landscape

» Episode 8: Beau Lebens on Distributed Team Meetups

» Episode 9: Indrajit Khare on Getting Acquired by Google

» Episode 10: Jack Danger on Technical Debt

» Episode 11: Sarah Milstein on Successful Remote and Hybrid Teams

Season 1 Episodes

» Episode 1: Will Larson on the path of the senior engineer

» Episode 2: Duretti Hirpa on mentoring junior and mid-level engineers

» Episode 3: Cate Huston on working with an external coach

» Episode 4: Juan Pablo Buriticá on common eng manager mistakes

» Episode 5: Gergely Orosz on the decision to go into management

» Episode 6: Lara Hogan on leading effectively in a pandemic

» Episode 7: Kaya Thomas on common early career engineer challenges

» Episode 8: Uma Chingunde on starting a VPE role in a pandemic

» Episode 9: Katie Wilde on supporting your team's mental health

» Episode 10: Akhil Gupta on navigating uncertainty in new roles

» Episode 11: Harper Reed on giving everyone a voice in team meetings

» Episode 12: Marc Hedlund on sponsorship

Try Range for Free

No credit cards required to practice better teamwork.
Smile EmojiChart EmojiStar EmojiSweat-Smile Emoji
Najeeb Khan on fostering belonging on remote teams
  • Share with twitter
  • Share with linkedin
  • Share with facebook