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Building a virtual team

by Dunja Prosen on February 14, 2019

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I joined Wings4U a year ago, so I’ve had plenty of time to figure out the opportunities and challenges that come with my job and our company.

At first, working remotely felt very strange, like working in a parallel world or being on another planet!  And I was plagued with all sorts of doubts.

To start, I wondered if I could ever get used to working remotely, as I’d previously done a regular office job for years. Then, I was troubled by all kinds of questions such as, Will I be bored or lonely? How do I connect with people? and How do I avoid distractions?  And the biggest mystery of all was how a team scattered around the world could ever possibly keep in sync.

It wasn’t long though before I realized that remote work actually worked!  A team could operate like any other team in any other office, despite not being in the same room.  Meetings, deadlines, brainstorms and clients could all exist in a virtual space - thanks to technology and, most importantly, a smart remote working strategy.

Wings4U started as a pioneer of remote work ten years ago. Keeping our team connected and communication flowing is a strong point of compared to other players in the digital marketing industry.  Above all it is an ongoing learning process.

Our Talent team is the guardian of our team spirit.  We get to unleash and express our creativity by thinking up exciting and fun ways for our amazing global team to keep connected.  It’s an essential and enjoyable side to building a closely-bonded virtual team.

Here are four examples I want to share. All highly popular and engaging for different reasons!

Meal time

At one offsite India team-building event in March 2018, we realized we all really enjoyed being together at mealtimes. Whether at a quick breakfast before meetings or at a relaxed extended dinner with wine and chit-chat, there was so much to be enjoyed that we didn’t want to lose. The bottom line was that we all love a good meal and especially in each other’s company.

So, not having the usual “after hours get togethers” of ‘business dinners” we decided to organize a corresponding event virtually - which happens once every quarter.  On these occasions, we all come together for breakfast / lunch / dinner (depending on each of our time zones) to talk about the food we’ve prepared, to compare recipes and to enjoy learning how much we have in common.

It’s such a great pleasure to be a part of an international crew of foodies who can come together regularly at mealtimes.

See what’s cookin’

Photo-sharing session

Something else that we do at Wings4U is to take a regular sneak peeks into our colleagues’ childhoods, past years and their “support system”. We created virtual sessions for the team to introduce their family, pets, best friends or to post random funny photos from the past. It’s always endearing and often hilarious, especially for those who usually shy away from sharing personal details on social media – and we all agree how much closer we feel to each other afterwards!

See Wings4U as babies

All-Hands and Mini All-Hands

At Wings4U innovation and improvement take up large portions of our daily work. Every quarter we set our team goals and individual OPSPs (One Page Strategic Plans), and we hold an All-Hands meeting. These are followed up with Mini All-Hands meetings held each month.  We use these gatherings to share progress on our OPSPs. Moreover, they provide a safe place for us to discuss any blockers or issues we might experience along the way. With plenty of understanding and support from colleagues, we solve whatever might happen to stand in the way, so that we can keep up our great work.

Offsite workation

Last, but not least, we’re planning to physically see each other again at an “Offsite Workation” next year! We just have to decide on the location... so watch this space.

 

Coming up next - Tools we use to keep the team connected.

CTA - Turn your customer success into revenue growth
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Explore Wings4U blog for information on quality content creation, B2B content marketing, creation of raving fans and living a virtual culture.

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