Keeping your new and full-remote team close: key dynamics to foster the greatest team environment

As a product manager, you know that a good environment among squad members is just as important as your daily tasks, or even more!

I lead ( I really don’t like the word “lead,”because I honestly believe that everything is a team effort) a squad of 5 people. We haven’t always been 5 squad members; the team has grown from 2 to 5 people in less than two months.Furthermore, we’re a fully remote team so this can also make day-to-day interactions a bit more difficult.

So, that’s why I think it’s important to share what we do to maintain excellent communication and a healthy environment in the squad.

These are the things we have introduced to our routine:

  • Daily catch-up and coffee time. If you are used to working in an agile team, I’m sure a daily or stand-up meeting is nothing new. But we decided to add 15min to the meeting in order to get to know each other better (Thanks to Mario!!). How do we do that? So simple! When the stand-up has finished, someone from the team asks any random question. We’ve asked things like “which is the ugliest costume you’ve worn?”, or “what superpower would you love to have?”.

This might sound childish, but it’s a simple and fun way to become comfortable as a team and to get to know everyone well. This exercise also will allow you know how to approach and talk to each one of them in the future.

  • A new retrospective is a new story. We have just started this ritual, but it’s so funny and the team loves it. At the end of the sprint and before starting a new one, we have a retrospective meeting using a trello for structure. I might talk about the entire process of the retrospective another day. The most recent thing we’ve added to this meeting is that each retrospective has to be led by a different person on the team and that it has to tell a story. This format allows for a more informal and laid-back setting, making participants willing to talk and share their perspective. Last retro, our colleague Laura ran the meeting parallel to the famous Charles Dickens story, The Christmas Carol where the ghosts of the past, the present, and the future were equated to what had gone well, what required action, and what might have gone better.

Remember, a good work environment boosts productivity!

Product & Design lover! | Product Manager @Smart Protection