Upflex cofounder and CPO Ginger Dhaliwal offers wisdom for managers on transitioning to a remote or hybrid workplace model: Remote work works, but be sure to plan the occasional IRL team work session and encourage in-person coworking.
It’s long been the case that a flexible work environment is one of the greatest perks an employer can offer — and this has never been more true than it is today. But no matter how skilled a team is at remote collaboration, the benefits of having in-person team meetings and retreats are vast. When done right, in-person meetings can strengthen your company culture, improve collaboration, make it easier to solve problems, and boost employee engagement and productivity.
Here are the top three advantages of working together in person, even if you have a remote team.
1. Build Stronger Relationships
One simple benefit of working together, face to face, is that it can encourage personal relationships and build trust, two critical components to a healthy working environment. The more easily people can interact with each other face-to-face, the more likely they’ll be willing to be open about their ideas.
2. Spark New Ideas
You might be surprised how beneficial a change of scenery is to generating new ideas and problem solving. Location variety can shake you out of your routine and spur new lines of thinking. Reap these benefits in a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetup with coworkers, where you can chat about current challenges and upcoming campaigns, as well as brainstorm in person.
3. Boost Productivity
Working with others in person can get you out of a work-from-home rut. Even better, it can provide you with a creativity boost that leads to enhanced productivity. From discussing overarching company goals or chatting about industry news, you may find that meetups help reinvigorate passion for your job.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to be working on a project together to meet up with a coworker. In fact, you don’t even have to be on the same team. In-person work sessions help combat the isolation that can occur when working independently on an ongoing basis. Counteracting that should make work a little more energizing and fun.