Being a consultancy, we have members of our team that work remotely on client site and some who work within our offices based in London and Wales. This can come with a few complications when it comes to company culture, communication, and team unity, or so you would think.
We like to think that we try our best to involve all of our staff in company updates and try to bring everyone together even when we may be dotted all over the UK. So, how do we do this?
This is probably the most obvious point of this article, but it is worth a mention in any case. There are a lot of collaboration tools out there such as HipChat, Slack, Skype and so on. At MagenTys, our tool of choice is Slack and we use this to engage with one another and to have our group calls. Alternatively, we will use Google Hangouts if we need to screen share during our calls, though Slack has recently updated their software to do this also.
It is important to have a medium in which teams can contact one another, especially if they are located across a number of sites. Don’t think you will have to keep it strictly work-related, for example, we will have channels which are solely for work purposes, but then we also have the fun channels where it’s a little more informal and we can have a bit of a laugh.
- We host monthly get-togethers
Each month, we try to host an evening meet-up where we gather all of our teams from our client’s sites and ask them to work remotely in our London office. Once 5:30 pm hits, we crack open the beers and have an evening of catching up and games. We also use this time to highlight any achievements and good feedback any members has received. Our most recent catch up saw everyone enjoying an evening of darts, pool, air hockey and even some games on a VR headset Sarah, our HR Executive, brought in.
We believe this is a great opportunity to ensure everyone engages with one another, especially if we have any new additions to the team. And it also gives everyone an opportunity to communicate with one another on an informal level and actually gives everyone an opportunity to bond outside of a working environment.
- Lunch & Learns
Within MagenTys, we like to encourage collaborative teaching and learning as we have a wide range of team members with different skills and capabilities. The aim every week is for one of our team members to host a lunch and learn and to do exactly that, have lunch and learn something new! This isn’t exclusive to technical and job-specific knowledge, we have held lunch and learns from topics such as Automation, demos, and open-source crash courses through to the new GDPR regulations and even a basic lesson in British Sign Language. This lunchtime activity is also very flexible in terms of location, as it can be hosted anywhere and streamed to other members of our team as long as they have access to Wifi and an agreed lunchtime.
- Client & Partner parties
We believe it’s not only important to stay connected internally with one another but to ensure that we know who we are currently working with and other relationships with other companies, such as our partners. This is where our client and partner parties come in, we host these larger gatherings twice a year at an exciting venue for some drinks, food, and networking. These events are purely informal and no laptops are required, it is these events we get to catch up with our partners and clients as a whole company. It is also a great way to introduce our team members to potential projects so once we have our team on site, it’s like we are already a part of their delivery team. Again, this makes communications and integration within their own teams seamless.
You may think that being a part of a consultancy on client site can be a little lonely or you may wonder how to ensure that your team’s culture isn’t diminished by the amount of time spent away from your HQ but from experience, the points above really make a difference with forming relationships within a team on an informal and formal level. Thus, creating a better work environment and more opportunity for greater teamwork and as the saying goes “Teamwork makes the dream work”
What activities or solutions does your company use to keep a strong connection within teams? Do you favour company outings or like to stay in touch with daily stand-ups? We’d love to hear your suggestions!
Marketing Executive at MagenTys