When you work remotely, you must become comfortable with scheduling everything. Yes, everything. From an informal Zoom hangout with the team to that virtual birthday party to a brainstorm session for your latest project, everything needs to be added to the calendar when you are part of a distributed team.
Both formal meetings and informal get-togethers must be on the calendar, or they simply won’t happen. You cannot say, “Let’s just talk tomorrow.” That simply doesn’t work in a remote setting, like it does in a real-life office.
When remote workers are randomly asked to join an impromptu meeting by an @channel Slack announcement, it feels intrusive and will likely be counterproductive. Either only a few people will show up, or you’ll have a Zoom room filled with disgruntled, interrupted-in-the-middle-of-a-project employees!
And, for newer employees coming from a co-located workplace, scheduling culture-building activities and water cooler chats might seem awkward. So, it’s important to be transparent and set expectations around meetings at your remote company, or employees might feel like they are in trouble when a meeting is scheduled.
Just remember, in a distributed company, it’s socially acceptable for things to be formal and organized when everything is scheduled.