Remote work can be lonely.
Bumping into a coworker in a hallway, spontaneously brainstorming your next project idea, meeting colleagues for lunch — all the social interactions that bring life into a workday at the office don’t happen as naturally when working remotely.
So it’s no surprise that over 70% of remote workers say they miss the face-to-face interactions with their team. And research from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University in Ontario, shows companies whose employees feel isolated experience almost 37% higher absenteeism and 16% lower profitability. If you’re managing virtual teams, that’s an issue you should take seriously. If your teammates are feeling like they’re losing the connection to their coworkers, that impacts their happiness, mental health and productivity. There's a reason the most seasoned managers pay so much attention to team morale and culture: no team can perform that doesn't gel.
But here’s the good news: Teamflow can help you and your coworkers feel like a team again. With Teamflow’s virtual office software you can combine the perks of remote work with all the benefits of an in-office environment — so you can build relationships and socialize with your team while you’re apart.
Here are some of our favorite ways remote teams use Teamflow to feel more connected, work more productively, and make remote work much more fun.
- Use Teamflow as your virtual office — all day every day
- Schedule regular coworking hours (or days)
- Host daily standups
- Create a dedicated space for project teams
- Socialize at happy hours or team lunches
If your team used to work from an office and is now feeling disconnected while working remotely, you can use Teamflow’s virtual office space just like you’d use your physical office.
Open Teamflow in the morning when you’re ready to start your workday. Say hi to your team, see who’s hanging out in the common office area and join them for a coffee, then head into a meeting room for a check-in with your team.
Because starting a conversation is as easy as moving your avatar closer to your teammates’, striking up a conversation is just as seamless as it is in the real world, without the hassle of scheduling and sharing links to video calls. Even for scheduled meetings, you no longer need to send meeting links. Do you have a check-in scheduled with your team lead? Just head over to their desk and get started.
Picture Teamflow as the shared space for your team to spend their work day, with rooms for virtual meetings, focus spaces, whiteboarding sessions, and areas dedicated for mingling with your colleagues — and everyone can move between those just like they do in a physical office.
With that, Teamflow doesn’t just make scheduled meetings feel less transactional, it also opens up opportunities for chatter that wasn’t planned. We all know that the best ideas often don’t come out of a scheduled call but a serendipitous, spontaneous encounter with a colleague. With Teamflow, these can happen again.
Tips for using Teamflow as your virtual office
- Customizing your office. Whether you’d like to organize your office by team or project, Teamflow gives you the flexibility to customize your virtual space to fit your team’s needs—and can be adjusted easily should those ever change.
- Setting some focus time? Switch off your camera and audio and set a custom status to let your team know that you don’t want to be interrupted. Or, enter a room and lock the space, just like you might close the door in a physical office, to find some quiet time.
- Inviting external guests to your office. Clients, partners, and friends can visit your office — and you can decide what spaces they have access to. For example, you’ll want to invite a job candidate for a chat in a private room, but when a partner stops by, you might meet them in the common area so that your team can say hi too.
While some teams love hanging out in Teamflow all day, every day, others prefer setting up dedicated co-working time — or, as some of our customers call it, “alone together time”— with their team.
Whether you’d like to pick a dedicated weekday for your team to come together in your virtual co-working space, or decide that you’d like to spend a few hours a day working together, Teamflow helps you make the most of your time as a team.
To help make regular co-working a routine, set up a recurring calendar invite to remind your team that they can hang out together at certain times of the day — popular hours are 10-12pm or 2-4pm.
Tips for using Teamflow for co-working
- Integrating Teamflow with Slack to send automatic notifications to a channel of your choice whenever team members are hanging out in Teamflow—and allow others to join with a single click.
- Customizing your virtual co-working space to meet your team’s needs. If you’re looking to better support team collaboration and project work, set up dedicated project spaces. If you’d like to promote social get-togethers and help your team get to know each other better, make shared community spaces a priority.
Because Teamflow is built to power remote collaboration without the friction, it’s great for short meetings like standups. Say goodbye to sharing login links and meeting IDs, all you need to do is enter your standup room and share your updates and blockers.
Do you hate the awkward silence (or the confusion of people talking over each other) on Zoom when it’s unclear who’s next to speak? Us too. Teamflow lets you arrange your avatars in a circle during standups — just like you might when assembling around the coffee bar at your office. Then, you can have an effective virtual meeting by pulling up your project management tool, setting a timer to 15 minutes, and going around clockwise to share status updates.
Things you’ll love about using Teamflow for standups
- Do you want to keep your standups short and focused? Pull up a timer to help everyone stay on track.
- No matter what software you use to manage your remote team’s backlog, you can easily embed your tools in your virtual space — so that everyone is looking at the same thing, without the hassle of screen sharing.
Working in cross-functional teams can be hard, even in an office environment. When working remotely, it’s even harder. But with Teamflow as the hub for your project team, it’s easy for team members to get to know each other and work more productively.
Remember how easy it used to be to hang things on the wall, and have a space in the office fully dedicated to a project? Teamflow lets you do just that.
Set up a dedicated room for your project, let’s say an overhaul of your marketing website, and then use that space as your one-stop shop for project-related work. Pin your dashboards to review key metrics, add copy docs and to-do lists from your favorite project management tool, and have all relevant materials available for everyone whenever they visit the project space — whether that’s before, during, or after a meeting.
Do you have a quick question for your developer? Stop by their virtual desk and say hi. Stuck on a design idea? Start a conversation with your team members by moving your avatars closer together, pull up your Figma file, and start brainstorming solutions in an instant. Plus, if you’re having that conversation in a public space, other team members can see that you’re chatting and can join the conversation as well. That’s true project collaboration that just can’t happen in private video chats.
Things you’ll love about using Teamflow for your project team:
- Pinning links to your dashboards or key documents in your project space, making them easily accessible for everyone at all times. Plus, because all apps are right there when you need them, jumping back and forth between screenshares during meetings is a pain of the past.
- Pulling up a whiteboard, a scratchpad or embedding your favorite brainstorming apps with a single click and start brainstorming sessions without the friction.
You've probably been at virtual "happy hours" that were anything but happy. That’s because classic video tools like Zoom just aren’t made to support casual conversations in large groups.
What used to make real-world team events fun was moving between groups and conversations, bumping into folks you don’t know yet, or finding a quiet corner for a long chat with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. None of that happens in large group calls.
With Teamflow, you can make your virtual happy hours, team lunches, or other social gatherings feel a lot more natural—and much more fun. You team members can move around your shared space and walk in and out of conversations, just like they would in real life.
Things you’ll love about Teamflow when using it for social gatherings:
- Only hearing and being heard by those around you. Start hearing your teammates’ conversations as you move closer to them, just like you would at a gathering in the offline world.
- Playing games. Teamflow makes it easy to embed your favorite games into your virtual space.
How will you use your virtual office?
Teamflow is built to be completely flexible, so you can use your virtual office in any way you’d like, depending on your team’s needs. We can’t wait to see how you make Teamflow your own.
Do you have any questions? We’re here to help.
Reviewed by James O'Sullivan, Director of New Client Experience
Jamess O'Sullivan has over 20 years of experience building and scaling companies. With diverse experience under his belt spanning everything from CareerBuilder.com to Uber, James is a well-respected thought leader, eccentric, and boundary-pusher who regularly contributes to industry-leading publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine.