These few weekly half hour “chit chats” help me truly enjoy coming to work. I find that it’s easier to be myself at work now. Barriers to communication are lowered and channels smoothened when it’s time to get down to business. Code reviews, coordination, asking for help, understanding where the other person is at—it’s all easier. Slowing down and making social time helps me be a better teammate.
Perhaps this is already a thing you’re doing with your remote team. Perhaps I’m unusual in that without it being scheduled on the calendar I would let reaching out to teammates for “idle” video chats slip in favor of “work.” I might be the only one who gets such a reward from it. But I do occasionally hear people struggling working remotely and I think: “Oh that weekly chat thing I've been doing has really helped with that.”
I have found this to be a surprisingly effective practice, and I hope that telling other remote workers about it might improve their experience at work and in their life overall.
Book a chat on your calendar with someone today, and start thinking of what weekend plans you want to share with them!