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Balance virtual and reality in teamwork

Today’s teams have numerous tools for working together online, but some business is still best done in person. Learn which stages of your project you can handle online, which are important to conduct face-to-face and how Post-it® Brand tools can help.

Creating a balance between online and face-to-face teamwork can be tricky. Different work styles, locations and project stages can all necessitate moving from in-person talks to remote meetings and back again.

Before deciding on a communication channel, connect with your team members to learn about their preferences and the tools they need to do their best work. Once you’ve gathered this information, use the guidelines below to decide when you should connect in person and when to take your work into a digital mode.

In person

Meeting in person builds and strengthens relationships — a warm hello speaks volumes more in face-to-face interactions than it does in an email or instant message. In turn, strong relationships help team members weather a project’s high and lows. When you meet in person, it’s also easier to capture ideas and post them where everyone can see them.

In-person meetings are especially helpful during:

  • The kickoff. When you’re just getting started and getting to know each other, it’s always best to start in person. This is the first opportunity for everyone to connect on the project goals and establish how they’ll work together.
  • Brainstorms. If you need to generate lots of ideas quickly, get everyone in the same room, write your thoughts on Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, and organize them on a Post-it® Dry Erase Surface. You’ll have an easier time building on each other’s ideas when they’re all front and center.
  • Major moments. Big milestones and important decisions call for in-person meetings. Meeting in person allows all voices to be heard, which fosters the feeling that everyone on your team is in this together.

Online

Today’s teams handle large amounts of information while completing a project. Digital tools like email and cloud-based platforms are a necessary part of sharing this information efficiently. Working online is also ideal for:

  • Heads-down work. If everyone on your team is hard at work on tasks that need to be done independently, move online. Just make sure to use digital tools like project management software, instant messaging or email to help you stay connected as you work.
  • One-way statuses. Some communications, like regular status updates, don’t require teamwork so much as general awareness. You can often handle these kinds of “heads-up” and “FYI” messages digitally, either via email or online meetings. Digital updates save you the trouble of finding meeting locations that work for everyone. Best of all, when you work online, it’s easy to share your updates and archive them when the project is done.

Teams don’t have to choose between communicating online or in person. Both ways of working have strengths and weaknesses, and both are necessary for achieving outstanding results.


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