Here is my trick to building cross team relationships in a remote workplace:

Be one minute early to every meeting

Always say goodbye and be the last one to leave the meeting

That’s it. That’s the trick. You’ll always be the first person at the meeting, and then you get to make small talk with whoever shows up before the rest of the people arrive (try to work in a real compliment1). It’s done wonders for me at keeping in touch with assorted people around the company.

It might sound hard to do, but this is one of those rare cases when a bit of software can actually improve a human interaction situation. Set up one of these apps that reads your calendar and auto joins you to your remote meetings one minute early. It’s not creepy, it’s amazing.

At the end of the meeting, hang out and say goodbye to people. Sometimes people will hang around and you can make more small talk. Doing these things will help add a lot of your humanity to the slack messages you’re going to be writing at some point in the future, and you’ll be more accurately perceived.

I wish I could say that I came up with this purposfully, but it happened because I kept being late for meetings and needed something to help me. A magical moment of serendipity in remote work life.

  1. If you want your constructive feedback to land, you need to pre-game with compliments ↩︎

  2. I currently use both apps, as I like the Meeting Bar UI for meeting things, but prefer the Tandem joiner UX. Though both are a little wonky at times. ↩︎