Why Are Things Easier For Co-located Teams

In a future post, our New York Engineering Operations Manager Valerie Kuo (@vyk) will talk about the ways in which Twitter organizes teams against various constraints, and how we deal with them. We want to replicate the free form feel of a white board or a wall and a stack of sticky notes. To this end, you can use the built in whiteboard tools you find in Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other conferencing tools.

While it’s impossible to determine conclusive

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evidence, my sense is that most groups are more productive working

in a co-located manner. But you can build a more productive team

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by using a distributed working model, because it gives you access

  • Of the 55, seven were identified as greater risks for virtual teams as opposed to co-located teams.
  • If anyone needed to talk with the remote person, they would just sit at their office desk and talk with them.
  • Researchers have found that six plus/minus two people is the sweet spot where the necessary amount of communication has the best outcome for the team.
  • Since it was founded in 2011, InVision has grown to over 1,000 employees and is used by over 5 million people at thousands of companies worldwide.
  • Each of these models has pros and cons, and your choice will depend on context.
  • The key benefits of remote work for the company have been in attracting and retaining talent, and in overall employee satisfaction.

to a wider talent pool. Given how critical interoffice communication is to a smooth operation, it’s clear that having a videoconferencing (VC) infrastructure is key to productivity.
The task board is a widely used tool which helps to organize workflow and boost the performance of co-located teams. With the help of a task board, it’s possible to identify the objectives, how to build culture in a remote team goals, accountabilities, timelines, and materials of the software development project. Moreover, it’s easier to implement progress tracking and address emerging issues.
We hadn’t read any of the studies above, but seemed to understand intuitively or from previous experience that we needed to put in the effort to bridge the gaps and create a cohesive, effective team. Most studies I reviewed showed that there are hurdles to remote/distributed teams. We’ll take a closer look at some of those below in addition to a few examples from other teams.


This results in value being released to the customer slower, thus reducing economic potential. It was carried out with two Cape Town based software development companies. Each employed the Scrum agile product development practices in a collocation setting. Data was collected through online questionnaires distributed to all co-located team members. These surveys consisted of statements to which respondents indicated their (dis)agreement using a five-point Likert Scale. Data was also collated via semi-structured interviews and observations.
Why are things easier for co-located teams
There is no denying that it is an extremely effective and powerful tool that encourages collaboration between team members. By insisting on co-location, it could be said that we are putting tools over individuals and interactions. A team practicing collocation means reduced coordination management. One common myth concerning distributed development is that the cost implications are no greater than the sum of the development expenses of each location.
As remote teams get more popular, I expect we’ll hear more about the cultures in remote teams and how they develop differently from co-located teams. Because there is an implicit trust in your teammates and because there is no other way to measure results in a remote team, the team inherently evaluates each other on what was completed that week. We do this by sharing weekly updates on our internal blog (Async) every Friday—I bet you can imagine how it would feel to be the only one with nothing to show. That feeling creates a desire to finish something important each week. One of our favorite services is Tango Card (also called Rewards Genius).
The result of a good team is not just the sum of all the skills—it is much more. They also use their individual superpowers to help the whole team grow and make the magic happen. Superpowers are each person’s unique traits that help them interact, solve problems, and make decisions, among other things. These traits are not tied to our professional background or experience. If the team is too small, not all the required skills may be present, and the team will have to rely on the support of others. If the team is too large, the number of links between people grows so much that they do not add value to the work but slow down the whole process.
Why are things easier for co-located teams
Sometimes, decisions are even made during those unofficial conversations. In those cases, remote coworkers get left in the dark or miss out on opportunities for connection. Characterized by teams working together in a physical location and at the same time, this type of collaboration is helps teams build rapport, solve complex problems, and interact face-to-face. With co-located teams, it’s easy to ignore culture building with the expectation that it will naturally happen. In 99% of situations (made up number), this is simply not true, but by the time a co-located team realizes it, it might be too late to repair their culture.
Why are things easier for co-located teams
Therefore, your culture has to be built around something more than playing table tennis to unite the team. In fact, I’ve even had co-located teams tell me their culture problems were solved by simply buying a foosball table. Though I challenge the truthiness of that statement, I don’t think there’s a quick path to building company culture, and remote teams certainly aren’t an exception. This engagement model is popular thanks to its numerous benefits that some businesses have found to outweigh the drawbacks.






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