029: Quality time as a distributed team

Posted on Mar 14, 2024; updated on Mar 15, 2024

Building connection and simply having fun together is tough as a distributed team. That’s why, usually once per quarter, we make the effort to organize a co-located week, to work alongside each other in Berlin and to tackle tricky internal discussions in person. This week was one of those weeks! We usually prepare an agenda ahead of time and last time we ended up cramming too many ambitious topics into those shared days. Afterwards we felt exhausted and even a tiny bit frustrated, because each day we were falling further behind our own schedule. Learning from that experience, we completely flipped the script this time around:

  • Start the week with two days of co-working on projects, sitting next to each other, but otherwise doing our regular work
  • Followed by one day of no work at all, no workshops, no laptops, just quality time together
  • And then finish with one day of focused internal discussions and decision-making

And that’s exactly what we did this week: We spent the first day at Youth Policy Labs (thank you, Andreas, for hosting us and also for those muffins!) and then worked the second day from Bitcrowd’s office. Coincidentally the Annual Reception of German Cooperatives (“Jahresempfang der deutschen Genossenschaften”, organized by DGRV) happened on Tuesday evening and three of us decided to attend, reconnecting with many familiar faces from our co-op meetups. Wednesday was our “Betriebsausflug” without any work, starting with an epic brunch at Blumental, followed by a visit to Berlinische Galerie and then we had coffee and cake at Hallesches Haus. Yesterday, we crashed at Bitcrowd again, worked for a bit, discussed a few topics, played a board game we got as a gift from our friend Jonathan and had dinner at Klinke in the evening.

And you know what? This schedule was much nicer, more relaxed, giving us time to think and allowing us to grow closer as a team. We didn’t resolve many internal topics, but we built connection and trust, which makes us more confident to tackle those topics remotely in the coming weeks.

We’ll leave you with a bunch of photo impressions from our week—see you soon and wishing you a calm weekend!

Five people from Village One sitting around a conference table
Four people from Village One sitting around a conference table, looking at laptops, one person showing the victory sign with their hands
Photo of a laptop with stickers on it, stating “Start Cooperatives, Transcend Capitalism” and another one that says “Krass”
Selfie of three people from Village One in an event space, stage visible in the background with a powerpoint slide that says “Jahresempfang der deutschen Genossenschaften”, colorful lighting
Five of us sitting around an office kitchen table, laughing and chatting
A developer standing at a whiteboard in a meeting room, sketching out software architecture
A photo of a large pile of vegan pancakes, with coconut cream on top, coffee cups in the background
A small modular kiosk in a backyard in Berlin, with a person ordering some coffee
A hand holding a ticket to Berlinische Galerie and locker their room tags. The ticket says “Kunst in Berlin, 1870-heute”
Four of us standing outside Berlinische Galerie, on a bunch of letters displayed on the ground
Two of us inside Berlinische Galerie, looking at art, smiling at the camera
Two of us sitting on a desk, doodling on pieces of paper
Two of us sitting on a couch, with laptops, working together
One person in a meeting room, smiling and holding a poster that shows a child riding a bicycle with the handwritten caption “Nie wieder Internet”, emphasizing the joy of an analog lifestyle
Two of us playing the board game “Dorfromantik” in a meeting room, staring at the game tiles with absolute focus
One person sitting in a meeting room, intently studying the board game instruction manual for “Dorfromantik”
Photo of two colorful, fancy, alcohol-free drinks, on a table, with cutlery on the side

Stronger together: Come along for the ride!

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