Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Impromptu coffee meetings in a remote team? Two Michaels argue!


After “interrupting with meetings” it’s time for the second video of Two Michaels arguing. This time we discuss a common myth that when working remotely you cannot create spontaneous or impromptu conversations. Let me know what you think:

☕️ Meetings by the coffee machine?

🏢 Office Michael: Hey, last time we talked you pointed out that when I call in-promptu meetings, I’m interrupting others…

🏝️ NoOffice Michael: Yeah, you might simply be pulling people out of their work.

🏢 OK, I get it, but what about these casual conversations that very often happen by the coffee machine?

🏝️ I love coffee! And you’re right! If you’re in a physical office it’s easier to bump into someone and have a casual conversation that might spark an idea!

🏢 AHA!

🏝️ Yeah - you got me there, it’s hard to bump into someone if you work remotely.

🏢 So you admit that working from office can create these moments of spontaneous and creative conversations! And it’s impossible to do that when you work remotely or in a hybrid mode?

🏝️ Now you’re pushing it. You just have to be more conscious about it and kinda create opportunities for them…

🏢 You want to plan a spontaneous conversation?

🏝️ Kinda yes…

🗓️ Planning spontaneous conversations?

🏝️ Let me explain…

🏢 OK, tell me. When you’re working remotely and having no one around you - how are these conversations happening?

🏝️ I know it sounds strange but hear me out - we’ve been practicing this for quite a while now and it works pretty great. Do you remember how previously I told you that we’ve got all projects and tasks and comments in Nozbe - and most of our team have access to most of that - so you can clearly see who’s working on what and how’s the progress.

🏢 Yeah, your point being?

🏝️ I’m getting there. In Nozbe I can even click on someone’s profile to see all the tasks they’re responsible for, right? So in theory, I could just review their tasks and add my feedback as comments without interrupting them, right?

🏢 Yes, very productive, not very social.

🏝️ You’re right, this wouldn’t give me the full picture of their ideas, motivations or mood they’re in. That’s we’ve recently started doing something counter-productive, but much more social and fun.

📺 Video call with screen sharing?

🏝️ To inject more social life and have deeper conversations, we schedule a one-on-one video call where we do a screen share and go through their tasks.

🏢 Like, you look at these tasks together at the same time?

🏝️ Yes, and we discuss them.

🏢 But you just proudly said that as everything is written in Nozbe in projects, tasks and comments, so what’s there to discuss?

🏝️ Sometimes, not much. But other times we look at a project or a task and someone mentions a random idea, and very often a spontaneous conversation starts… and we start going off in different directions!

🏢 Really?

🏝️ Yes, so you see, going through the tasks is not the goal. But having these tasks in front of us creates this common work context and kind of helps us come up with ideas and random thoughts.

🏢 So how often do you have such „individual” meetings and how long they last?

🏝️ Around once a month or two for an hour or so. Much less frequently than your coffee meetings.

🏢 Hm… interesting…

🤔 What do you think?

Post your comments under the video and make sure to share it and subscribe to my new YouTube channel @MichaelTeam.

Monday, June 17, 2024 /coffee/