What is our all-hands Monday Meeting and how was it influenced by the pandemic?
Can you imagine a team of 60+ people connecting to an online meeting regularly every Thursday afternoon? And can you imagine that they also turn on their cameras? That all of them take part in a common discussion? Is it hard to imagine? Well, believe it or not, this is how it works in our company.
The origins of our „Monday Meeting“: Why the name when it happens on Thursdays?
Have you heard about the concept of „All-Hands Meeting“? It’s a regular company meeting that is attended by all company members – junior, medior, senior people as well as C-level people, designers, developers, testers, and managers. The goal of the meeting is to discuss important company matters.
The name „All-Hands meeting“ stems from the phrase „all hands on deck“, which is a signal for a ship crew to come on deck. Quite apt, right?
A couple of years ago we have organized these company meetings on Monday mornings – hence the name „Monday Meeting“. However, in terms of efficiency, it became clear that this wasn’t the best time of the week. Many of us joined the meeting still getting ready for work after the weekend, organizing tasks, standups in projects. Thus we chose Thursday late afternoon as the ideal time for the meeting. And it has caught on successfully.
Pre-pandemic times: everyone together (with full attendance) and a fun program
When we think back to the pre-pandemic times, we can see a clear image: all of us together, sitting in our open space on the ground floor. People presenting finished and new projects, talking about news in our work processes and company life, planned team building events, and many other things that are relevant to us as members of the Touch4IT team.
Often we have ended the meetings with a grill party, board games, movies, or talks over a beer (alcoholic and non-alcoholic ;-)).
How we crossed over from personal contact to the online world
And then the pandemic came… the closing of our office and the company going 100% remote, with all meetings online. Our meetings on Thursdays also had to be transformed into an online form.
At first, everyone connected to the meetings with their cameras turned off. This was primarily because we have been limited by our online tool, so this wasn’t even possible. However, soon we have switched to a tool better equipped for this situation / and soon people started to turn their cameras on. There was still the issue of people rarely speaking up. We often discussed this though and it has led to better interaction so that we could retain the connection of individuals and teams also in the online world.
Gradually we achieved that most of our team members had their cameras on during our Monday Meetings, not scared to ask something, comment, or speak up.
This is how we virtually celebrated our company’s 7th anniversary:
We acclimatized and adapted...
The pandemic has not ended as soon as we initially hoped (unfortunately it’s still here), but we have adapted to the situation, changed many work processes, set up new ones, and learned to live in the online world.
Although hopefully, the situation will get much better with time and life will - to a certain degree - return to pre-pandemic ways, it’s never going to be the same again and we will continue to work in a hybrid mode (offline as well as online). We decided not to approach the pandemic only as a temporary condition but instead tried to adapt and focus on setting up the operation of the company for the future – whatever it might be. So that we could continue building strong company culture with people in the office and on home office, and lead efficient communication in the team as well as between the team and the client. So that our processes could function online and offline, and our projects could progress under any circumstances. And we think that we did quite a good job at it.