Coming together as digital collaborators, building bonds and supporting each other in the working world.
Madelene is an organizational consultant and managing partner and founder at Rangemaker, a digital workshop and development agency.
Our company is a member of the physical co-working hub Klustret Ekskäret. We are a community of like-minded people and organizations who are committed to creating a sustainable and more conscious society. I applied there to be able to collaborate, grow and thrive together with other entrepreneurial people who lead with the same values. Klustret is located in central Stockholm in a great central location.
We have a number of collaboration principles as a framework for our co-working community. Here are some of the principles:
- Share and co-create — We help each other grow through collaboration and generosity. We strive for open source and transparency.
- Act and learn — Good enough for now, safe enough to try and learn. We are open to feedback and reflect continuously about our experiences and personal growth.
- We are all hosts — We make everyone feel welcome and included, guests and members alike.
- Leave a better trace — We leave the place (Earth) as we found it, or better.
The pandemic affected us a lot initially, as consultancy assignments stopped completely for many of us before the business community became more accustomed to video-calling. Our learning curve was steep, but we did our best to share our experiences and failures linked to digital meetings.
We quickly found a way to continue to support each other by having joint structured working days in Zoom. Since all of us are consultants in different companies, these working days had a clear structure that we took turns to facilitate. The day started with a joint check-in, to move on to your own work with the video on and the mic off, which gave us a feeling of sitting in the same room and working. To break the say up we began to take joint breaks, taking turns leading something like a movement session or breathing exercises. We also had a learning session before lunch where one of us had prepared to share a learning experience, good or bad. The day ended with a joint check-out. Since the situation with the pandemic has calmed, we have stepped this routine back, but still dedicate time on Mondays particularly in order to get a good start of the week.
Working life during the pandemic taught us many things, and we have learned to handle both large and small events and workshops digitally. More recently we built a studio in our office and have been able to reach out wider with our joint efforts. Right now we are supporting the IDG initiative (innerdevelopmentgoals.org) which will launch on 29 April 2022. The need for office space has changed in the last 2 years, although we appreciate having a physical place- it is not to the same extent as before. We have discovered that we can continue to collaborate and grow at least as well digitally! Several of our members have chosen a co-working membership that means a lower rent as you do not have to go into the “office” to the same extent as before. We are now looking for a new smaller office space in central Stockholm.
During Covid-19, I and my partners at Rangemaker have constantly tried to increase the feeling of social interaction beyond the basic video screen. In our search for platforms that support and cultivate togetherness and building togetherness from dispersed locations we came across Teemyco. I immediately loved the user-friendly interface and clear design. The build mode allowed me to create a virtual office space twin of Klustret!
To explain it to others easily, I recorded my screen and described my vision of how we could have spontaneous meetings, structured workshops and exchange our experiences. It would not matter whether we were in the physical office space or working from home, we could share the same collaboration. It clicked immediately for my Kluster colleagues in the same way it did for me.
Teemyco has made our hybrid style of work seamless for our community. We have moved our various coordination meetings and structured working days into Teemyco. It feels a bit more like you are together when you sit in the same virtual room with those who are not together physically but have a shared sound source. On the days I work from home, it feels good to see all the faces, chat ad-hoc and resolve bottlenecks easily.
Having gone through all of these experiences over the past couple of years, it has become obvious to us how important our community its to us as individuals. For me particularly, it’s clear that our way of generously sharing our experiences and knowledge helped us all find a way to develop our work digitally.
We have now set up a second floor and organized it by group project, where each team documents meetings and shares the notes on the Room Wall, which makes it easy for everyone to stay up to date. Our community meetings also take place on this floor, and the protocols are stored in a long thread on the Room Wall. The third floor is for workshops where we have a large conference room similar to the one we have at Klustret. I then went ahead and created 10 small breakout rooms around, which are so useful!
Most recently, we had a Cook-Along where we started by cooking and eating together (we sent out a food recipe a few days before, so we could cook the same dish). It is lovely to be able to take part in social activities as well as work. After the meal, we had a group conversation facilitated by a colleague and I with the theme of the inner critic. To create a more physical sense of presence, everyone had received origami figures via email to be able to shape their inner critical voice, we shared and explored strategies to promote self-growth.
These Cook-Alongs are something we will definitely continue with since we enjoyed it so much. Since food is such a common thing we all share, it’s the perfect way to bond. Our goal is always to strengthen relationships while developing our skills that help us navigate a fast-moving world.
The world and the labor market are changing rapidly now. It places high demands on the individual in the organization, particularly on our ability to collaborate and learn. We need to work to create a high level of psychological security through which employees can be brave, admit mistakes, and can dare to help each other stay accountable. Having an online office makes it easy to cultivate relationships within and between teams, so that there is a healthy foundation for the organization. To be able to be and show everything that we are, our faults and shortcomings, uncertainties and confusion creating security- that is our ultimate goal.
Want to connect more easily to your teammates no matter where they are?
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