Working better by working together:

How do you deal with hybrid teams working across the globe? Hundreds of other companies are facing these questions. We came up with one asnwer.

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Our Connected Squads Project

This spring, Tymeshift made a game-changing decision and launched our ‘Connected Squads Project’! During two whole weeks (which is the time span of one sprint), two of our squad teams worked together in our Serbian office in Novi Sad. For the first time ever, almost the entire roster and predict squad spent every working hour for 10 whole days together.

The thing is: we are a hybrid-working company. We are used to it and we love it. But this experience was something else! 

Can you imagine, after the last couple of years, having all your team members at the same place (engineering guys, product and customer-facing TMs, management) all of them together? Well, we can! 

We did it and it was great! Ideas were flying all over the place, problems and solutions worked out together in real-time with joined forces. When our CEO David Birchmier first gave this idea about squads being together for two weeks, we can honestly say people were skeptical it would work. Not the idea itself and its purpose to make a great team even better, but the HOW was more of a challenge. 


So, how did we do it?


We made a super easy-to-follow, detailed agenda, with mutual work time, workshops, meetings, coffee, and lunch breaks, and a lot of fun activities (dinners in restaurants, escape room adventure, and paintball). 

Anyone who wasn’t from Novi Sad had transportation and accommodation provided by Tymeshift. 

Even when we officially haven’t had anything planned, guys were getting together after work and exploring around Novi Sad, getting some delicious food, or finding a new favorite coffee place.

Here’s what our Ruzica Pijovic, Backend developer said about the project:

As I’m new in the company and I’m working remotely, the Project Connected Squads really helped me to get to know my team better. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone and get to work with them closely on a daily basis. I believe that this will help us be more efficient as a team in the future.It was not all about work, we had a lot of fun activities after working hours which brought us even closer together, not just as coworkers but as friends also.

Maybe the most unexpected thing in this gathering was a hackathon that happened completely spontaneously. It wasn’t on the agenda or anything – just an ad hoc idea someone suggested during the event..

We all loved the idea so set about preparing for it. Preparations lasted a couple of days and the event itself was one whole, super exciting day. In the end, squad members had a Hackathon release which was organized live over the Google meet. 

Tiago Alves our Engineering manager from Portugal was a lead in this event, here’s his insight:

The hackathon allowed us to focus on delivering a full feature from start to end and provide immediate value to customers. The cycle of ideation, discussion, implementation, and feedback is invaluable and I hope we can continue to follow a similar experience during the next initiatives.

The ultimate objective of this project was to get better results faster. There are a variety of side benefits (not the least of which is a closer connection between people). But let’s be honest: at the end of these two weeks, we wanted to make sure that we have moved the needle and set the groundwork for improved communication and collaboration moving forward when we go back to working remotely. 

Goal achieved! 

That is why we are doing this with all our other squads. The show must go on and it will: we are continuing the Project in May and June, rounding up this story for almost every single team member in Tymeshift.

Stay tuned, we’ll get back with more stories and on-site experiences after Cycle 2 and 3 of our Connected Squads Project.

About Tymeshift:

We’re Tymeshift, an effortless WFM solution made exclusively for Zendesk to make workforce managers’ lives easier. Our workforce management tools include shift scheduling, forecasting and analytics. A perfectly intuitive Zendesk integration makes your CX agents’ lives easier. Learn all there is about us and our product on tymeshift.com

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