Virtual Team Heroes
First, let’s evaluate your mindset
1. Rewind, back to Lisbon 02/2020. As I ate lunch with Gonçalo Hall, founder of Remote Work Movement, he asked me, “Are you going to Germany? I just had Nadine Soyez from Virtual Team Heroes on my podcast. She would be great for Remoter. She has her own podcast in German, too.”
2. Fast-forward a couple of weeks. “Maybe we can shoot by the river if weather permits,” Nadine suggested during our introductory video call. “For sure!” I replied. “Looks as if I’ll be in Germany by the 7th of March… let’s block off the 10th, shall we?”
3. Now, cue in reality. It’s 03/11/2020. I woke up to hurried messages from my boss telling me to take the next flight home. “US just shut their borders, banning anyone who’s been to Europe in the last 30 days from entering. I’m afraid Canada will do the same soon.”
I paced around my room for an hour after reading that message. I wanted to get the last production done, it was so close! But I also didn’t want to be stranded, not able to return home. In the end, stubborn self-persuasion won the internal debate. Okay... but what’s one more day? I was keen on getting this last production done before heading back home no matter what. I booked a direct flight for the evening after meeting Nadine. Things will be okay, stay positive, I thought.
I bumped into Nadine walking from the train station to the Design Offices Frankfurt coworking space. On top of my usual equipment haul, I also had my duffel bag of clothes. At that point, I think I might’ve resembled a crazy bag lady. We stared at each other for a second too long until the recognition kicked in, and on we went to complete Remoter’s final production.
Improving virtual collaborations
Nadine strives to improve virtual collaborations for her clients through a couple of stages. We talk about the beginning stages with clients, patterns she’s noticed throughout her clientele about how they approach her, where their problems stem, and more.
Nadine works with companies to introduce digital collaboration tools, set up the right frameworks, and map their processes, but she cites a mindset shift still being the most difficult of them all.
But again, all learnings came from her past experiences. She recounts a time where she had to shift her own mindset, let go and learn to delegate responsibilities, not tasks, to her team.
I appreciate you
We’ve heard time and time again about the importance of documentation, asynchronous, structured meetings, well-prepared processes all contributing to successful communication flows. But Nadine finds it very important to maintain informal conversations within your team too. I even penned a letter to my team about appreciation not too long ago, too.
Her advice for those who’ve never worked remotely
Wrapping it up, Nadine wants teams to improve virtual collaborations but is cautious to note that remote work looks different for everyone. She summarizes our entire conversation and her beliefs succinctly.
- Make sure your team has a common, shared understanding of the work
- Set up the right framework (shifting face-to-face to virtual)
- Map the processes
- Introduce the right tools
- Ensure good communication and trust your people
With years of experience under HER belt and firmness in answers backed up by validations around what works and what doesn’t, she does not waver on her daily mantra, learned from the Miracle Morning. It’s what drives Nadine.
Nadine walked me to the subway at the main train station. It was bittersweet - a rushed goodbye that I didn’t really register until my plane was already in the sky. I’m thankful I got to document her learnings and experiences. Although I did not get to explore Frankfurt, I can’t wait for the uncertainties as to how the world will recover to pass. Our priorities and demands have shifted, but 2 things for certain; the perspective people have on what ‘work’ means is changing, and remote is here to stay.