So, after working and attending conferences for the past couple of weeks, I’m now just back to work. I mean that I’m only working on project work and not attending any conferences (which could be considered part of my work, too). It will be like a vacation to do “just” project work. Additionally, I’m at the customer site for a couple weeks. So, I’m in my fourth city and fourth hotel of the trip. As I said I would, I’m blogging every business day for the entire month of my trip.
A trip back to the site when you’re normally working off-site requires a number of housekeeping items. There are a number of updates that will be done to my computer while I’m on-site, plus I’ll change my network password right before I leave so that it will be set for awhile so that I don’t have to come back just for that purpose.
When the entire team is together, we always plan one fun activity, which is usually an evening meal together. Plus, we each lunch together almost every day, which is nice for me, since I usually eat alone (as I often work from my own office). When I visit customers in the US, people don’t seem to take the time for lunch, very often. So, I never turn them down when they go to lunch. I figure that I can work early and late, if I need too, plus I can always work from my hotel room, if need be.
Working as a virtual team requires much organization, coordination, and understanding. These visits help us all remember who the people are at the end of our phone calls, e-mail or chats. Putting the face and personality to the name makes a big difference for many teams. Although there are teams that work without this, I find that this type of scheduled visit with at least one social activity, makes a huge difference in the ability of the team to work together.