Distributed Team gets Together

 In Career Tips, Self-Development, Team Stories

Our marketing functions as a distributed team. Thus our main communication channel is digital (thank you, Slack creators!).

But, on a very hot Tuesday night, I packed my suitcase and prepared for the flight to Skopje, Macedonia. This would mark my fourth time in the country of sun 😊. It felt more like going back to a town where I used to live at some point, rather than travelling to a foreign country.

No matter how smooth the team’s digital communication is, face-to-face time is still crucial. For that reason, I relocated to the Macedonian office for the time being.

We had long meetings, knowledge transfers, and brainstorming sessions. All that, is a marketing secret kept behind the closed glass doors of our colorful office 🙂

In this post, I focus on the importance of bondng among the distributed team.

Open communication and trust

The biggest problem with distributed teams in different geographical locations is not the fact that they have different culture and work ethics, but their different perspectives.

Different perspective of how productive the team, miles away, is. Different standards and definitions of productivity. Finally, different expectations.

How can we align these dissimilarities?

First, by openly discussing what is hurdling the working process and preventing us to work efficiently. Second, trusting our teammate on the other side of the globe to finish given tasks at acceptable quality and time frame.

In terms of building honest and open communication, this trip had been the most effective so far. Be it the few bottles of beer we’ve drank on Friday night in Skopje’s hotspot bar, or late-afternoon coffee in the nearest cafe, hanging out outside the office always comes with much less pressure.

Bonding beyond your own team

One of the highlights of the trip, however, was a weekend getaway to lake Ohrid. Two of our DevOps team members, Biljana and Sanja were kind enough to invite me and my fellow Georgian office team mate who was also in Skopje that time. We’ve enjoyed long strolls along the beach and tasting local culinary delights, while catching some sun tan and escaping the crazy August heat of Skopje.

The marketing in every company is the focal point for internal and external communication. Building close bonds with colleagues beyond our own team helps us better understand how other departments function. This is crucial for better collaboration within the company, but also for genuine communication with our external audience.

Having fun is a mean to a different end

Elena, Biljjana and Ilija planned a fun week consisting of bowling game, open air festival with local bands and a LOT of beer, going to my all-time favorite restaurant and late-night walk around the cobble streets of Skopje.

No, it’s not only about having fun.

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we still put up some kind of fence inside the office walls. Which is understandable. Our career is important and having your guard up is natural. In an informal environment, however, you’re more relaxed, feel less pressure and start to realize there’s so much more to people than their job description.


There comes to natural, un-forced empathy which is much needed in the actual work-related situations. Knowing a thing or two about your teammate beyond their work tasks, builds a common ground where you can touch pain points and discuss them in an open and friendly manner. Giving feedback, even when negative, comes easier because you know it won’t be taken the wrong way. Moreover, the bonding will make complimenting your teammate’s work effortless. We all know how important confirmation and encouragement are when you don’t share the same office space.

So, do not hesitate, invite your team mate for a beer (it is Friday!), ask them what their favourite band is (I know Biljjana’s favourite is Serbian rock band called Van Gogh 🤘), what is their hobby (it’s yoga for Elena🙏), or what’s their hometown (Prilep, isn’t it, Ilija?😏).

If you are also working in a distributed team, clap your hands for the power of team-buildings and getting to know your remote colleagues.

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