The Art of Exciting Virtual Sprints
How to host engaging virtual meetings using spatial chat tools.
With many companies adopting a more flexible work-from-anywhere policy, the number of virtual activities employees have to attend is increasing. Despite being more convenient, remote working can be a little isolating, especially for those who live alone.
Working at the office gives ample opportunity for social engagement. You can gather at the pantry for a short catch-up session after an exhausting sprint review, or go to the nearest convenience store with your teammates, perhaps getting to know them slightly better. Nowadays, with remote working, the chance becomes limited. As we mostly communicate via Slack or WhatsApp, their beings gradually reduced to avatars and messages.
Fortunately, there are more ways to connect with your team members besides using plain ol’ text. Imagine if you could create a personalized character to present your ideas during a sprint session? Then build a virtual pantry for avatars to hang out and chat casually with your team while having “coffee”?
Since modern problems require modern solutions, we whip up a list of recommended proximity chat platforms to help make your virtual meetings more engaging and interactive!
The Sims meets Harvest Moon. This platform offers customizable 8-bit virtual spaces for hosting virtual meetings, such as office rooms, pantries, or gardens. Participants can also design avatars to move around and command to perform simple tasks.
Gather Town tries to simulate real-life ambience, such as increasing the volume within a close radius of another avatar and gradually decreasing it as you move away from them. It also provides multiplayer online games for entertainment during breaks. At DKatalis, we use this for our Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Retrospective sessions.
However, this platform can be a little “heavy” for those with limited internet connections. Furthermore, Grow Together does not have a mobile version yet, making it impossible to attend meetings while on the go.
Before migrating to Grow Together, we host sprint planning & reviews, retros, and sometimes monthly catch-ups in Spatial.
If you prefer to work in a more “realistic” environment, Spatial is the place to be. The platform, like Grow Together, allows you to create a space for meetings and conferences with hundreds of participants. You can create multiple rooms for different purposes, such as a waiting room, conference room, and so on. As for the avatar, you can use the video function or upload an image of your liking, which will be displayed in a circle that you can move around.
Participants can communicate via various channels, including audio and text chat. If you want to draw attention to yourself, use the “Megaphone” function to enlarge your avatar and chat bubble, making it more visible than others in the space.
Again, this space will run smoothly if every participant has a strong internet connection and gadget that meets Spatial’s requirements. Otherwise, the experience will be just similar to the regular Zoom or GMeet meetings.
Want more creative ways to hold a virtual meeting? Check out our other recommendations, or better yet, join our team!