Building a (real) team during the pandemic: 5 lessons to master

Mastering these five lessons will support you in building a real team

Sérgio Martins
Feedium
Published in
8 min readMay 5, 2021

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Spiderman hugging iron man during the Avengers movie

Motivation

In March 2020, COVID-19 kicked us out of the office. Some weeks later, we started a new project with 14 people.

The challenges we faced were real: since people didn’t know each other before, not being together didn’t properly ease the process.

One year later, we are more than a group of people working together. We are a team; a great one! This might sound cheesy, but we had to run a long way, and we couldn’t be prouder of the bonds created. Friendship was even born from there.

If there are five lessons we are sure everyone should master when building a (real) team, you will find them here.

5 Lessons to master (and some bonus tips)

1. People work better in an environment of trust over control

Let us start by saying that: Working from home is not the same as working remotely. Especially during the pandemic, where we were forced to work from home while taking care of our children, doorbells, dogs, cats, you name it.

Thus, the question we get a lot is, “How do you know that people are working if you’re all at home?”. Rather tricky, right? But the main focus should be on the results and the process as a team.

Even though someone is not answering for 5 minutes, it doesn’t mean they are not working. They’re probably highly focused, have a different schedule, need more time, or something else. There’s nothing wrong with working asynchronously. Don’t do micromanagement. Trust people will get the things done!

TIP: Over Communicate. Communicate more than necessary! Agree on the channels to be used, develop systems for reporting progress, celebrate triumphs, share your availability, and let your peers understand your pains and results.

What we did: For example, we used Slack which is excellent for keeping an ongoing conversation. Also, we often used the “status” feature to let others know our availability. This indirect way of communicating reduces the…

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Sérgio Martins
Feedium

Hey, my name is Sérgio, and I’m a Senior Software Engineer by trade. Here you’ll find short and straight-to-the-point articles related to my craft, and business