In an office, you'd bump into people at the water cooler all the time and shoot the breeze, but it's easy to forget to do that when you're working remotely. The idea of the weekly pair calls is to foster team interaction, exchange ideas, see where we can make collaborations happen and to unblock each other when we're struggling.

We're big fans of Donut, a little bot which lives in our team Slack and pairs up everyone on the team for a weekly rotating chat.

The idea is to make sure that no matter whether you're on a project or not, you always chat to at least 1 other person on the team and have a friendly catch up.

Calls should happen every Monday morning and Friday afternoon if time zone differences allow. Ideally, you should get them done before lunch so that you're set for the week (Monday) or to make sure you review your list before the weekend (Friday).

On Monday we should discuss each other's weekly plans, talk about the motivation and purpose behind each task and how we are planning to accomplish them.

During the week, your buddy would appreciate it a lot if you can take charge of checking in with them, watching out for any problems, and coaching them on things you spot. This works both ways: having someone to spot you will hopefully help you to stay on track with your weekly goals, too.

On Friday, we do a review of the week. This involves checking our progress, celebrating our wins and reviewing the goals we weren't able to accomplish. We analyse our losses for failure so that we can learn and improve next time.

When you don't hit a goal, make sure to take one of the following actions:

  • Remove (if it turned out to be unimportant)
  • Revise (if it's still important but you didn't know what to do next)
  • Recommit (if you simply didn't find the time to work on it).