Every team has a slightly unique approach to using Tandem. Here are some ideas you can explore with your team!
Experiment with co-working room types
Working remotely can be lonely and one of the things teams love about Tandem is how it enables co-working: working independently alongside your teammates.
Try out a few different approaches (you can tell your team how the room should be used in the title or the room description) and check in with your team afterwards to see what strikes the right balance between feeling connected without being too distracted. Here's a few models:
Turn on your video but keep your mic off by default unless you have a question.
Music + co-working
If you and your teammates have Spotify premium, you can create a music room and one of you can DJ for the rest of the team while you work together.
Audio only co-working
Mic on and camera off! Pro tip: click on the three dots in the call box to access the volume slider for Tandem if you need turn down the volume of the call
Create a room title that is themed to an area your team tends to collaborate around frequently. Hop in there when you're working on that project/topic and others can join to check in, collaborate, answer questions etc.
Use crosstalk while co-working
If you have a group of folks working independently and want to ask someone a specific question without distracting everyone else, you can use Crosstalk to speak with them directly. Everyone else will be able to hear your convo at a reduced volume, and they can always join your Crosstalk if they wish!
To initiate a crosstalk, hover over a teammate's video square and click on the avatar icon in the upper left hand corner. At that point, they'll hear you at full volume but others in the call will only hear you at a reduced volume. Once they accept the crosstalk, others will only hear both of you at a reduced volume.
Keep Tandem open
Tandem only work effectively when your team has it open, so here are some tips so you can keep Tandem open without feeling like it's distracting you
- Turn off room notifications for rooms you're not interested in (click on the three dots to disable notifications) so you won't get pinged when people join those rooms
- Set a Do-Not-Disturb schedule in Tandem preferences so Tandem is offline when you're not working
Wave when you want to say hi!
Even though Tandem gives you a lot of presence context about your teammates, (if they're in a meeting, what they're working on right now, if they're away from their computer) it's still sometimes difficult to know if they're open to chatting or if they'd prefer to stay focussed. Waving is a great signal that you'd like to say hi and chat but it's not super urgent.
When you wave at a teammate, they receive a little wave notification. They can choose to click on it to initiate a call with you, or they can wave back at a later.
The value of integrating calendar
- Tandem will show a calendar icon next to your name when you're in meetings which prevents accidental interruptions from your teammates
- If you use Google calendar, Tandem will create temporary meeting rooms for your internal team meetings.
We find that by meeting in Tandem for scheduled events like team standups, 1<>1s, and sprint planning it allows for us to more easily connect spontaneously before and afterwards in Tandem.
Schedule opportunities to connect socially in Tandem
This may seem counter-intuitive but scheduling time for reflection or social play is a great way to get that sort of social nourishment that is missing in remote work. You could schedule a happy hour, a daily 15 minute meeting before standup, or a