I discovered the Kubi during a webinar in 2014. Soon after, I got my own (named Kendra) and incorporated her into my “Work Together Anywhere Workshop”. Since then, Kendra and I have been on the road, testing the limits of what we can do together. I want to share our experiments and lessons learned for working remotely with a Kubi.
We started our journey at a workshop in Antwerp. We were discussing how to run meetings when everyone is in the same place and there’s one remote participant. To demonstrate what that’s like, we tried having someone teleport in. Sadly, the wifi in our location wasn’t stable. We ended up highlighting how disconnected remote workers can be when the bandwidth isn’t adequate.
Lesson learned: Have adequate bandwidth for your productivity needs.
Next stop was Delft where the bandwidth was flowing speedily. A remote participant, Pierre, teleported in from Lebanon. There were four people at Pierre’s table. He was able to rotate himself so he could see who was speaking and join in the conversations – even showing off the drawings he was making. The added bonus was that the co-located participants got a real taste of what to do to adjust for a remote participant.
Lesson learned: Meetings and workshops will be different with a remote participant. Kubi puts part of the responsibility back on the remote person, however, everyone needs to adjust their behaviors to make sure that the remote participant is involved and included.
São Paulo, Brazil
Off to Brazil we flew where Kendra and I attended a workshop at a luxurious resort outside of São Paulo (sometimes it’s a tough job). We were there to explain how to build a “sense of team” with remote colleagues. Kendra showed a roomful of wide-eyed participants the possibilities that modern day remote workers now have. And everyone got to try teleporting for themselves.
Lesson learned: Give Kubi a try for yourself to experience how simple movement can give a remote person real presence in a room.
As luxurious as the resort was, Kendra and I had been working non-stop for a while. So we flew to Switzerland to meet some friends at a campground in Innertkirchen and spent the week hiking, climbing, and sleeping enough.
Lesson learned: Remember to take breaks, spend time with friends, and recharge your batteries.
With our batteries recharged, we get on another plane and head to Sweden. Kendra asks me why no one ever stops us at airport security to learn more about her. “It’s a mystery” I say. In Stockholm, we discussed how to facilitate online meetings like a pro. Everyone at the workshop got a chance to be a meeting facilitator and a remote participant, and we role played scenarios with unengaged participants and other distractions.
Lesson learned: Meetings with remote participants can be greatly enhanced by using video conferencing. Seeing each other helps keep remote participants engaged.
London, United Kingdom
It’s back to the airport to fly to London and we finally get stopped at airport security! Kendra and I excitedly start showing off and talking about the potential that remote workers now have. The security officers must have understood the value immediately because they shuffled us off to the gate rather quickly.
At the London workshop, we discussed how to combat the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality on a remote team. Kendra shared a few creative ideas about how to simulate the “human-ness” that we have when working together in the same place. For example, placing a Kubi in an office or at a desk and teleporting as if you were physically at the office.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to try new things. There’s a lot to be learned from experimenting together.
Kendra and I are continuing our journeys to Lebanon, Germany, Greece, and Vietnam. We’re happy to stop by your city too! Try Kubi in your own “Work Together Anywhere Workshop” and expand the capabilities of your remote team.
Lisette helps teams work together from anywhere by sharing inspiring stories and offering online and in-person workshops. She is a specialist in creating online collaborative communities with over 10 years experience with web-based collaboration tools and online community management. Her goal is to get the best people working together regardless of location.
She co-authored “Engagement Management: a step-by-step guide to building a thriving social network“, and helped over 40 organizations and businesses setup and run online communities. She is now working on a new book called “Collaboration Superpowers: Stories of remote teams doing great things”.
Learn more at CollaborationSuperpowers.com