Using Gather as a Fun and Efficient Tool for Hybrid Teams
Given that many workplaces are offering completely remote options for work, many of us interact with each other through video calls on various platforms, such as Google Meets, Microsoft Teams and Discord. Although these platforms do boast many useful features and clear video meetings, they fall short in providing one of the best experiences when working in-person, spontaneous meetings!
Enter Gather ...
While our office is an awesome place to work with our coworkers and an amazing place to network with the other companies working there, not everyone is able to visit on a daily basis because the commute is too long. Which is why everyone engages in video chats so that we're all connected and have constant flow of communication between everyone.
We used Google Meets to video chat with each other for quite some time and we were simply looking for a change. One of our employees (the amazing Grace Geng) suggested Gather as a fun option and since we started using it, we've been using it everyday and it has stuck with us!
Gather provided us with a space in which multiple participants could easily meet with each other simply by walking up to the person's avatar! This was a big step up to using Google Meets, since we had multiple meeting links it was difficult to keep track of who was in which meeting, and hopping meetings was a chore! In Gather it's clear where everyone is, and starting up a video chat meeting or joining an ongoing conversation is seamless and trivial.
The Gather space is also very customizable, allowing everyone to use their creativity to customize their own personal offices, meeting areas, and group spaces! We've also made quite a few private meeting areas, places where you can have a meeting without worrying about anyone else interrupting. Having public and private meeting areas as an option is very handy as it allows us to stay on the same platform for all types of meetings.
Of course, there is more to Gather than having video chats and customizing your space. Gather has many useful features such as shareable whiteboards, screen sharing, and fun games to provide all sorts of virtual interactions with others easily.
~ The Unwritten Rules of Gather Etiquette ~
With the freedom that Gather provides, such as instantly ringing people up, joining in on ongoing conversations, sharing screens/audio, there are some unsaid rules that make our space a place that respects privacy and everyone's work environment.
Ping Before you Ring
We're not glued to our chairs, eyes to our monitors 24/7, we're only human after all! So we normally make a habit of pinging the person in Slack (usually through Direct Messaging) before we walk up to them in Gather and ring them (which will play a ringing sound on their computer). It's nice manners to inform someone that you're coming by before you barge in on their workspace!
Respect your Coworker's Environments
Seeing everyone customize their own workspace based on their own preferences, hobbies, and personality is awesome! What's not awesome is editing the workspace that your coworker has worked on without their permission!
Keep the Space Safe
We do not tolerate hostility of any kind in our workspace, virtually and physically. Our workspace is a place where everyone should feel comfortable and at ease.
Stay on Gather when it Matters
We found great success in making sure that everyone has their Gather tab open during our work hours. This ensures that Gather is a reliable way to get in contact with each other if we need to have a video chat on the fly!
After work hours, you're free to leave the Gather space, or play some of the fun games available on Gather with your coworkers!
Video Chat Etiquette
Whenever we have meetings with multiple people, anyone who isn't talking should kindly mute their microphone so that we can keep our communication clear, we wouldn't want to miss out on any important details because of all that background noise! Once you see an opportunity to talk, feel free to unmute your microphone!
Additionally, we always keep our video cameras on during meetings, there are some situations that we recognize in which you need to turn off your video camera such as going afk, weak internet connection, and other such situations.
What we love the most about Gather!
Using Gather as a team has been amazing so far! It makes it very easy to ring up another person, which makes it simple to ask for help or to review work. Additionally, it is clear when the person you would like to ring is busy or not, since if they are in a meeting room (or if they are talking with the person next to them), they are likely having a meeting. You can then simply check back later if they are free; as opposed to pestering them in slack or teams and asking them if and when they are available. Hopping on and off different meetings is also very easy on Gather, there's no need to navigate your calendar or slack and pray that you're clicking on the right link. Simply move your avatar to the location where the meeting is being held, and you're in!
Overall, I found Gather to be extremely helpful with communicating with my coworkers thanks to its fluid video chat, shareable whiteboards, and screen sharing capabilities. It's also a nice space to chit-chat and have some fun through the various games that are available!
Would you like to join us in Gather? If you like this article, and would like to be a member of a small but mighty team then please take a moment to check out our current opportunities.