Heartbeat – Get your remote team alive

After the Special on Wevent #32 we are back to my seven part series about remote work. In case you missed the first two posts and want to read the full story, feel free to go back to part one about benefits of remote working and part two about purple space.

Do you have your purple space framed and established? Today you’ll learn how to get and keep it alive. Life needs a heartbeat. There are three attributes of a human heartbeat that can be applied to the heartbeat of your remote team as well.


This is the starting point for your remote team’s heartbeat. I have regular routines I’m used to and I almost do them automatically. I brush my teeth twice a day, in the morning and evening. Every Monday I attend my basketball training. Doing something on a regular basis makes it a behavior. Regular communication and collaboration makes your remote team alive, so you want this as a behavior. This is why Scrum has a daily routine – the daily standup. Don’t worry about the right frequency in the first place. Just go ahead and make it regular.


Once you have a regular rhythm established, you can experiment with the right frequency. Like in real life, in case of high load/intensity you need a higher frequency. But it also needs to be sustainable. Ideally you establish a constant sustainable pace. For my worldwide remote team I chose a weekly frequency, where we all come together in a video conference. You might know that well trained people have a lower pulse in rest. This also applies to a well functioning remote team. They can collaborate at a lower frequency, because they are used to each other.

Volume / Amplitude

Heartbeat - Different volumes/amplitudes

Heartbeat of a remote team – Different volumes/amplitudes

There’s a different volume/amplitude in the different phases of the heartbeat. In the systolic phase there’s a high amplitude as the blood is pumped into the veins. In the remote team context this means higher intensity communication/collaboration. You can see an example above (weekly video conference). Higher volume translates to higher media richness. I’ll cover communication media and media richness in my next post. In the „diastolic phase“ there’s still activity. For example there might be a 1on1 working session on an action from the weekly team meeting. Or a smaller group is discussing an actual topic in a forum.

Get into action

Now let’s turn theory into practice:

  • Add a regular cadence to the interactions in your remote team. What is the frequency you start with?
  • How can you implement different amplitudes/volumes in your remote team context?

Looking forward to your ideas in the comments. Have a great week!