Co-Located Teams: Why Are They Better?


Iryna Yaskiv

Brand Writer
in this article:

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Team co-location: does it contribute to better team performance? Most of the Rebbix crew spend the majority of the week in the office — a fact that has raised a number of eyebrows during many interviews, according to our recruiters. Being an in-person company isn’t exactly common across the industry these days, with most tech companies being okay with hybrid or fully remote work.

So why are we so essential about team co-location? Yurii Mykytyn, the engineering manager of our team working on the European cruise portal Dreamlines, has a few ideas on that matter.

reason one: seamless communication

To kick things off, Yurii points out the most clear-cut reason to be at the office: easy and uninterrupted communication.

Communication always takes the path of least resistance. When the team shares the same physical space, nothing can obstruct your communication, it just happens without any special processes. As a result, both the number of meetings you need and the number of communication-related lags in your product-building process reduce drastically. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to do away with meetings completely.

Getting rid of all meetings might seem a bit off, but in-person gatherings are indeed shorter. This happens because we can tell when someone isn't engaged by looking at their body language. This invokes us to get straight to the point and end up sooner. Also, face-to-face meetings work much better for communicating than sending emails – HBR reports they're actually 34 times more effective

Indeed, communication in the office knows no borders.  

reason two: synergy within the teams

Switching gears to individual productivity, Yurii continues:

I’m sure many people could argue that they’re far more productive at home, but that’s only true on a personal level. A team is far greater than the sum of its parts. As a single organism, it thrives on collaborative effort and energy, which are hard to achieve in remote setups but come with the territory for co-located teams. Again, no processes needed.

Indeed, working from home may make us more productive as individuals, but not as teams. When we're in the office, we share ideas and knowledge with our peers, which doesn't happen as much in WFH mode. If we do share what we've learned with the team, it makes the whole team better. Thus, even if personal productivity drops a little in the office setting, it can actually help the whole team perform stronger. HBR featured Telenor, a Dutch company, reporting that offices are the places where people “collide” and that's actually really helpful. They once gave special badges to sales managers and found that when they had more interactions in the office, sales went up by 10%

reason three: joy of human connection

Ultimately, there are days in the office where work hardly feels like work at all. It's more about embracing life – celebrating moments together, sharing news, and lifting each other's spirits. So Yurii concludes:

Aside from reaping the purely teamwork-related benefits, by working in the office, I also get to hang out with smart, fun people whose company I genuinely enjoy every day without having to put any effort into making that happen (unless you count commuting as effort, but I don’t).

To wrap up, co-located teams offer unmatched advantages in communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. The fluid exchange of ideas, the unspoken cues, and the seamless interactions all point to the strength of working together in a shared physical space. Whether it's the spontaneous collisions of insight or the immediate problem-solving, co-location consistently proves its worth for enhanced team performance and quality of life.

In good times and Covid ones, for better and for worse, we have fun. Together 😜

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