The importance of face-to-face interactions in managing remote teams

2devs-talking 1on1

If you manage a remote team or are part of one, you probably understand the perks of online communication — it's convenient, quick, and can be incredibly efficient. But if you’ve ever felt disconnected during a virtual meeting or wondered if everyone was really 'getting' it, you’re not alone.


Let's talk about why, even in a world buzzing with digital solutions, sometimes nothing beats meeting face-to-face.

The limitations of virtual meetings

Virtual meetings have been a game-changer, especially highlighted by our experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Amsterdam Standard, for instance, we relied heavily on tools like Slack, group calls, and online town halls to keep our operations running smoothly. However, we noticed something was missing—deep, meaningful interactions. It’s something many of you might have felt as well: that online meetings, while useful, often skim the surface of what’s needed for true team cohesion and understanding.

Why in-person interactions matter?

As our CEO has discovered, physical presence matters. Although our CEO lives in Amsterdam and manages our developers and specialist teams working remotely and in our four Polish offices, we usually stay connected virtually. However, there are certain events and information that are best communicated in person.

Here’s why physical presence matters:


🟢 Reading the room: In-person, you can sense the atmosphere, notice if someone's confused or if something resonated well.


🟢 Non-verbal cues: A lot is said without words. Facial expressions, posture, and other physical reactions tell a story beyond spoken words.


🟢 Real-time discussions: The spontaneity of face-to-face interactions fosters dynamic conversations and immediate clarifications.


🟢 Eye contact: This simple act can build trust and connection, something that’s hard to replicate virtually.




Effective communication

While digital communication is indispensable, adding regular in-person meetings can bridge the gaps virtual platforms can’t fill. Strategic discussions, brainstorming sessions, and major updates benefit from the physical presence, creating a balance that maximizes the strengths of both mediums.


Meeting in person is especially valuable for remote teams, fostering deeper connections, enhancing collaboration, and ensuring alignment. As we embrace remote work, let’s not forget the power of occasionally gathering in one room. The best teams feel connected, understood, and valued—whether miles apart or sitting across the table.

Written by: Natalia, on May 17, 2024
Remote Teams