Why do we only meet once a week?

One of the main features of our remote culture at Uncut is the Town Hall meeting we hold every Thursday.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

At Uncut, we decided from day one to be a fully remote company with no headquarters and no offices. Today, our team is comprised of nine contributors spread across seven countries: USA, France, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Ukraine and Morocco.

Working remotely isn’t easy. We are constantly discussing, brainstorming, and proposing new ideas to improve the way we work from afar. We document all of these conversations on our Notion so that new contributors can get a feel for our unique way of working and understand why we have adopted certain practices. You can take a look and follow our progress here if you are interested.

One of the main features of our remote culture at Uncut is the Town Hall meeting we hold every Thursday.

This meeting is actually the only all-hands meeting we have at Uncut. Others are left up to each contributor. Everyone is free to choose whether they need to meet with others during the week.

In fact, we quickly realized that meetings, even virtual ones, were counterproductive. It may seem like a paradox, but "time away from colleagues" when working remotely helps to maintain work productivity. Online team meetings can be a distraction and foster a false sense of accomplishment. Verbal communication evaporates the moment the call is over, and back-to-back virtual meetings rarely accomplish or produce anything solid.

After few months of working together, we’ve realized we are more likely to deliver on actions agreed upon in writing rather than on-screen. Because it’s hard to remember key information and complete actions agreed upon over video calls, we are trying to limit meetings to the strict minimum. We write a lot at Uncut.

Our whole team only meets once a week at what we call our Town Hall. And because the Town Hall is weekly, it feels more like an event than a meeting. It’s planned not just as a way to share information but as an engaging experience. It gives everyone the chance to closely interact with each other and build trust and confidence. During Town Hall meetings we share content you won’t hear anywhere else. We try to only focus on the most strategic topics and not to get into too many details. It’s an open space where everyone can confidently share their successes and challenges with the rest of the group. It’s also a a forum for sharing results, reviewing critical issues and discussing what we can do to help Uncut succeed.

So far, we have adopted the following agenda:

  • Welcome! (5 minutes - everybody)

  • Individuals/teams that made a difference this week (5 minutes - everybody)

  • Recap of important priorities for the coming year (5 minutes - Carlos)

  • Product Update (15 minutes - Jeremy)

    1. What has been released this week? (5 minutes - Jeremy)

    2. What’s coming up next? (5 minutes - Jeremy)

    3. Q&A (5 minutes - everybody)

  • Community, Marketing and Communication Update (15 minutes - Alicia)

    1. What’s happening within our community?  (5 minutes - Alicia)

    2. What’s coming up next? (5 minutes - Alicia)

    3. Q&A (5 minutes - everybody)

  • Special Topic Q&A and discussion (30 minutes - everybody)

  • Glad, Sad, Mad (5 minutes - everybody)

  • Bye everyone! (5 minutes)

Welcome!

The Welcome moment is an important moment. We take the time to say hello, chat about non-important stuff or joke about something or someone. We meet on the Around App and everyone generally chooses a unique filter depending on the day. None of us look the same. Of course, having cameras on is mandatory as it helps communicate confidence, nods of agreement, head-shakes of confusion, smiles of appreciation…

Special thanks!

Before we begin reporting on product, community, marketing and communication, everyone is invited to praise another person or team that made a difference this week. This moment is an opportunity to highlight an initiative within a department that could have gone completely unnoticed otherwise.

Product updates

Then we start reporting on our product's progress. We are in the pre-seed phase and working hard on our MVP so the product is critical at this time. We decided not to have deadlines and release new features and enhancements on a weekly basis (I will write about this soon). Jeremy, our Head of Product, reports on what has been released during the week and flags any issues. He then presents what will be released in the following weeks and we open it up for questions.

Community, marketing and communication

The same goes for community, marketing and communication. Alicia gives a brief overview of important community developments. We have a Discord with our BETA creators (ask if you want to join) and this is an opportunity to highlight important conversations, feedback or new members who have joined us. We then update on upcoming initiatives and open the floor to questions again.

Special Topic

We have 30 minutes to talk about one special topic. It can be the roadmap, a new feature we are exploring, a marketing campaign. a special event or an internal problem we need to collectively address. Anybody can propose a topic to be discussed during the Town Hall and I am the one who decides which one gets featured.

Glad, Sad or Mad?

We end with the infamous “Glad, Sad, Mad.” One by one, each contributor is invited to share their mood of the week. We have to choose between Glad, Sad or Mad and explain why we feel that way. Your mood is not necessarily due to your professional context. This is also an opportunity to share personal events that may affect your work at Uncut.

I love these moments and look forward to them every week. I see them as a gathering of buddies where we tell each other everything and figure out how to help Uncut succeed. We walk away feeling like we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

Carlos Diaz - founder and CEO