Getting Started with Gather for Remote Work

Gather is a place where your team can make meaningful relationships and colleagues can stay connected. 

When working in a physical office, conversations are often impromptu as you walk past each other's desks or meet by the coffee maker. By using Gather for your virtual office, you can recreate these impromptu conversations by just walking your avatar around the office. Stop by a colleague's desk for a quick chat, meet in the lunch room to share stories, or find a couch or conference room to have a team meeting or stand-up. You can also set up social gatherings for new hires to meet staff, for your team to play games, or even to welcome clients in for virtual office hours. 

What follows are some high-level questions and ideas for you to consider as you get started using Gather for your workplace. This article concludes with an action plan for you to start your office.

Schedule an Event

One of the best ways to get buy-in for Gather is to plan an event. You can quickly spin up a rooftop or tiki bar and plan a social, complete with our integrated Gather games. (At Gather, we have a Tetris leader board and we all fight for dominion in Draw Battle!) To jumpstart your Gather experience, we have a quick article, "4 Steps to Host Your First Gather Event." 

If your team needs some convincing about why and how to use Gather, keep reading here and follow our Getting Started > Remote Work articles. We'll cover everything you need to know about planning and building your virtual office, onboarding your staff, fostering community and company culture, and welcoming clients online. 

Brainstorm Your Office Plan

If you're reading this article, then you're already thinking about how you can use Gather for work. Maybe you're looking for a way for your team to feel more connected. Perhaps you've read about how remote work has led to better productivity, but you're concerned about how to best support collaboration. No matter why you're here, we're excited to talk about the many ways Gather can meet your needs.

How Will You Use the Office?

Because we use Gather ourselves, we have a few suggestions on how it's worked for us and our clients (and hey, they rhyme and start with C-, so they're Cookie Monster approved!):

  • Collaborate: Use the whiteboard or screen sharing to work together in pairs or as a team. Walk by someone's desk to chat, just like you would in a physical office. 
  • Concentrate: Focus on individual work by sitting at your desk and setting a status.
  • Captivate: Wow your clients by creating virtual office hours where they can video chat with support staff, check out promotional content (think embedded videos, slides, pdfs, etc.), and receive demos of your products or services.
  • Congregate: Plan all-hands staff meetings and use the spotlight feature so everyone can hear and see the facilitator. 
  • Celebrate: Plan socials or celebrations with multi-player games, ambient sound or playlists, or even karaoke!
  • Cultivate: Combine any of these elements to develop and maintain a company culture that fosters collaboration, productivity, and creativity.

Zoomed out view of the Office Complex template. From top to bottom, left to right, the space features a large conference room, with chairs on either side of two large tables. In the top center is a break room, with a coffee bar and a few seating areas. In the top right are 27 desks, grouped in threes. The bottom left shows three smaller conference rooms with seating for 8 in each. In the bottom center is a co-working space with four tables with four sets, and two tables with six seats. In the bottom right is the welcome area, with five seating areas. A view of the Office Complex template, which features a welcome area, desks, multiple areas for co-working and meeting, and break and lunch room. 

Who Will Use the Office?

The previous list should help you start to imagine how you'll use your office space. Here are a few examples of who can benefit from your virtual office space:

  • Human Resources: Interview and onboard new employees.
  • Sales: Meet and greet new customers; embed slides, promotional material, or intro videos.
  • Customer Support: Offer office hours to answer questions; screen share to demo functionality or troubleshoot issues.
  • Engineering: Pair program and perform code reviews.
  • Agile Teams:  Meet for daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives; demo and share present and future features.
  • All Staff: Meet internally (within or across teams or all-hands), co-work, celebrate birthdays, plan socials/happy hours

The second part of the who question is how many? On average and at maximum capacity, how many users do you plan to have in the Space? This will help you pick a good template for your office, as well as choose the best plan for you. (You can read about our pricing and subscription options on our website.)

Next Steps

Check out the Getting Started: Remote Work articles for all the ins and outs of how Gather works for business and how to set up and manage your virtual office. We've put together the following articles that should help you and your team thrive in Gather:

  1. Getting Started with Gather for Remote Work: Review high-level reasons for using Gather for your team!
  2. Planning for Success: Run through a list of recommendations for creating and maintaining a successful virtual office.
  3. Building Your Office: Learn more about tips, tricks, and best practices for designing your office! 
  4. Onboarding Your Staff: Prepare your employees for the new experience. Help them decorate their desk and interact with objects and coworkers. Show them around the space and schedule your first meetings.
  5. Maintaining MomentumPick up some best practices for building and maintaining your company culture within your virtual office. 
  6. Welcoming ClientsSend out invites, set up virtual office hours, and create password-protect spaces as necessary.

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