Make your team's first week in Switchboard a success.
Table of Contents
Welcome to Switchboard!
If you’re here, chances are you lead a remote or hybrid team and are searching for ways to bring *real* collaboration to virtual work. Lucky for you, Switchboard can help you do just that.
Switchboard is where remote teams do their best work—both synchronously and asynchronously. To bring Switchboard to your team and unlock the next level of collaboration, you’ll want to get the team on board. Here’s our guide for giving your team the best first week in Switchboard.
🚂Get your team on board
Your team may not have heard of Switchboard yet. This gives you the opportunity to roll out a solution Fast Company crowned, “the future of online meetings.”
That means you get to do two things:
#1: Introduce your team to an incredible new way of working together
#2: Show them why Switchboard is awesome, rather than simply telling them
To help you gather your thoughts, here are some questions to ponder:
- What is the problem you’re trying to solve with Switchboard?
- Why were you attracted to Switchboard in the first place?
- What's possible for the team if Switchboard is successful and what will this look like?
First, connect those answers to challenges your team currently faces. Then look at features in Switchboard that can address those challenges. This exercise will help you—and later, your team—see how Switchboard, specifically, will make work better.
Here’s a handy chart to help you with this part:
Need some more inspiration? Check out our library of Switchboard use cases in 90 seconds. These are great videos to help you prepare for the rollout and to share with your team if they need help visualizing what Switchboard can do for them.
🛠️ Set up your team’s rooms
Chances are you’ve been eying a few recurring meetings in your calendar that would benefit from a permanent room. Now’s your chance to design exactly what you want.
Before you invite your team to Switchboard, set up a few rooms for regularly recurring meetings so they’re ready to go. The trick is to make the rooms look inviting and dynamic so that when your team sees them, they are excited and understand the power of Switchboard. Choose a cool background, add relevant documents, an agenda, and any other web-based tools you think should be in there.
For example, if your team has a weekly meeting, add an agenda doc, Asana or Notion projects, the team calendar—anything you regularly bring up in the meeting and would find useful to have on hand. Since this is new for everyone, you can also add the link to Switchboard’s help center so people can learn more and problem solve on their own.
🔭 Let everyone know what’s coming
Before you officially introduce Switchboard to your team, let everyone know what’s coming. Whether you give the heads up in an email, Slack, or a team meeting, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- You’ve decided to try a new tool, Switchboard, and it will solve some important challenges.
- The roll out will start on X day.
- You’ll walk everyone through the product and make sure they’re comfortable using it.
🥁Introduce Switchboard to your team
Today’s the day! What better way to introduce your team to Switchboard than to do so in a Switchboard room?
Once everyone is settled into the room, let them know why you chose Switchboard and the pains it will solve. Connect pain points the team has been experiencing to features in Switchboard that will help. Also be sure to share when you’d like your team to use Switchboard versus other tools—i.e. for collaborative working sessions versus large, company wide meetings focused on announcements.
Pro tip: Use Present Mode while introducing your team to Switchboard so everyone sees your view of the room. Stop presenting when you're ready to let everyone explore.
🗒️Invite your team to be part of the process
A great way to get buy-in from your team is to include them in the process as you create norms for using Switchboard. Add a doc or sticky note in the “Welcome to Switchboard room” for people to add their ideas and collaborate on how they want to work together. You’ll demonstrate a Switchboard use case—brainstorming in real time—and will push your team to start clicking around and using the tool. Sounds like a win-win situation to us—and a great way to show your team how Switchboard can be used rather than just telling them.
To kick things off, here are a few questions you can ask (or copy and paste into a Switchboard sticky note):
- What frustrates you about how meetings have been run?
- What do you wish collaboration looked like on this team?
- Do you feel connected to your team members?
Once people have talked about (and written down) the answers to those questions, you can begin connecting those pain points to Switchboard features that can solve them. Remember the chart from earlier? Now is the time to share some of those ideas with the team.
For example, a pain point for some teams is the non-interactive screen sharing most video conferencing platforms provide. For others, it’s losing important content shared during a meeting. By drawing those lines, you’ll help your team lean into the most important Switchboard features for their particular needs.
Pro Tip: If you and your team could use a little help getting set up—or inspiration about what possibilities Switchboard can bring to the team—book a demo with us. We’re here to help.
🗓️Add Switchboard links to recurring meetings
How do you make a habit stick? Consistency. Have everyone on your team update all recurring meetings to Switchboard rooms by swapping out old video conferencing links with Switchboard links.
Luckily Switchboard connects with Google Calendar, so this is a pretty easy step. Once those links are updated, it’ll be easy for people to remember Switchboard and start using it as their primary workspace.
🤝Start hosting 1:1s in Switchboard
Switchboard and 1:1s are like peanut butter and jelly—there's just something magical about the combination, and soon your team will see why. Luckily Switchboard automatically creates 1:1 rooms for you. All you have to do is populate them with docs, apps, and other links you’d like to use.
Now, rethink how you can run 1:1s in a dynamic, collaborative way. What are some aspects to your traditional 1:1s you’d like to change? Perhaps you’d like to provide more hands-on mentoring to a new employee. Or, now that you have a dedicated space, how about bringing spontaneity back to the workday by hopping in the room for ad hoc chats? The world is your oyster, so have fun re-imaging what work can look like on your team.
🏊Start working asynchronously
As great as Switchboard is for meetings, it is also great for asynchronous work. Think of rooms as work hubs for projects that you can dip in and out of throughout the day.
Remember, with Switchboard room permanence, rooms stay just as you left them. That means you can organize them with sections, having specific docs in one area and certain apps in another, making it really easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. When you create rooms based on projects and add links and materials to that room, everyone will know exactly where to go for what they need, even if they don’t need to talk to anyone.
Day 5 and beyond
Now that your team has spent a full work week in Switchboard, it’s time to check in with them. What went well and what didn’t? Do you need to tweak the norms your team came up with? Remember: since a lot of recurring meetings only happen once a week, the magic of room permanence builds up over time, like a well-seasoned cast iron pan.
Try leaving sticky notes in your Welcome to Switchboard room to collect feedback from your team throughout the week. Not sure what to ask? Copy and paste a few from this list to get started:
- Do you understand how to use Switchboard?
- Do your meetings feel collaborative?
- Have you been using Switchboard for asynchronous work?
- What suggestions do you have for making Switchboard more effective?
⚡Ask Switchboard for help
Whether your roll out was smooth as butter or had some rocky moments, we’d love to hear how your team’s first week in Switchboard went. How can we help you and your team collaborate better? Schedule a 1:1 with us and we can walk through your rooms, give you pointers, and show examples of how we’ve staged certain rooms.