​Keeping the distributed team connected: writing a weekly digital bulletin

A weekly newsletter offers an opportunity to nurture relationships among and between the company and its members as well as ensuring everybody is updated with the latest company news.

From the life of a company - writing an internal magazine

For an Office Manager working in a full remote company, it's really important to be continuously working on keeping the distributed team connected.

As you may probably have guessed after reading our "Remote work interview" post, remote work environments require additional attention to ensure that all team members feel connected to the organization, and written communication can help a lot with this.

A weekly newsletter offers an opportunity to nurture relationships among and between the company and its members as well as ensuring everybody is updated with the latest company news.

Planning

Regular planning is essential for deciding on the content of the next issue of the magazine. Deciding on the content is not so much writing down a list of topics, but using your imagination and creativity.

In the planning stage, people from the tech lead department give a short retrospective about what's happening in the current projects so that everyone can be informed and be kept up to date.

Often things not related to the business are also shared, such as personal experiences or recommended books or songs.

It's during casual conversation that we discover what people are like and we can get to know each other better, so bringing this kind of personal information to our digital bulletin allows people to get closer.

Even when nothing's happening

Most features for the magazine are determined by the key events in the company: important events, public holidays, new workplace (office) improvements... But even when the tech leads have already given their information about a current project, it's hardly ever catchy enough to be a ready-made article for publication.

That's when imagination appears. Real-life colleague experiences or other interesting out-of-work anecdotes help to incorporate more content to the article and take us on a small mental trip out of work.

That's when I become a journalist by asking colleagues about their lives, to open up and get ideas, and encourage and allow them to suggest topics.

Taking into account that the magazine should be reader-friendly, I write about something that could be of interest to the team from a human point of view.

An informed employee is a happy employee

Our beloved Codegram Times, appearing every Monday morning, connects our company in different ways:

  • We all can be informed and up-to-date on what’s happening at our business
  • Break down barriers between team members, especially because we've got multiple teams or departments
  • Reduce inbox congestion by covering what would normally require an email to inform everybody about something
  • Give the Codegram team interesting or funny talking points that we can share, helping generate positive mood for the rest of the week

“What are you reading right now?” or “Are you doing physical activity at home?” are some of the questions I usually add to conclude the bulletin, which brings great interaction between us. The team not only responds to the question and gives useful tips and recommendations, but they also share photos (like new haircuts), which is amusing for other readers to see!

So, thank you all for reading and have a wonderful weekend 🌤

P.S. Have you ever written a weekly magazine? What tips have you got?