How Asana’s Community team runs global team meetings

Hello there, and welcome to a new advent calendar post!

Today, I’m here to share how our team developed some innovative solutions to run our weekly global team meetings.

But before we dive in, let me introduce myself. My name is Marie, and I’m a community manager at Asana based in Dublin, Ireland. I collaborate with a global team, with teammates spread across San Francisco, London, Tokyo, and Sydney.

Our global team quickly faced a challenge—organizing a weekly meeting that accommodated everyone’s schedules across different time zones. Knowing we couldn’t all attend a Zoom call at the same time, we embarked on a mission to create a format focusing on active engagement. Here’s what we came up with:

Same day, different time

We decided to organize our team meetings every Tuesday and to alternate the timing. Hosted by Josh from San Francisco via Zoom, the meeting caters to the EMEA region one week and APAC the next. This setup ensures everyone can join the live meeting every other week.

Participating over attending

We also realized that actively participating in the team meeting was more important than live attendance. So, rather than stretching ourselves to be on the same Zoom call at the same time, we looked for ways to actively participate asynchronously. It took a few tries, but here is what we came up with:

  • A robust agenda. Every Friday, Josh kickstarts the agenda using a task template for the upcoming week. The agenda task has a due date (set to Tuesday), a subtask assigned to each member of the team to contribute to the agenda (set to Monday), and a task description where everyone adds an overview of their update.


  • Videos and recordings. Teammates unable to attend the live meeting use the Asana + Vimeo integration to upload video update to the agenda task. These videos are played during the live meeting, allowing folks on the Zoom call to ask questions, share feedback, or celebrate the work of their teammates. The meeting recordings are systematically added to the agenda right after the meeting so everyone else can catch up on the conversation first thing in the morning (note that this can be automated with the Asana + Zoom integration). From there, follow-ups are addressed directly in comments or in dedicated tasks.

  • Personal connection. Seeing teammates via video updates is a good step toward building deeper connections within our team, but setting aside space to talk about our personal lives and experiences is also incredibly important. For example, all our individual updates begin with a “weekend highlights”. This segment helps us connect across distances and understand each other on a deeper level.

Every week, I’m equally excited to attend our team meeting live or to catch up the next day via a recording. Because in both cases, I’m actively participating in the meeting, I see and hear my teammates, and I have an opportunity to engage with them.

While our setup fits our team seamlessly, I believe it can benefit any global team with minor adjustments. I hope this story inspires you to reimagine your team meetings. If you have your own tales of running global meetings, please share below—I’d love to hear them!

21 Likes

Great post and great workflow; thanks, @Marie!

I feel that some of the most valuable insights I gain are from learning how Asana uses Asana internally for different processes and workflows, just like this one. As you describe, the workflow has evolved and we get the benefit of seeing what a finely-tuned workflow by Asana experts at Asana looks like!

Thanks,

Larry

9 Likes

Thanks for such an in-depth insight into how you handle meetings with participants from different timezones.

Especially the part, where team members that are unable to attend the live meeting, record videos that are played during the meeting, is a great idea!

7 Likes

Thanks @Andrea_Mayer, and as much as I hate listening to myself :face_with_peeking_eye: I sometime re-watch my recordings. It helps me spot my language tics and improve my presentation skills!

7 Likes

Whaaa super cool insights, thanks @Marie :star_struck:

=> I’ve never thought about that, super clever!


@Bastien_Siebman @Julien_RENAUD
Some good ideas to work with iDO colleagues from other timezone (CC @Kelsea_Riddick :wink:)

6 Likes

Great tips @Marie like everyone else, I like the videos part. But the one I actually benefited from for my team is assigning subtasks for them to contribute to the agenda. I usually leave it open for them to include their items. So that is one improvement for me to implement. Thanks!

4 Likes