3 things you can do TODAY to improve your communication when working remotely

In a remote working environment, communication is oxygen. But when the only medium of communication is text, things aren’t easy.

But how can you communicate better in a remote work environment?

Some tips you’ll find around are “over-communicate”, “async-communication”, “text first”… I find those not specific enough. What does “over-communicate” mean anyway?

I’m not doing the same here. I’m giving you 3 things you can do TODAY for better communication:

When you have some time

When you send a request to someone, they may think your request is urgent. If your message hits their inbox at 10 PM, that’s even worse. They are feeling the pressure.

Next time you send a request to someone, make sure to include: When you have some time, or, not urgent at the start of the message.

Before: Can you send me the link to the latest version of the file?

After: When you have some time, can you send me the link to the latest version of the file?

Same request, different feelings. Try it today.

Hit Enter less

If you have a lot to say, make sure it’s part of one message. Writing a paragraph is better than writing each sentence and sending it apart.

Reading something and waiting for the other to finish it can be frustrating. Write everything you need in one message.

Before:

Hey
(moments later)
I talked with Ahmed and he shared with me that you talked about our latest project remote.ma.
(moments later, the pressure is on!)
I was wondering if you can share with me your notes?
(moments later, I’m I fired!?)
I just want to know your thoughts around it so I can decide if it’s a good fit for our team or not.
(oh, that was close)

After:

Hey, I talked with Ahmed and he shared with me that you talked about our latest project remote.ma. I was wondering if you can share with me your notes? I just want to know your thoughts around it so I can decide if it’s a good fit for our team or not.

It’s the same message, but with less drama.

Public by default

There are few (really few) things you need to discuss in private with somebody. Everything should be public by default.

Receiving something privately means “You need to know the answer. And you need to answer me. That’s why I’m contacting you.” This puts too much pressure on people.

When you post questions in public, you can pick the curiosity of others. You’ll start conversations you never thought you can start. And you’ll remove the pressure from the recipient.

Before: Sending this via private message
Can you send me the latest doc for project remote.ma?

After: Posting this in a public channel
Does anyone have the latest doc for project remote.ma? Maybe @ahmed?

Same request. Less pressure.


That’s it, I hope you found these tips interesting. Do not hesitate to try them today and let me know the result!

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Published by

Ahmed

Howdy 👋, I’m Ahmed from Morocco and I build things using code, a.k.a a Software Engineer. I hold an electrical engineering degree and I’m a self taught software developer. I figured out my love for building things when I started my first online business at the age of 17. I blog at elazzabi.com and remote.ma.

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