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Communicating In A Remote World

  • What is lost in a remote work environment when it comes to communication?
    • Volume: A lot of ad-hoc communication ("water cooler chats") can't happen anymore.
    • Depth of presence: When you're on a video call, it's mainly just your face that's visible. In an in-person meeting, especially 1 on 1 meetings, your entire body is visible, which lets you express a lot more via your body language.
  • If you're comfortable, have video on during calls - Use your facial expressions to really show that you're listening and truly hearing what the other person or people have to say.
  • Book 1 on 1s very aggressively - 1 on 1 meetings are the core building block behind strong relationships. In an in-person environment, you will build relationships naturally through other means like team lunch, but since those are lost in a remote environment, you need to lean on 1 on 1s far more.
  • Get really good at technical writing - In a remote world, especially with teams distributed across multiple time zones, a lot more communication has to happen asynchronously.
    • Project updates are very important in particular. It's much harder to stay aligned when everyone is apart.
    • If you aren't already, try to write a project update for your work every 2 weeks or more.