Not in The Office Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Reached: Tips for Remote Workers
If you work remotely, understanding the importance of clear communication with your manager, team (or teams), and company is the most important aspect of the job.
Thankfully, since you’re not in the office, there’s Slack, video chat, emailing, and plain ol’ texting. Since you’re not sharing the same space, we’ve collected tips to get more done, but be more communicative and collaborative than ever.
Establish Communication Norms
Set up a system for how people should contact you. Establishing these channels gives you control over how, when, and where you get information.
- Immediately: phone call
- Within approximately two hours: text message or Slack
- 24 hours or more: Email
This works in two ways: you won’t be distracted when you need to focus. Second, when you look for information on a specific task, you’ll have a better idea of where to search.
Schedule Your Time
Set aside certain times to check and respond to messages. Set an alarm every two hours to check phone and Slack. For email, calendar 30-minutes to respond to emails once or twice a day.
Keep it Short and Sweet
When writing an email or preparing for a call, be concise and specific. Be sure to include:
- Who’s in charge?
- What’s the task?
- When does it need to be completed?
A message may need to contain background context or tips on how it should be done, or even why the action item is important.
Pro tip: Use bullet points when you can
Keep Communications in One Place
Sometimes Slack or email threads build up. Instead of sending lots of messages as updates, take them to your next video meeting or put them in one email.
Finding a balance in the office when it comes to communications can be tricky, but not impossible. As long as clear lines are established, and the work is good, everyone should be happy, especially the boss.