The well-established remote work over chat can definitely be as beneficial as work in the office. Surely it has some disadvantages that cannot be addressed, however, there are pros like easier access to discussions, greater concentration and asynchronicity.
Conscious approach to remote communication makes it productive and efficient, when you feel like at home, having and seeing people gathered together for one purpose.
Though, sometimes this type of communication is hard to establish and maintain. Here are some tips for efficient work via chat.
Be Opened And Get To Know People
When working remotely, it’s significantly important to know your team – not how they look or what work they do, but to know all non-working aspects of their lives, what they care about, what makes them laugh and so on. It brings human presence to your work, making the communication more comfortable across the team. Surely, it’s impossible to force people to be opened up, but you can take the lead and show your own personality to your team members.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions! Particularly if you work in a growing team. Possibly one of your colleagues may already have the answer to your issue, or you find like-minded persons to find it out together – either way this type of communication is efficient and beneficial, as all your co-workers can see the answers and use them if needed.
Try To Understand The People On The Other Side
Communication via texting is very controversial – you cannot see real emotions and gestures and don’t know what happens in life of the person you’re chatting with. You’re not involved in life of your colleagues as when you work with them in the office physically. That is why intentional empathy is so important to be presented during text communication.
Below are some pieces of advice helpful to become a good remote-work colleague:
Try to understand that people you’re chatting with are not involved in the task you’re having for the past couple of days, so give them more context while communicating, thus they’ll be able to get to the bottom of the matter and provide you with a reliable answer.
There’s no point to start the conversation by short question about the project without background, as it can give the total misunderstanding of the situation. Explain the matter comprehensively from the start - it will make people see your whole intention and goals and give them the foundation to find the proper answer to the challenge you have.
Don’t be silent
It’s vital to avoid silence when you communicate remotely. Set your coworkers an example by providing credible answers to all questions they may arise, and try to refer their issues to people, proficient in this particular field, making the communication beneficial and effective.
Don’t Consider Chat As A Tool For Decision-Making
When chat is a great tool for communication itself, it’s not so good in terms of decision-making process. There are other tools that are more efficient speaking about generating and capturing consensus.
Whether you want to discuss something with the person eye-to-eye, use video. Share the link to the chat if you want to get people who might be involved in this topic, as it can bring benefit to the discussion.
If you have some idea or plan, capture it in programs like Trello or Confluence, as they are very convenient in terms of communication and project management.
And even more, make the written resource for those colleagues, who were not involved in the topic from the start (or to remind them the details if necessary), so it will be helpful for all chat users to be in touch with the work you do.
Be emotionally involved in chat
Whether it becomes hard to understand your coworkers when chatting or you feel emotional engagement, use video. It helps not to deepen the misinterpretation within your team and enhance the involvement of each person in the conversation. Stick to best remote communication practices to create a healthy environment in the team.
All these tips will definitely improve your friendly remote work atmosphere and create the solid foundation for efficient work with your colleagues, even if you don’t share the office with them.