Recent events have forced a lot of businesses and teams to work from home, many for the very first time. If you are leading one of these teams and you have never worked remotely before, you are probably realizing you’re going to need to make some adjustments, most importantly to your communication.
Hopefully, you have already been putting thought into the way you communicate and how that will be received by your team. As your team transitions into working from home, the value of clear, deliberate communication becomes even more crucial, especially over text communication like Slack or email.
In an office setting, people can easily take things you say in a larger context, that includes your tone, your demeanor, and a ton of other factors. Remote work strips most of that context away. The sarcasm you think is obvious in your Slack message may not be so obvious to the person you send it to. Before you send anything, try to think about all the ways it could be interpreted by the recipient, and if you could make your message easier to interpret and understand. While it’s useful to ask your team to try to assume the best intent when reading messages from each other, YOU are responsible for doing everything possible to make your communication as clear as it can be.
Go out of your way to praise positive work
This is another skill that is useful in an office, but absolutely imperative when your team is working from different locations. Working remotely provides your team with hours and hours of time with their own thoughts. That’s a lot of time to wonder how their work is being perceived or dwell on one critical comment. Any places where you see your team performing well, call it out, either directly to that person or even better, in front of the whole team.
People need to know that their hard work is being recognized. Obviously, you want to make sure your praise is sincere, but if you are unsure if something positive a team member does rises to the level of meriting specific mention, always err on the side of calling out your team’s positive work too much. Of all the feedback I have heard from people I work with, I have yet to hear anyone complain about receiving too many…