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In a remote work culture, the digital tools and processes that employees use to get their job done become even more critical. The right tools, software, and processes can help remote workers be more productive, creative and collaborative. But the wrong ones can make it feel like you’re working in a silo rather than as part of a team. Working remotely means that etiquette is even more important for remote workers. Without face-to-face interactions on a daily basis, it’s easy for remote workers to let digital communication fall by the wayside. When you aren’t sharing an office with your team members, things like tone, brevity and frequency of communication take on increased importance. Remote work etiquette is about making sure that everyone is operating at peak effectiveness so that the company doesn’t miss out on opportunities or have resources wasted because people aren’t communicating effectively with one another.
Conferencing and Collaboration
When it comes to conference calls and digital meetings, there are a few important things to keep in mind when working remotely: – Know your technology – Conferencing tools are rapidly changing, so make sure you know what your team’s remote meeting software looks like. Is it simple to use? Is there a learning curve? Can you customize it to make it work the way your company needs it to? What’s the quality like? – Know your company’s policies – Does your company have policies for when and how to use digital collaboration tools? If so, make sure you are following them. If not, you can use our remote work etiquette guidelines as a starting point. – Be respectful of others’ time – Be brief and to the point, and don’t overuse these kinds of tools. You don’t need to hold an hour-long meeting every time there’s an issue or opportunity you need to discuss with the team.
Don’t Assume Remote Workers Are Always Available
An important part of remote work etiquette is learning to not rely on or expect remote workers to be available all the time. This can lead to misunderstandings, frustration and resentment. Instead, it’s important to acknowledge that employees have lives outside of the office and they may not be able to immediately respond to your email or Slack message. Sometimes, you need to give people time to respond because they may be dealing with other issues outside of work. When you begin a remote job, you should talk about what is considered reasonable for the team to be available. You can use tools like Hubstaff’s availability tracking to make sure that communication isn’t one-sided. Remote work etiquette also means not taking advantage of flexible work policies. If you know that someone is out of the office on vacation, you need to hold off on sending them an urgent email or expecting them to jump on a conference call.
Come to Meetings Prepared
You don’t have to have an office to have a meeting: You can also turn to video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Hangouts. But with these, remote work etiquette is even more important. Before you meet, make sure that you’ve got all of your materials ready, your presentation is on the right screen and that you’ve practiced enough to sound confident and smooth with your words. Remote work etiquette also means coming to meetings prepared. You should have done the research that’s needed before the meeting. And you shouldn’t be relying on the meeting to provide you with the information you need to do your job well. You should already have it in your head. If you don’t, come prepared with questions that will help you get the information you need.
Over-communicating is one of the biggest communication mistakes that remote workers make. While it’s important to stay in touch with your team, it’s also important to know when to let things go. If you find yourself sending a lot of unnecessary emails or notifications, take a look at your communication patterns and make sure they’re not falling into the “over” category. One of the best ways to avoid over-communication is to create clear communication guidelines for your team. This can include things like how often people should be communicating with each other, what communication channels team members should use and what type of communication is appropriate for various situations.
Be Finite and Clear With Your Communication
Keep in mind that communication has a lifespan. After you’ve sent a message, it’s important to let it go. When you’ve sent an email or a Slack message, don’t follow up on it if the recipient doesn’t respond right away. You don’t want to come across as annoying or pushy. In fact, following up on unresponded-to emails can make you look needy and impatient. It’s important to set expectations around the type of communication you prefer. Do you like to use email? Do you prefer to use video calls instead of audio calls? What times do you like to be contacted? Make sure you’re communicating these preferences to your team.
When it comes to remote work etiquette, one guiding principle stands out above all else: communication. Without regular and effective communication, it’s easy for employees to feel like they’re working in a silo instead of a team. Remote employees need to make an extra effort to communicate clearly and effectively with their colleagues. They can do this by following the tips outlined above: – Know your technology – Know your company’s policies – Be respectful of others’ time – Come to meetings prepared – Don’t over-communicate – Be finite and clear with your communication With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a remote work environment that is productive and engaging for everyone on the team.