A few months ago, I accepted the challenge of being part of the Lastlink development team, and since then, the way I started to approach the remote work journey has improved a lot, especially in relation to the communication.
The home office is not something new for me. I've been working this way for almost 5 years, and the time I switched from a fully face-to-face job to a remote one, it was totally magical. It was something very unusual, and it changed the way I mean the word work.
The pandemic has made working from home much more common, both among small and large companies, and the advantages that came with it are pretty obvious: working from anywhere, without rush hour traffic, working in your pajamas ( it's even my uniform), environment organized in its own way...
But nothing is perfect
We can put a number of advantages that come with remote work, but the disadvantages slam the door right away. It's a very different way of relating to co-workers, and this can lead to problems such as project deadlines or team performance. After all, there is no longer a colleague a few meters away when you need to ask a question. Everything has become virtual, and it takes some time for adaptation to take place.
In the remote model, communication is usually the most flawed point in teams. Not only because of the challenge of aligning the team's expectations and their difficulties, but also in maintaining virtual conversations, which are often via text chat, and which don't seem as pleasant as a face-to-face conversation. Sounds silly, right? But if we reflect, when we are face to face with someone, we know, even if indirectly, how the person is feeling or at least their mood on the day.
And in the virtual, how is this maintained? You can't tell how your colleague is feeling. We only have words and emojis to express ourselves. That's why it's extremely important to be kind and polite when starting a conversation or replying to a message. In particular, I've lost count of how many times a message showing empathy and kindness has improved my day. And this is a necessary practice. Knowing how to talk, especially in virtual work environments, is essential for a team to remain stable.
Good communication practices
In the face-to-face model, did you usually greet people when you arrived at the company? And why not continue this on the remote? Say your "good morning" as usual, even why, it's a new normal. Saying the person's name also makes contact closer and closer, and this is fundamental when it comes to teams where one is in the south, and the other is in the north, in addition to being totally respectful and giving the importance that this person deserves and has within the company.
Another extremely important point is to give details when dealing with a problem, especially if it comes through text messages. Don't skimp on words, and don't assume the person already knows half of the things you're currently working on. It is even interesting to give a context of the situation before asking the questions, because the frustrations start from the moment you trigger questions when the person is not situated even on the subject itself. So, facilitate communication and avoid this huge miscommunication.
Due to both my own experiences, colleagues and other people on the internet, I strongly recommend making calls, or calls. And I fully understand that this may seem like a very unnecessary solution, especially for introverted people like me, but expressing yourself verbally, other than by text, with other people on your team, makes it much easier to get through and understand ideas, than to expect to receive message by message. Calls are almost like being next to your colleague in a meeting room.
I also find it interesting to open a space about this type of action when dealing with new people in the company. Being in a new environment, where you don't know anyone, and especially don't see their faces, makes everything that much scarier, so empathizing with new colleagues is critical. Welcome her to the company, so that she starts to feel part of the family, and all the concepts I mentioned before can be redoubled in this case here, in which if a person has just been hired, they a lot need the whole context possible, down to the smallest detail.
Enjoy the moments
Calls, in addition to being useful for meetings, are also very good for relaxing, telling stories, jokes or having a virtual happy hour. And since the main topic here is revolving around remote environments, I don't need to say that this only improves the team's spirits, right? A happy team pays much more, so always try to connect with your colleagues to create a relationship in which you look at this person and don't see them just as another employee of the company you work for, but as someone with partnerships.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Bye!