11 years working remotely. How I did it? Communication!

I’ll say the biggest secret is just communication. In some cases, over-communication. Proactive, frequent, effective, and short updates. Ideally, this takes place within a mini-team and from each mini-team to the overall team. In its purest form, it means giving transparency on the work and outcomes of people’s time.

What’s the problem?

It comes to a simple problem: remote teams tend to grant trust by default and give people the tools and ownership to do all their work without needing much interaction.

That brings as a side effect one of the biggest issues of remote work: a potential feeling of isolation and disconnection from the team and the mission.

The solution is proactive communication and commitment. Say what you are going to do, say what you are doing, and make sure you do it!

From working remotely for the past 11 years (while 6 of those years being in China), I’ve learned that proactive and frequent communication creates a feeling of common motivation, and more importantly: trust and accountability.

Consistently updating colleagues over time is a great example of this concept in action. The same can be said for different standup rituals of mini-teams. The tricky bit is the format. It’s hard to write concisely and keep the useful stuff. It’s even harder to try and turn everything into a story. Be direct and specific and keep it to the point.

When in doubt, communicate.

There is not such thing as too much communication when you are starting a project. Receiving early feedback will help the team and yourself to adjust to to the best practices for the project. Don’t censor yourself, not on the medium to use nor on the communication rhythm.

Transparency on your work

The goal of your communication is to give visibility on what you’re doing.

At all time you can ask yourself 2 questions:

  • does the team overall feel I’m moving forward? problems get solved, outcomes is reached, things are shipped etc…
  • do my direct teammates know what I’m doing, shipping, struggling with? If the answer is a no, communicate.

If you want to learn more about my remotely journey while working in China, just drop me a message 😁

More about my remote tools

Check the list of my favorite remote tools here: https://www.lastrescarlos.com/post/my-list-of-favorite-remote-tools

Pura Vida! 😎

Inspired from the article https://slite.com/blog/over-communication-is-underrated