Splendid Isolation – The number one tip for remote working around Coronavirus

Agile

What strange days we are living in!  We’ve got plagues, floods, crazy leaders, and all manor of economic fragility.  I don’t know about you, but the media hype certainly doesn’t help me stay calm and drink tea.  Yet a little bit of me would love some splendid isolation!  The thought of two weeks being locked in at home sounds like bliss compared to a punishing diary of international travel and training.  I suspect though my propensity towards activity would probably send me a little mad if any isolation extended much beyond a fortnight. 😉  

But let’s face it, working as a digital nomad is so easy these days, there’s no reason why business and organisations can’t prosper and operate with people confined to home.  The passed few years has seen us develop a much deeper understanding of what it take to work effectively as a remote team member and or manager.  Yes, there are some issues that need to be compensated for, but the bottom line is that it’s extremely viable to operate effectively in a geographically dispersed team.  

Our top tip for remote working

So what’s our number one tip for you if you should find yourself banished from the office in the coming weeks?
It’s simply this; step up your synchronous communication.  

‘What even is that?’ I hear you cry.  Synchronous communication is just dialogue existing or occurring at the same time.  In comparison, email is asynchronous; it’s not existing or occurring at the same time.  

In any remote team working environment, it is highly useful to increase the synchronous comms.  Think about it, in an office environment, there is a lot of it and the danger when working remotely is that it can be eliminated almost completely.  All the research suggests that remote workers have much more likelihood of sending an email than having a conversation.  

Cutting to the quick, this means that you need to:

  • Use the phone more, and or synchronous messaging ‘chat’ tools.
  • Be conscious of the need to inject dialogue back into the team relationships.  It’s the one thing that will massively assist you in sticking together, as apposed to becoming personally silo’d. 
  • Even something as simple as a team WhatsApp feed can be hugely advantages for keeping a sense of community while working in a dispersed way.  
  • The key is to avoid everything becoming asynchronous – in other words all email.  

There are a whole bunch of other things that matter and make a difference when working in remote team situations, but the number one focus needs to be on keeping dialogue in the mix.  It will ease the loneliness and isolation, increase the interaction, keep everyone up to date, help you work smarter and quicker and keep you in a good place for getting back together once the separation ends.  

Bob Bannister

Ships Captain