When working with colleagues from a distance, a text or email is probably sufficient for quick conversations, such as setting up a meeting. For more serious discussions, however, a phone or video call is probably preferable.
Video calls can be tiresome, so they should be used sparingly and only when there is a clear purpose for video, according to Dr. Simon-Thomas. That could be a presentation with visual aids at a meeting. Or a first-time introduction to a coworker, when it’s nice to put a face to a name.
If you’re going to write to your coworkers, whether at work or at home, be thoughtful. Dr. Simon-Thomas went on to say. Avoid short notes and instead add nuance and context to your message. To avoid coming across as a harsh critic, show curiosity whenever possible when discussing problem solutions.
“We don’t have the intonation, facial expressions, or postural cues that we normally rely on,” she explained. “Even the most insignificant response can mean a universe of things to the person who receives it.”
Our time is valuable regardless of our position in an organisation. According to one study, when our work is interrupted by a digital distraction such as a message, it takes an average of 23 minutes to return to the original task. Respecting boundaries will be critical in a hybrid work environment, according to Tiffany Shlain, a documentary filmmaker who wrote “24/6,” a book about the importance of unplugging from technology.
You can use powerful tools, such as scheduling emails and setting a status message, to let others know you’re busy and to set boundaries.
Assume you work a 9-to-5 job and, at 7 p.m., you have an idea to share with a coworker, so you write it down in an email. When you send the email, two things happen. One, you have breached your own boundary by informing others that you work during supper. Two, you may have disrupted a colleague during his or her downtime.