Communication In a Remote Setup: The Importance of Writing

Writing is increasingly important now as remote work has gone mainstream.

Be it Email, Slack, or Notion, all remote work is communicated with the help of writing. Writing helps save time by summarizing points in black and white to facilitate asynchronous communication, something of a mainstay in global organizations.

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Why does writing matter in remote work? — Tim Casasola

timcasasola.com

Five people in a room sitting for a one-hour meeting are spending a total of five hours of productive time. Real-time communication, physical or virtual meetings can be avoided most of the time.

Meetings should be the last resort, and writing comes to the rescue. Most meetings can be avoided by asynchronous communication on Slack, but if the threads are too long, and the decision is not in sight, it’s a signal that a meeting is required.

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Many extroverts had a gala time in physical meetings, as their social interactions and energy kept them at the centre of attention. The quiet introverts, who might be great at implementing the ideas bounced on the table, were sidelined.

Remote work and the focus on the written word is the introvert's revenge, as now the scales are balanced towards merit and real results.

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People can take time to examine the problem or issue, and provide their input, something which isn’t possible in meetings.

Writing forces individuals and teams to think clearly and participate in a productive discussion. Writing also invites people to rectify mistakes, and point out gaps in the idea. Added opinions, suggestions and corrections are a good thing for the project or the main idea.

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  1. Get to the point quickly.
  2. Write as if explaining to a newbie or someone who doesn’t know what you do.
  3. If you are using acronyms, spell them out.
  4. Focus on the key idea at all times, from start to finish. Also add a summary and next action point to move forward.
  5. Provide options to invite engagement, like by using a poll.
  6. Do not use a passive voice.
  7. Shorter sentences work extremely well, but can turn monotonous. Use varied sentence lengths, but keep the format simple.
  8. No rambling.

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