When teams are working remotely, you miss out on a lot of spontaneous conversations and interactions that happen when you are in the office.
This post is part of theremote work mental modelsseries. You can read the previous post about the importance of creatingcommunication pumps.
Working in an office is an immersive environment for your senses: the sounds of the busy hum of people bustling about, office banter, the smell of a burned pot of coffee. You are constantly observing and interacting with coworkers, picking up on little nuances and ways the team or the company operates.
And if you work in an office as a really great leader, you schedule in-person check-in’s and update your team directly on what’s happening in the company.
All of this information sharing (like weekly updates) goes both ways. And in theory, it helps you and your team do better work. Through the power of observation, you can course correct, avoid potential problems, learn more about your team members and more.
When you go remote, you miss out on a lot of the data you were passively collecting in an office environment. As a result, you might feel disconnected and out of touch with what people are working on, how people like to work, and more. This can hurt team morale.
From a team leader or executive perspective, this can also harm your ability to make good decisions.
As Andy Grove said in his book, High Output Management:
“Information-gathering is the basis of all other managerial work, which is why I choose to spend so much of my day doing it.”
Very simply put, if you don’t share information evenly and regularly across the organization, you risk employees making impactful decisions without the necessary bedrock of information.
As the company leader, it’s your responsibility that this information is shared to up-level the quality of decision-making. Poor visibility is a liability.
There's a variety of things you can do to improve visibility and awareness at work. Here's a few ideas of things you can share on a regular basis:
If you'd like to continue, check out the next post in the series - communication pipes come in different types.