In an open-plan office, everyone is immediately available. You can walk up to your colleague’s desk and get an instant answer to the question you have.

Working remotely forces deliberate communication. There are no accidental conversations as we randomly bump into people in the corridor — we need to deliberately instigate conversations (this includes social conversations too!).

Many people wonder when starting out remote working: Should I always be available?

📺 Finding The Right Channel

Depending on the urgency/complexity of a conversation, the chosen channel can make a world of difference to the immediate impact on remote colleagues.

The Rule of Three

One old rule in business communication is “the rule of three”.

“If it takes more than three emails, schedule a call. If it takes more than three calls, schedule a meeting.”

📅 Scheduling Meetings

Generally, most coordination across teams can be handled with scheduled meetings. These may be regular catchups each week, or planning/coordination/client meetings that crop up as part of ongoing work.

Details, please!

It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to give details on your meeting invitations:

  • Have a goal for the meeting so everyone joins with the same aim, and it’s clear whether the meeting achieved its intentions.

🗣 But what if I want to be highly available?

Some teams need to be highly connected to each other, depending on the work they’re doing.

✍️ The Power Of The Written Word

Communication channels where participants write their messages have a considerable advantage over channels that use the spoken word — their contents are recorded for future readers. People who haven’t even joined the company yet can benefit from every discussion and decision that is documented as text.


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