There’s a bunch of interesting stuff in the article about using apps and other tools to make sure you are communicating with remote workers. That is one of the biggest challenges when you are a remote worker, staying connected to what is going on around the company. Newsletters, conference calls, intranets, etc. can make a big difference, but I found this bullet point especially interesting, because it’s often overlooked.
“Communicate within communities by sharing content and comments with their peers, having visible support, and knowing who to ask when they have questions“
In my experience, this is the one people take for granted, that they shouldn’t. When I worked remotely, our team was engaged pretty well with each other, and we had regular updates about what was going on company-wide. I actually felt fairly engaged. But when there was a question about HR policy or a financial question about expenses, it was like communicating in a black hole. No one was ever quite sure who you needed to talk to, and by the time the question got bounced around 3-4 levels, it got dropped right off the priority list for anyone, and no one knew who to follow up with to make sure it didn’t get dropped.
Three years ago I had information I was looking for that I still don’t have an answer for, and I haven’t worked there in over two years.
We have a tendency to forget that remote employees aren’t there to walk to someone’s desk to follow up, or to wander from person to person until they find the one with the information they need. They can only send an email and hope for a response. At the very least we need to make sure they know who to reach out to, and which person to follow up with. That information should be available to them, heck it should be available electronically to every employee. Why bother with an intranet if your employees can’t use it to find out who, which individual, to ask?