The Two Biggest Mistakes In Remote Communication

Which one do you struggle with the most?

During the peak of the 2020 pandemic, most of us shifted to working remotely. For most of us, this was an entirely new concept. We didn't have home offices, we didn't have a working-from-home routine, and we didn't have the skills to adapt our communication. During the past few years, we have collectively learned several lessons about improving and optimizing our remote work communication. We finally got that home office setup, we have a daily routine, and we have learned to be productive at home. However, many of us still have two significant problems to address.

Here are two biggest mistakes we make during remote communication🎤

  1. Saying too little.

If you join Zoom calls with your camera off and stay muted the whole time, are you even there? The other people on the call are left imagining what you might be thinking or doing. This lack of acknowledgement and engagement reduces trust and erodes your standing with the team. We don’t know if you’re taking notes or watching TikTok. To put it simply, the “strong silent type” doesn’t transfer well to remote work.

  1. Saying too much.

I’ll be the first one to admit this is my biggest Zoom call sin. 😓 When we communicate via Zoom or other similar programs, our physical body language cues get removed.
We try to replace them with features like the “hand raised” emoji, but it’s more complicated than that. It’s easier than ever to spend an entire call monopolizing the vocal space because you can’t get the social feedback that lets you know it’s time to pass the mic.

So what can we do about it? 🤷🏼‍♂️

One of the easiest ways to fix the majority of issues is to turn your cameras on ( yes I’m talking to you developers ). Humans can detect the smallest micro-movements in facial tissue that convey emotion. When we are able to do what we’re hard-wired to do, it’s easier to adjust accordingly. Even head nodding can increase the trust in a relationship.

The second technique is to pause.

Make a point, pause. Ask a question, pause. When we pause, it creates space for others to contribute. When we give others a chance to contribute, they feel like a bigger part of the team, their self-esteem increases, and the quality of the discussions do too! When every member contributes to the conversation you create a space where the best idea wins, instead of the only idea.

Which one do you struggle with the most?