Without the ability to stop by a colleague’s desk, people are turning to instant messaging, emails, and unscheduled calls. These make remote collaboration possible, but some people feel overwhelmed by the number of different channels and the volume of communication.

Be sure to communicate with your colleagues about what your communication preferences are and ask about theirs too. Consider having a team meeting where you explicitly set out communication rules. Some examples:

  • Is our team okay with spontaneous video calls?

  • Is our team okay with spontaneous audio calls?

  • If your status is set to Do Not Disturb, should I not message you, or is it okay to message but have the expectation that you will not reply immediately?

  • Do you prefer email or Teams messages? When do you prefer one over the other?

  • In Group meetings, do we raise our hand in Teamsor can we jump in whenever?

  • What are our after-hours rules for instant messaging and email?

  • What types of questions are good to ask over chat and what questions are better kept for email?

  • What times of day are you available for meetings? And for chat?

  • How frequently do you want to update each other on progress – either in a meeting or asynchronously?

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