How to Work From Home Effectively: Building Trust in a Remote World
We’ve been in our homes for about a year now. Some of us longer, some of us a little bit less. But we’ve all at some point in the last year had to adjust and discover for ourselves how to work from home effectively. And that brings us to last week’s drop-in session on Twitter Spaces, where we got into a discussion about communication and trust on remote teams.
In last week’s drop-in, we brought up questions such as:
- How do we build trust with people we’ve never met in person before?
- How do we make sure that everything gets communicated effectively across the team?
We realized that to succeed in remote communication and relationship building, you have to be proficient at all the things needed to do it in person, but you also have to be proactive.
What leads to success when working from home?
We found that the things that really led to success when working with your remote team were things like:
- Posting every message in a public channel
- Consistently hitting Reply All on emails
Unfortunately, when you aren’t in the same physical space as others, it becomes difficult to make sure everyone’s on the same page. So make sure to get your ideas in front of as many eyes as possible.
Avoid playing broken telephone at all costs.
Reach out, build trust.
When it came to building trust, it was simple things like reaching out to team members and asking how they’re doing that made the difference. These simple actions build the rapport you’ll need to properly facilitate effective teamwork. It’s especially important to build that rapport so that everyone is comfortable and candid with their expectations. That way you can set up even your most elaborate projects for success.
And trust the process.
Once you get to know your colleagues and build real rapport, it becomes easier to delegate tasks and trust someone else’s process. You’ll have a better understanding of their character, their strengths and weaknesses, and the values you share in common. And once you build that trust, your feedback loops get shorter and more frequent, communication is more fluid, and it’s a lot easier for things to fall in place.
A Followup Lesson on How to Work From Home Effectively
I think Vidhika Bansal’s talk from #UXRConf2021 on “The Secret to UX Research That Lasts” does a great job diving into how we can build trust and relationships on remote teams. I think understanding how to provide interpersonal value is a great skill to have when trying to build long-distance trust and synergy with teammates.
My name’s Kyle, I’m a researcher with experience leading mixed methods research, manipulating large data sets and conducting interviews. I’ve been lucky enough to work with clients such as Lightspeed Ventures and the City of Toronto and answer questions ranging from what are the online behaviours of young people to how to make government services more accessible for equity-seeking groups.