Getting Out, Writing and Smart Brevity
Welcome to this week’s Remote Work Newsletter! Each week we drop a remote work tip video, a work-from-anywhere insight and a recommendation to discover more about remote work.
Remote Work Productivity Tip: Get Out of the House Now!
Video Length: 76 Seconds
A key challenge with working from home is that it can go from being ideal for work to really unsuitable at a moment’s notice (for example, when your kids come home with their noisy friends at 3.15 and you have an important meeting at 3.30). Here’s how to set yourself up to respond rapidly in those situations.
Work From Anywhere Insight
If you are working remotely, you might have noticed that you are writing more these days – sometimes a LOT more. Whether it is Slack messages, WhatsApp, or good old-fashioned e-mail, those fingers and thumbs are getting much more of a workout than they used to be.
Some people love the opportunity to focus on writing, but it is definitely challenging for others. Here are a few things to consider, regardless of how good you think you are at writing.
- Just because you are communicating asynchronously doesn’t mean you always have to use written words. Voice and video messages can be a welcome alternative sometimes.
- When you write, consider research that shows readers often perceive written communications more negatively than the sender intended. So (particularly for internal communication) try to adopt a more friendly tone than initially feels natural. No one hears the tone of your voice when you write, so you either need to inject that tone into your words, or even use emojis to help 🤔.
- Strive to get the right balance between the friendly tone we described above and using fewer words. Almost any written communication could benefit by being cut down by at least 30%, and taking the time to do that usually increases both understanding and impact. Remember the quote from Blaise Pascal (NOT Mark Twain) “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”
- Don’t be afraid of using tools like Grammarly, ProWriting Aid or ChatGPT to help you. Even professional writers use them, so there is no reason that you shouldn’t. That said, don’t take their recommendations verbatim. They still make mistakes you might need to correct.
On the topic of great and concise written communications, we’d recommend you check out Smart Brevity, from the folks at Axios. This will really help you hone the muscle of saying more with less.
BillionMinds bring the Remote Work Tip Newsletter to you each week. But that’s not all we do. BillionMinds helps employees and managers embed remote work skills as habits, and become certified as Remote Work Professionals. We work with both individual employees and companies. For more information, visit us here.