How to Have a Personal Touch, Even Remotely

Personal Touch

As the current environment continues, everyone is getting up to speed on working and learning remotely. As a key member of the IT team, you may already be quite comfortable working virtually. That may not be true for many of your users and they may need some help from you for how to successfully work remotely. Here are 5 tips to help you help your users maintain a personal touch in their communication.

1.      Time zones matter. One benefit (and also downside) of working remotely is that we can be working all of the time or choose times outside of traditional office hours to work.  Remind your users that other team members might not be working when they’re working, so it’s important and courteous to be cognizant of time zones and working schedules.

2.      Devices and channels matter. Most of your users will be using multiple devices, such as phone, desktop, and tablet with multiple channels such as chat, text, email, and hangouts to communicate and collaborate. It might be helpful to establish some general guidelines that will help your users understand when to use each device and channel.

3.      Assume your colleagues are busy.  Just because someone is working remotely doesn’t mean they are available on demand. If you can, make calendars visible so people can respect free and busy times. People are busy and may not be keeping their calendars up-to-date. Encourage people to keep their calendars current and before setting up a meeting to ask if a spot is open.

4.      Show how to use technology to be more productive. Many users may not know all the ins and outs of the technology they are using.  For example, do they know how to schedule emails so they are sent during office hours? Do they know how to set up alerts and notifications?  Do they know how to set up rules to filter emails? Can you help them set up push notifications? Do they know the etiquette for participating in a chat or forum such as using pings, etc.? Consider scheduling some quick tutorials to address these kinds of questions.

5.      Recommend apps designed to help them be more productive.  Your users may know the apps they need to do their job but may not be as familiar with apps that help them collaborate better. Investigate some of these apps and create a list of recommendations.

Make sure all your users have the right gear to work alone and together.  Don’t let them flounder and try to troubleshoot their technology. Be proactive. IT people are comfortable identifying and fixing “bugs” and troubleshooting technical issues.  Apply the same process to how your users will be interfacing with all of the technology to anticipate the “bugs”.  

Filed under: Productivity