Remote Work
Working in Remote Teams

The Center for Leadership has put together advice for success with group and team class projects, research groups, and working with staff while in a remote environment.

Visit the Center for Leadership site to view all information

Areas to highlight include:

Guidelines for Virtual Meetings

  • Resources and equity: Group members should first discuss who has access to what technology and when (Internet speed/quality, computers, smartphones). This is especially important for equity and inclusion. (Note: a “green screen” or Zoom background can also help equity.)
  • How often to meet: Groups should meet weekly at minimum.
  • How to conduct your meeting:
    • Ideally, groups should use voice and video when they meet.
    • Meetings should begin with meaningful time for personal check-ins (not getting “straight to work”).

Written Communication vs. Virtual Meetings

When to use written vs. virtual meetings:

  • Written communication: Use for sharing information and ideas as well as collecting simple data such as meeting logistics.
    • Send separate notes for each topic.
    • Use standard headings or email subject lines to clarify expectations (e.g., when actions or decisions are needed).
  • Virtual meetings: Use for problem-solving, negotiation, group decision making, and solving group (not individual) behavioral concerns.

When using written communication, take care to avoid common pitfalls:

  • Message writers tend to be less guarded and more negative when writing.
  • Written message recipients tend to perceive what is written more negatively than intended.
  • Message writers tend to overestimate the clarity of their views and directions.

Tone

Tone matters when expressing dissatisfaction about any aspect: project quality, individual performance, etc. Refer to the Center for Leadership link above for specific advice on this subject.

Whom to Include in Your Communication

Interestingly, it can be better to involve fewer people in specific decisions. Of course, extra care is required to make sure those decisions are well-known to all members.