Opinions I’ve developed around meetings, hiring, and following in a virtual environment over the last 18 months:
- Meetings: most shouldn’t happen. Type up your agenda – if nothing on the agenda requires a group discussion, send our the detailed agenda via email. Use the allotted meeting time as an “office hour” to tackle any specific problems in real time.
- Meetings: you should either a) have your camera on, b) take the meeting “on foot” with a pen and paper for notes as you go, or c) not be on it. If you need to reference information that is on your computer you should stay put and have your camera on, you will pay attention 90% more than if your camera is off (leaders should set precedent for this). If you don’t need to reference information on your computer you should take a walk: you will be way more engaged and come back to your work re-energized (this is under-utilized IMO). No camera on but at your computer is the least productive option and should be avoided.
- Hiring: the value of technical experience / exposure has gone up. Without being able to read body language it is harder to train remotely. Not saying that it cannot be done; I think the value of knowledge of systems has increased since training is more difficult.
- Hiring: Leveraging video is key when training. Build a longer lever arm by recording the general tasks and pair this with regular check-ins to make sure it is sinking in. You will still need to train nuanced job-specific tasks live so you can adjust the explanation based on their learning style / experience, but use video whenever possible.
- Following: assume your boss has no idea what is going on in your day to day. Build rapport by not waiting for them to ask about what you are doing. Provide a weekly update on what you worked on, what you have coming up, and any problems you need help with. If it isn’t already in place, once a month have a call to discuss goals / career development with your boss – come fully prepared to drive the conversation. Ring the bell when you have a win.
- Following: find out what is a pain for your boss, figure out a way to alleviate it in a way that doesn’t create more work for them.
Truth be told, I found all of the above easier to do in person. Remote task management is more efficient. Meetings / leadership / managing up all got a little more difficult for me. What opinions do you have on these three buckets?
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