Remote working? Time to sharpen your intuition

Remote working? Time to sharpen your intuition

In the days of old, when you went for a business meeting, you’d meet prospective suppliers face to face.

They’d give you a spiel about why it’s so great to work with them, you’d make small talk, laugh over coffee, and more often than not, you’d go away with some sort of verbal agreement to get the ball rolling on a project.

But in the #futureofwork, things just don’t happen that way.

When you’re a remote worker, you may be on a Zoom call with someone in Helsinki whilst you’re in Manchester.

Or you’re replying to an email whilst having your lunch, typing to your Australian client who is still happily dreaming away, asleep.

Remote work is great as it allows us to be connected across timezones, across countries, across borders.

But what it doesn’t allow for is the opportunity to always ‘sense the vibe’.

When you’re behind a screen, there’s more opportunity to hide.

You can cut and paste an email, outsource your work, quickly check on Google for an answer to a client’s question.

An unscrupulous employer can ask you to do a ‘test project’ of a 200 word piece, and also ask 50 other people to do the same for him, thus completing his workload.

Without face to face meetings, you can’t always pick up the signals.

Sure, you can pick up some things through a video call, but not everything…

So how do you stay savvy as a remote worker and make sure you’re committing to genuine projects and people?

  • Trust your initial impressions

I believe our intuition is always there; we just need to learn to listen to it. If I get a sense that a project or a person feels ‘chaotic’ or unsteady, I know not to put my energy there. Sometimes I’ve gone against that, and paid the price of a nightmare project or not being paid.

  • Ask questions:

Have a list of questions to test their knowledge and expertise. Hopefully they know their stuff, and you’ll be able to see how they deal with your questions. You’ll know whether to trust them by whether they are upfront or vague about their answers. If they don’t know the answer, they should be telling you that and come back to you later on with the information.

  • Back up everything in writing

And I mean EVERYTHING. Had a call? Write up the minutes and the actions immediately after the call, and send them to your client or prospective supplier. Discussed a brief? Write up your understanding of the work involved. Always cover your back with a paper trail, and if the client or supplier objects to this for any reason, then ask them why.

  • Build the relationship first

This isn’t always possible, but ideally you want to have at least one video call before you start working with the client, to build the relationship. And after then, keep the lines of communication wide open. By finding out more about the person, rather than the work itself, you’ll know whether this is a person you can work with and whose work style will match with yours.

For more #remotework tips, follow me on Twitter @kerryneeds or visit

Source: Medium:Remote Working
Remote working? Time to sharpen your intuition

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