In this ProductTank London talk Ingrid Odegaard, Co-founder and CPTO at Whereby, shares some tips for making remote collaboration work on a day-to-day basis based on learnings from her own team and their customers.
Watch the video to see her talk in full or read on for an overview of her key points.
- Why do we feel tired?
- Combining asynchronous and synchronous communication
- Run better meetings
- Automate and integrate
Why do we feel tired?
In a time when many remote workers are experiencing the phenomenon known as Zoom fatigue, Ingrid explains that this is happening because of having back-to-back meetings and trying to replicate office behavior online. This results in too many unproductive meetings and not enough time designated for focus and deep work. A tip to avoid this is to block out time to focus on your calendar.
Combining asynchronous and synchronous communication
In order to maximize their time when not in meetings, product managers need to find ways to combine asynchronous and synchronous communication. Asynchronous communication encourages reflection and thoughtfulness and is excellent for presenting complex ideas, arguments, and logical reasoning. It helps to bridge time zones and encourages the documentation of knowledge and insights for posterity.
On the other hand, synchronous communication means building personal relationships to ensure understanding and alignment. This helps in making quick decisions and gathering feedback, as well as creative collaboration and ideation.
Using asynchronous video updates, product managers can free up time and use tools like Loom for onboarding, explainer videos, announcements, training, and feedback. Ingrid also recommends finding a good solution for document collaboration and sharing. You should have a low threshold to jump on video and only do so if you need to collaborate or clarify something. To help with creative collaboration, you can also structure a session in advance.
Run better meetings
Ingrid offers some tips for product managers to run better meetings while working remotely, including being clear about the purpose and agenda beforehand, having one person lead, and finally reiterating the goals and purpose of the meeting at the start. She also recommends taking notes—to be distributed after the meeting—so that everyone can see them. In addition, keep meetings short, and if they are over 45 mins, take a break.
Automate and integrate
Find ways to integrate your tools and leverage automation. Ensure your product team is tech-enabled with seamless processes that help save time and make things easier. The key takeaways from this talk are not trying to replicate office behavior online and leveraging the vast number of remote tools available to drive collaboration.
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