(VIDEO) Remote Team Distractions: Luis Tells All

Distraction in remote teams discussed by Luis in his coffee chat

Chatting on remote work apps is a good and a bad thing. Are you a “serial poker”? Luis shares his views on remote team distractions.

According to the GitLab Remote Work Report, 25% of remote workers complain about remote team distractions. To Luis, poking is the number one distraction in remote working environments and a lot of meetings take a second spot. Luis discusses two types of poking in the video. It is good to talk to your remote colleagues, nothing wrong with that at all but there are some things you need to keep in mind so that you don’t end up hindering your colleagues’ work. Watch this video because Luis shares some really good tips to avoid being a serial poker!

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It’s not nice to keep poking people while they work remotely. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. That’s me. And this is my coffee. A nice warm mug of coffee to start the morning with. Join me for a sip, won’t you? This is nice. This is the best way to get that first dopamine hit off the day before we consider talking about remote work. So I have a question for you. Are you a poker? Are you a serial poker? Maybe. You know what that is?

Do you say hi and leave things hanging? Right? Just type it on Slack, shoot someone a message saying “Hi,” and then… Well, you’re off until whenever you check Slack again. I have news for you. You might be a serial poker. You might be one of those people distracting everyone else in the team. Right? Everyone else in your organization. The fact is according to the latest remote work report by GitLab, I’ve been talking about it over the past couple of weeks because it has a nice chunky data… Nice. According to that… Sorry. It’s really tasting nice today. Sorry. But according to that report, 25% of remote workers complained about distractions.

And to me, the poking is the number one distraction; close number two being meetings. Right? It’s when are you poking? Well, there are two types of poking. Right? There’s the just completely scattershot poking where you want to ask someone something, but you don’t want to feel too cold, too transactional. You feel like treating them like human beings, so you say “Hi” and wait for them to reply. And then, I mean, there’s a general… There’s a certain amount of things that can happen in the other person’s side. Right? But in general, none of them are very good. Right? If you’re their superior, they’re going to be, “Oh, whoa. Am I in trouble? Why? Have I done something? What should I expect? Oh my God, they’re going to be creating disasters and are using their ads.”

And if you’re their colleague, they’re going to be, “Oh. Why is this so-and-so saying hi? I don’t really have time for this right now. I’m in the middle of something.” Right? So it’s never good. Sure. I’m not saying you not to talk to your coworkers or employees. Actually, you should because remote work drives on communication, and it’s nice to feel that we’re working on a team with other people and there’s communication going back and forth. But let’s avoid the scattershot approach. Right? If you want something from someone, message it clearly and concisely. And if that something is just, “I just wanted to wish you a good day,” then say that. Right? Don’t just say, “Hi.” Right? Don’t just poke with the “Hi.” Actually, because when we’re working in the same place in the same office, when we’re working locatedly, it’s easy to understand what we mean by “Hi.” “Hi.” And then, we’re off.

And people get it. “Oh, that was a greeting.” You know? “Luis just greeted me. Isn’t he nice?” Okay. But it’s not so easy to transmit this on Slack. You know, “Hi” can be just hi or it can be the start of a whole conversation. So if you just mean, “Hi,” just say, “Hey, nice to see you here today.” Or “I hope you have a great day. Just wanted to wish a good day.” That’s it. “Just wanted to wish you a great day.” That’s it. Right? That’s the full brunt of your intentions is within that sentence. So that’s a much better way to go about it.

Now, let’s talk about the other kind of, “Hey,” which is the, “I need something from you, ‘Hey.'” Now, this kind of, “Hey,” it’s a bit more controversial to talk about because some people really like to be on top of their people, of their colleagues, or of their employees. I don’t think that this is a great way to do remote work, but what I’m talking is this. It’s the person that’s always checking in. Right? “Hey, Luis. Remember that thing that I asked you? Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?” It’s like that kid in the back of the car. “Are we there yet?” “Nope.” “Are we there yet? What about now? What about now?” You know?

If you’re dealing with normal, regular adults, work isn’t going to be done faster just because you keep poking about it constantly. Right? In fact, because you are disrupting people, you are essentially distracting them. It’s probably going to be done a bit slower. Again, not that much slower, because again, if you’re working with adult professionals, then they know how to manage their emotional level. And someone nagging them shouldn’t disrupt their workflow that much, but there’s always a little bit of disruption. So just create deadlines for deliverables and check in at that deadline. Right? And that’s it. Right? You check in.

Let’s say that you say, “I need this in 48 hours.” You check in 48 hours. If in 48 hours it’s not done, depending on your relationship with the person that you need, you might ask, “Why not?” Or you might say, “Okay. So when can I expect that?” And it’d be easier to explain why it’s important, why it’s blocking your other tasks, or et cetera. And then, check again at the predetermined time. Or at least set the rule of checking, I don’t know, at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day, but don’t be the person that’s always, “Are we there yet, mom? Are we there yet, mom?” I mean, who likes those kids? No one. No one. Everyone hates those kids.

What everyone loves though, at least I do, coffee. Everyone loves coffee and apparently everyone loves remote work. So I think that if you want to get better at remote work, or if you want to learn how to get better at remote work, which all of us need, frankly because it’s new for everyone, head on to thinkremote.com. Thinkremote.com is… Well, that’s something that we’re building that aims to be the greatest resource of remote work related news and insights. And we have a full team working on it. They craft articles based on the best information, knowledge, and studies out there. And they get the daily news. They create a nice chunky roll of daily news every day, so you can keep informed about the ins and outs of remote work because knowledge is power.

So that was the virtual coffee chat with Luis. And that’s me by the way. It’s actually Luis, but everyone calls me Luis, so let’s go with that. If you enjoyed it, please press like, subscribe, share. And come here today. I’ll be waiting with my coffee. See you tomorrow. Bye-bye.


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