While many CRAs work remotely all the time, for others in the CRO and biotechnology industries the move to remote work will come with a variety of challenges. One challenge is communication. People are more adapted to communicate in person in their daily lives. When working from home, miscommunication can occur if you’re not used to connecting with colleagues, clients, or patients online. Here are some tips to help you master remote meetings, chat, and emails.
Given the state of emergency we are all in, anxiety and stress levels are bound to be high at times. With the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus, there is bound to be confusion. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification about expectations or changes to procedures in your work life. Also, allow yourself to vent with family or friends when you feel the need. It doesn’t do any good to keep your worries and frustrations bottled up. Afterwards, you will have a clearer mind and will be able to focus better on the work you need to complete.
It’s normal to have more to say than usual when you are in a period of change. But you don’t want to overwhelm your colleagues by sending them dozens of emails a day or singular emails long enough to be a novel. Keep emails short and concise. If you don’t receive a quick response, resist the urge to send a follow up email. Your co-workers likely have more messages to reply to than usual. If you do have questions to ask or comments to make, wait until you can engage in real-time, either via video conference or direct messenger.
Generally, we’re used to chat environments being informal in nature. While you don’t necessarily have to write as formally as you would in an email, you still want to remember both your audience and your agenda. Make sure you still proofread your messages and avoid making too many jokes and off-topic comments. You don’t want to distract your colleagues or hijack the conversation. You want to stay in a professional mindset. Also, always be aware of who is in the chat group and keep track of who leaves and who enters the chat.
If a colleague sends you a message and you are wrapped up in work, it’s okay to wait until you are less busy to respond to their question or request. However, it is helpful to send them a quick message acknowledging that you received their message and will respond when available. You can also set an automated response for this to make it quicker. The important thing is to make sure your colleague isn’t sitting by their phone waiting for you to respond.
If you’re working from home for the first time, it can be a challenging transition. Whether you’re working remotely or in-person, communication and collaboration are important for maintaining productivity. Keeping communication clear, concise, and focused will allow for more efficient collaboration.
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