On a remote team, everyone is a writer. Here's how to do it well...
Illustration by Margarida Mouta
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When you work remotely, a few misplaced words can become an occupational hazard. Without the context of face-to-face cues and body language, every message, sentence, word, and punctuation mark becomes loaded with meaning. Opting for a period over an exclamation mark can be the difference between coming across as helpful or passive aggressive. A well-written request can be the difference between launching a project on time or getting bogged down in endless back-and forths. Every word you type (or don’t) is important in conveying your ideas and communicating effectively with your colleagues.
It’s no wonder “be a strong writer” is one of the first pieces of advice people give to those seeking remote work. But no one ever says how to actually become one. This article is our attempt to make that all-important advice actionable and provide writing tips that work no matter what your job is.
We’ve packed this piece with tactical tips on what “good writing” looks like on a remote team. Writing clearly and concisely is relevant to most workplaces, so many of these tips will apply even if you’re not part of a distributed team. But the stakes are even higher when the majority of your team communication happens remotely in writing.
We’ll cover our best advice on writing effectively and break down how these rules can be used in all contexts from casual chats to constructive feedback to company announcements and more.