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May 06, 2019 17:29:35

Communicating as Digital Nomad

by @jacklyons PATRON | 389 words | 🐣 | 127💌

Jack Lyons

Current day streak: 0🐣
Total posts: 127💌
Total words: 42165 (168 pages 📄)

Most people who become Digital Nomads these days are simply fed up with the 9-5 grind in a mundane office environment. Yeah, I get that, and agree wholeheartedly. However there's another dimension which I didn't think would bother me that much, until now.

Communicating and "socialising" with "digital" colleagues as a nomad isn't easy nor is it efficient. It's not very personal and it's not very easy to extract the right information from a text. I sometimes find it really hard to communicate what I want or where I'm having trouble. It's hard to articulate smooth sentences using your "typed" vocabulary.

On top of that it's very easy for meaning to get lost in a sentence. Context isn't always obvious. You can't read the situation with your eyes or ears. A lot of stuff is simply assumed, which leads to incredibly long threads of back-and-forth Q & A's.

Yeah, you can jump on Skype or Google Hangouts, but in the remote teams I've worked with this always seems like a last resort. I wish it weren't because it's much easier to get on the same page as your colleagues with a quick call.

I think it stands as a last resort because most remote workers see a call as a "meeting", and I'm sure we can all agree on how much we all hate meetings, right.

So yeah, I would like to work on this both personally and in the teams I work with. There are solutions that have varying degrees of success, which include:

  • You can leave short voice messages and have conversation that way
  • You can push the team to have daily/weekly stand-ups where everyone shares what they're working on
  • You can learn to ask better questions
  • You can push to ensure tasks are well defined within a clear framework (title, description, checklist of tasks, things to watch out for, etc)

I really feel like 200WAD is helping me write better. I can feel it becoming easier to think of a topic (usually on the spot), write, re-write and publish, everyday.I love searching for new words, looking them up in the dictionary and checking other synonyms in the thesaurus - it's really helping build my vocabulary and extend my sentence creativity.

What else? If you know of any other strategies that have worked for you, please share them 😀.




  • 1

    @jacklyons I follow @yongfook on twitter, who is a digital nomad like you too and recently launched Talkshow (https://www.talkshow.team/). Video messages for remote teams. It seems to be a third way between the challenge of scheduling a video call, vs writing emails/on Slack in text. Might be helpful for you! ;)

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | May 07, 2019 21:39:10
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      @jasonleow This is awesome thank you for the share!

      Jack Lyons avatar Jack Lyons | May 07, 2019 14:57:18
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    @jacklyons How to ask better questions is definitely something on my to do/research/think about/write about list. I'll share as soon as I've gotten any further.

    Julia Saxena avatar Julia Saxena | May 07, 2019 02:46:17
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    @jacklyons sweet jesus. I relate to this article so much. I'm currently in an office job. We get drawn into meetings a lot.

    Constant interruptions are a sap on productivity. I've found that rather than improving communications it's easier to interrupt. I'm trying to stop that myself, but others arent wanting to do that.

    I started 200WAD because I wanted to write more, but also because I wanted to improve my communication. I also tend to write most of my entries on the spot, I rarely even edit or reread them.

    Craig Petterson avatar Craig Petterson | May 07, 2019 00:50:37
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      @craigpetterson Haha great to hear! Yep, it's such a pain point. Hopefully 200WAD can make a difference!

      Jack Lyons avatar Jack Lyons | May 07, 2019 14:57:06
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