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Template: Remote Communication Guidelines

Successful remote work depends on consistent, quality communication.

Refer back to our Remote Tech Stack for an updated list of all communications tools that we utilize. The following guidelines refer to chat-based communication, please refer to our Meeting Etiquette card to learn more about proper communication techniques over Zoom. 


The tips below come from ​"Practice Strong Distance Communication" by Jack Jenkins on Intercom's blog.

Assume Positive Intent

  • Pause and breathe when you notice yourself having a strong reaction.

  • If you read a message that seems negative in any way, consider other explanations for what was just said (e.g. they misunderstood, they’re tired, they’re hungry, they’re stressed, they’re distracted, etc.).

Clarify Ambiguity

  • If chat is a proxy for speaking, the onus is on the speaker to make themselves understood. It doesn’t hurt to over communicate or over clarify in chat.

  • On the flip side, if you’re unclear about something, ask!

    • “I wanna make sure I understand you”

    • “Just so we’re clear, what you’re saying is…”

    • “It’s not clear from your message how you feel about this.”

    • Emojis can help soften your clarification

Express Yourself

  • Communication isn’t just getting information from you to another person. It’s how you actually connect and build relationships. Something that happens so naturally in person and less so via chat.

  • Again, emojis can help

  • Show spectrum of emojis 😄😁😃😆🙃😊😏😌🤪

  • Think about how to use non-standard punctuation and text formatting to represent your voice and tone:

    • “Sure!!” vs. “Sure…”

    • “Sooooooooo good!”

    • “Oooooh wow”

    • “Aha!”

    • “WHAT!” (indicating shouting)

    • “That’s highly unlikely” (italics to indicate tone of emphasis)

Go back to the Template: Remote Work Resources Overview