Why Written Communication Skills Matter More When Working Remotely and How to Improve Them

Written communication skills seem to be one of those things where the demand always outstrips the supply. In fact, if you perform a quick Google search of “written communication lacking,” you will be met with a deluge of articles from both educators and business executives lamenting what they see as a serious drop in written communication ability among modern workers.

While the reasons behind this are many, and often hotly debated, there are a number of things you can do as a job seeker and employee to develop and convey superior written communication skills–all the more important now in the era of remote work.

The Majority of Communication is Now Written

If you are currently or plan to be working remotely, you are and will be spending the majority of your time communicating via text applications. Virtual meeting software like Zoom and Google Hangouts are an important part of remote work, but the bulk of your communication when working from home is written. It only makes sense, therefore, that your written communication skills should be up to the task of constantly conveying ideas and information. 

There are many ways to improve and stay on top of your written communication abilities. You can subscribe to word-of-the-day apps, read for pleasure more often, or even gamify your learning. Games like scrabble are great ways to constantly be working on your vocabulary while keeping learning stimulating. If you find yourself struggling for words while playing with friends or family, look to an unscramble helper to assist with combinations.

Better Written Communication Skills Reduce Wasted Time

While meetings haven’t completely disappeared during the remote work revolution, a lot of important information and instructions regarding workflow and job responsibilities are now passed down via written communication on platforms like Slack. Having exemplary written communication skills means that you can better interpret information that is sent to you and also ask for and give clarification and elaboration when needed. Poor communication between managers and employees, written and otherwise, accounts for a tremendous amount of wasted time and lost productivity

It also means you provide your coworkers and managers with more complete, coherent and easier-to-follow information to help them do their jobs. This is especially important if you’re working on a remote team that has hired and onboarded new employees recently. If you are in charge of helping train and get a new hire up to speed, you are much more valuable if you can make learning the ropes and getting used to a new position as straightforward as possible.

Written Communication Can Help Mitigate Cultural and Language-Barrier Misunderstandings

If you work on a globally dispersed remote team, chances are you are communicating with people who do not have English as their first language. While that is not to say your teammates don’t have excellent written and spoken English, occasional misunderstandings are an inevitable part of working on an international team. 

To help mitigate these miscommunications and to make sure you are able to provide fast and effective clarification or correction when they arise, excellent written communication skills are very helpful. Superb language ability can also help you navigate what can sometimes be uncertain intercultural waters, another key to working on a global remote team.

When written communication fails, there is always the option of Luxafor Flag. Luxafor Flag lets your co-workers, family, and roommates know when you’re available for discussion and when you’re busy focusing on your work. Use the universal colors of red and green to indicate when you’re busy or available, or make use of your own custom color-coded signals!

Conclusion

Improving your written communication skills can be as simple as incorporating more language-based games and activities into your daily routine, allocating more time throughout the day or week to reading for pleasure, or doing more technical reading as it pertains to your industry or field. The bottom line is that having superior writing skills is important in any work context, but all the more so when written correspondence makes up the bulk of all workplace communication.

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Author's Bio

Alex is a freelance writer who has been writing about learning and education for the last 5 years. When he is not writing, he is reading or out hiking with his dogs.