At 37Signals, designer Jason Zimdars writes about one of the side benefits of working remotely. Mainly: when your colleagues aren’t right next to you, it forces you to think twice before badgering them for an easy answer. Zimdars says that by slowing down the rate of communication, he often figures things out for himself.

There are definitely advantages to face time, but too often it seems like facial expressions and waving arms are substituted for clear thought and courtesy.

The next time you have a question for a coworker, try writing it out as if they were 1000 miles and 3 time zones away – even if they’re sitting right next to you. You might surprise yourself with the answer.

This reminds me of how Jeff Bezos makes all of his senior executives write out their ideas to ensure they are thought out.


    I agree, same thing happens with me.

  • Jenny

    I read a great article recently on the benefits of journalling. It talked about how writing helps people clarify their thoughts and figure things out – worth a read

  • Matthew

    Indeed! I have taken the extra time to find answers myself – wanting to provide the courtesy of not badgering my parter on the opposite coast. Taking extra time is a great way to improve the quality of our communications!

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