Tomorrow I'll be giving our new hires an introduction into the online tools most used at IBM. Like all companies that switched to remote for the pandemic, we are heavy users of messaging and video/audio conference - this should come with no surprise to anyone.
Well so of course, it is important to be proficient with those tools and to use them well. Developing a strategy to find the right content in Slack is not completely simple (I might write about that later).
One of the key messages from my presentation will be that those tools should not be only used for productivity. They should also be used for fun, creativity, and just connecting with each others.
I often hear many complain that this remote way of working is too "transactional", but really it is because we make it so actively. Being aware of that is important. For example, I've now decided that I'll get in touch with one person every week to stay connected and have a casual discussion over some random topic that is currently relevant.
Recently, I've been approached by a former intern of the studio to help on some technical topics. This never happened before to me that someone working at another company asked me for technical mentoring. So it looks like the remote work is enabling new networks, different from the previous ones that were very much wall-constrained. You had to be at the right conference, the right employer, the right university. Walled garden, that is.
But if you're not working in the same room as your colleagues, why not find experts and contacts elsewhere and get better or more diversified information?
Remote might be breaking those walls, for those who use it right.