17 Jan 2022
But the move to remote working has enhanced the value of writing to the entire organisation, not just the corner office. When tasks are being handed off to colleagues in other locations, or people are working on a project “asynchronously”, meaning at a time of their choosing, comprehensive documentation is crucial. When new employees start work on something, they want the back story. When veterans depart an organisation, they should leave knowledge behind. Writing everything down sounds like an almighty pain. But so is turning up to a meeting and not having the foggiest what was decided last time out.
Software developers have already worked out the value of the written word. A research programme from Google into the ingredients of successful technology projects found that teams with high-quality documentation deliver software faster and more reliably. Gitlab, a code-hosting platform whose workforce is wholly remote, frames the secret of successful asynchronous working thus: “How would I deliver this message, present this work, or move this project forward right now if no one else on my team (or in my company) were awake?” Gitlab’s answer is “textual communication”. Its gospel is a handbook that is publicly available, stretches to more than 3,000 pages and lays out all of its internal processes.
Of remote work and writing
The Economist, Jan 15, 2022
I couldn’t agree more! People who can articulate their thoughts clearly are going to shine post-pandemic. Unfortunately, in India, written communication has never be given a lot of value. I am already seeing this in companies that I work with. People with poor written communication are struggling to keep up and slow everything down.