The following text is part of the rough draft of what I said at presentation I gave on Social Media and Social Learning. My speech most likely deviated from this due to memory failings and last-minute editing.
I mentioned earlier I used to work for newspapers – on the print and online sides. From my very first day in journalism to the last day, there was one constant factor that influenced my job. No matter what task or medium I used.
I always was working with people in remote locations.
Generally, I was in a central office and had to collaborate with editors, reporters and photographers in other cities. Even online, I worked with content creators from afar.
Those 20 years taught me something very valuable about remote collaboration that you’re going to need to make any kind of remote training work.
Once you separate people, you lose something in the distance. Collaboration becomes harder without face-to-face interaction. It’s not impossible but harder.
And you can succeed if you nail these two things:
Communication. You need to be able to keep in touch. Phone calls are best because inflection and tone carry a lot of meaning. Instant messaging and email work. Not perfectly. But they’re good for quick exchanges of information. Documents can be very valuable ways to communicate if they are clear and complete.
Most important of all though. Like I said earlier, You need to be organized. That means scheduling your communication.
Keeping relevant content where everyone can access and change it.
Being on time.
Remoteness is a barrier. It takes work and effort to overcome. But you can do it. And the more organized you are, the easier it is for everyone to succeed.