My first remote job was a real estate agency in Spain. I had my client calls in a cybercafe via Skype. Since then, I’ve picked up a few things about to make working remotely to work.
If I have to summarize all my experience in one line, it would be “I understand what you are saying.” Which is difficult enough face to face, achieving that remotely is even harder.
If the person on the other side realizes that you are “not getting it,” she will feel like she is wasting her time and might blame the distance, timezone, or technology.
Understanding what’s being communicated is to keep up with the stream of information coming from the other side: Slack chats, Zoom calls, IMs. If you don’t keep up, you slowly and steadily start to disconnect from the project.
The second piece is to acknowledge that you’ve received and understood the information… or not.
If you take more than 24hs to reply, “Sorry, I didn’t get what you are saying,” you are effectively not knowing how to work remotely.
On the other hand, if you reply within 5 minutes and say, “let’s talk over a Zoom call,” you are making working remotely to work.