3 minutes reading time (688 words)

How "Presenting Work Complete" Improves Remote Team Collaboration


A Key Concept for Virtual Collaboration

One major reality of the pandemic has been figuring out how to work from home effectively. Maybe you rearranged a room to project a more professional image on video, while others have had to learn to tune out random dog barks during serious meetings. We adapt. We figure it out.

And there’s always room for fine-tuning — even for those of us who’ve been working remotely for years.

In that spirit, today I’d like to highlight the concept of presenting work complete. I didn’t invent this idea, nor can I defend its wobbly grammar. Actually, I’m not even sure where exactly I first learned it. I just know from experience that it works. Adopting this simple approach can save you and your long-distance collaborators time, money, and headaches — all to the delight of your upper management.

Here’s the trick: presenting work complete isn’t about delivering your work product in a finished state. Rather, it’s about active and thoughtful collaboration. As it was explained to me, 

Anyone can report a problem to one’s superior. That alone is not entirely useful. Much better to report the problem with one or more plausible remedies or plans of action to consider. This gives your authority some options. They may or may not agree with your suggestions, but I assure you they will appreciate your initiative.

Good advice.

Over the years I’ve amplified the concept to form this additional axiom:

Go the extra mile. Don’t make others rediscover what you have already discovered.

Going the Extra Mile

So what am I referring to? Here are a couple of examples.

Scenario 1

Somewhat helpful
“Hey, I noticed a couple of typos in that draft report you asked me to review.”

More Helpful 
“Hey, I noticed a couple of typos in that draft report you asked me to review."

  • Page 1, paragraph two, sentence 1, lazy is misspelled. 
  • Page 1, Paragraph 3, sentence 3, missing the word “our”.
  • Page 3, Paragraph 7, sentence 5, the phrase “year over year” is repeated.”

Most Helpful - Bonus Points
“... I went ahead and made those corrections for you.”

Scenario 2

Somewhat Helpful
“The Boss had a great quote in the New York Times today.”

More Helpful 
“The Boss had a great quote in the New York Times today.”

Most Helpful 
“The Boss had a great quote in the New York Times today.
'When the going gets tough, I thank God for our sales team!’”

A Personal Charge

Let's all agree to go the extra mile on behalf of our colleagues. Specifically? If there’s a link, share it. If you’re making a copy reference, quote it. If it’s a visual reference, screenshot it.

This all boils down to the basic notion of being thoughtful of others and respecting their time. Of course, it makes financial sense too. Think about it — if you’ve spent time and energy figuring something out, would your boss really want to pay each of your teammates to repeat the process? 

Or maybe you are the boss. Isn’t it more efficient for one person to put in a bit of extra effort, knowing it will spare the entire team from having to figure it out for themselves?

Please, make a vow today. Don’t force others to stumble over the same sidewalk cracks that you’ve already navigated. Go the extra mile to document what you’ve found, then share the solution.

For me and the rest of the MojoMediaPros team, presenting work complete and going the extra mile are both considered S.O.P. — standard operating procedures. As you may have already realized, the benefits of these principles are not limited to virtual teams. But I do believe the dividends are even greater for those who find themselves needing to collaborate successfully from here, there, or anywhere.

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