Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Enhancing Remote Communication and Collaboration: Insights from Sasha Laghonh, Founder of Sasha Talks

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Building a Successful Remote Work Culture: Discussing strategies and best practices for fostering a productive and engaged remote workforce, addressing topics like communication, collaboration tools, work-life balance, and employee well-being

Interviewee Name: Sasha Laghonh

Company: Sasha Talks

Position: Founder, Sasha Talks

Linkedin Profile: n/a

Sasha Laghonh’s favorite quote: “ Among several quotes, here’s one:
“You don’t want another Enron? Here’s your law: If a company, can’t explain, what it does in one sentence, what it does…it’s illegal.” – Lewis Black, Comedian

We had the opportunity to speak with Sasha Laghonh, Founder of Sasha Talks, a consultancy firm that specializes in global administration and management. With a diverse background in various industries, Sasha has developed a unique expertise in assisting clients from different sectors in achieving their objectives. In our interview, Sasha shares valuable insights on effective remote communication and collaboration. She emphasizes the importance of setting clear standards for communication platforms, ensuring messages are acknowledged and responded to in a timely manner. Sasha also highlights the significance of establishing healthy boundaries, both at the workplace and personal level, to maintain work-life balance. Additionally, she discusses the role of calendars in managing time and shares tips on how employees can leverage their calendars for improved time management. Join us as we explore Sasha’s expertise and gain valuable strategies for enhancing remote communication and collaboration in today’s global workforce.

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Sasha Laghonh : Prior to the inception of Sasha Talks, I was contributing to commercial spaces working niche and standard roles which contributed to developing skill sets within the realm of global administration and management. Those roles transitioned to building partnerships with legal, human resources and operational entities leveraging my expertise to assist their missions, some of which range from live legal case reporting to helping private parties with business planning through custom consulting. Being able to apply my expertise from different industries has allowed me to work with a variety of clients needing to meet specific objectives. I believe business can be fun which is why I also invest energy among the realms of sports, entertainment and the arts.

How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration among remote team members? Can you share any specific tools or practices that have been particularly effective for your organization?

Sasha Laghonh : Technology delivers many options to integrate apps and softwares which aspire to improve human connection via chat (Google Chat, Google Meet, Messenger, Slack, Zoom, Skype; etc.). To ensure effective communication, it’s important that all vested members are aware which is the primary mode of communication as a standard to conduct meetings. For example, most entrepreneurial spaces capitalize their time through using Google Suites for work deliveries, communication and video communication. If there are important events and external meetings, those respective members may instead opt for Zoom.

It’s important to set a standard to ensure people are communicating on platforms where their message is acknowledged, read, heard and responded to during the workday. Make it clear to everyone how these communications and collaborations will work — Are there key hours when people must be logged on to check their messages and participate? Are responses expected within X hours when an important message is posted? Is there a backup means to get hold of members if there is an emergency? For example, Slack may not be ideal when your business partner is getting ready to board a flight. Calling them is a better option for an immediate acknowledgement.

Clear expectations need to be set for an organized collaboration to take place, especially among the global workforce adhering to different time zones. We need to remain mindful of healthy workplace and personal boundaries. Also it makes sense that all employees are using a standard work device to avoid interruptions due to incompatible devices, i.e. Windows vs. Mac.

Maintaining work-life balance can be challenging in a remote work environment. What strategies do you recommend for remote employees to create boundaries between work and personal life? How can organizations support their employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance?

Sasha Laghonh : For starters, employees are encouraged to manage their time through their professional calendars. They can block off their work hours, professional focus time and personal ‘do not disturb’ (DND) time. They control the settings of who has access and visibility to their calendar that blocking DND should signal to others that one is unavailable. Rare exceptions can apply when flexibility is needed. Designing a literal and metaphorical work space is one thing, enforcing these healthy calendar boundaries is another. A calendar is only functional to the degree the user knows how to use it for time management and operational efficiency. If the calendar management is making the owner more stressed then they either lack knowing their priorities and/or the wrong people are aiding their calendar management.

Another example is setting a standard for when emails and chat messages require a response – set a certain time limit (i.e., is it 24 hours during the work week?). The terms may differ if it’s the weekend, a holiday, an external client; etc. Members are encouraged to exercise good judgment. Being connected 24/7 to a work device doesn’t make one any more productive in the long run.

Leaders Perception Magazine would like to thank Sasha Laghonh and Sasha Talks for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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