TL;DR - A communications readme is a great and easy way to share your preferred ways of working with your colleagues. It removes ambiguities and helps to improve relationships. 🤝
Prefer this in audio format? Listen to this blog post on Racket.
I was first introduced to the concept of a Communications Readme by this blog post last week from Simon Prior. In essence, in the same way as we create readme files for our software projects, explaining how they work and any idiosyncrasies that you need to know, what if we each had a readme that explains how we function, for the benefit of our colleagues?
As I prepare to start my new role with Postman, I was already looking for something like this; at the very least, joining an organisation with office locations which are all a number of timezones removed from me, I was planning to put together something which explained my available working hours (and I'm sure the team probably already has a way of doing this, probably through Slack profile pages or similar).
But a communications readme is so much more. Remote communication can make it very easy for misunderstandings to occur, and a lack of understanding can sometimes be perceived as a microaggression, which can be difficult to correct if you're not aware that it's happened. And as our teams change and grow, it can be difficult to hold everyone's preferred ways of working in our heads, or even to broach the conversation in the first place.
You might only want to include a handful of points in your readme. Or you might want to codify your way of working more formally, such as in Oren Ellenbogen's excellent resource Manager Readme. Whatever your preference, having this written-down and accessible can only be a benefit!
I've included a link to my readme below for inspiration. It's a living document, as I may discover new things that I want to highlight (or learn about things which are so ingrained in company culture that they don't require calling-out). I'd be delighted if you bookmarked it, or if you took inspiration and created your own.