Remote work is here to stay. Sure, some younger folks prefer this type of work lifestyle, but the pandemic also made it impossible to avoid this change in the workplace. The challenge for businesses has been effective remote team communication, but these tips may help.
Define Communication Channels
The smartest thing to do is to define your communication channels. This may sound easy, but it can become a real mess if not done right. Some businesses choose multiple channels using multiple companies to save money.
This can confuse the remote team. It’s better to choose a platform with all communication channels, like Unified Communications so that communication is accessible through one singular platform. Be sure the platform chosen supports your team’s needs, like video calling or emailing.
Finding Collaboration Tools
A remote team will be working together. To make this possible for them, they need to have the right collaboration tools that are beneficial to remote workers.
Some of the collaboration tools are connected to communication, like emails and texts, but you’ve got that covered. What you need now are tools like cloud services that allow remote workers to work on projects that can be shared online. This also makes it easy for you and managers to track progress, which is pretty important, too.
Guidelines Need to Be Clear
The next thing to worry about implementing is communication guidelines. These are of the utmost importance now that most of your team is working remotely. They need to know what’s expected of them since you won’t be there physically.
Your team won’t know what to do without clear guidelines. For example, you could have them check in every hour to see if there are updates that everyone needs to be aware of. You might require team members to report their work every day or week. The more clear you are about what you expect from them, the better communication you’ll have.
Schedule Video or Audio Calls
Even if your team communicates well enough on different projects, it’s still a good idea to make video or audio calls a regular thing. Now, these calls must be useful and help steer the team towards a unified goal.
This means you cannot have unnecessary meetings because these not only waste time but are annoying. Each meeting must have a clear objective and must be crucial to the job. These could happen weekly, monthly, or maybe after each project is complete.
Encourage Proper Communication
Proper communication is of the utmost importance, especially with remote workers. Since folks are working on computer screens, tablets, and smartphones, it’s easy to rely on shorthands and other language liberties. This is something you want to discourage.
People don’t have to have the best grammar, but deliberate liberties with language should not be taken by those on the remote team. It is also wise to discourage any sarcasm or jokes. These don’t read well when typed and could lead to misunderstandings. These could be costly, and no business wants that. Remote workers need to stick to the basics and always be as clear as possible. Work on promoting positive conversations, and everything should be just fine.
Limit Participants During Meetings
It would be a good idea to break your meetings apart into small groups. Sure, having everyone join all at once saves you time, and that’s always a good thing, but it might not be as beneficial. Having the entire team in one meeting could make it hard for folks to speak up or ask questions.
Smaller teams encourage participation and promote understanding. These are more important than saving time because they should lead to productivity. Ideally, you’ll want to segregate the folks in each meeting by the team members’ agenda. Avoid asking folks to listen and be involved in a meeting they won’t gain much from.
These are just some things you should be doing with your remote team members, but there’s much more you can do to improve communication. For example, you can record some of these meetings to analyze what could be improved or to circle back if needed. Hopefully, some of these tips help your remote team be more effective.