We all know communication is key, but it can be quite a challenge in a remote environment. No longer can someone spin their chair around to ask a quick question or pop into the other side of the office for a follow-up.
Many companies are navigating this environment for the first time and are in dire need of communication tips for remote teams. When all communication methods shift to online, remote team members need to develop an understanding of when to pick up the phone or send a message through Teams.
Let’s delve into how companies can break the absence of physical proximity to make intentional and strategic communication.
Choosing the Right Communication Tools
The nuances of effective communication extend beyond mere exchanges of information; they encompass building rapport, ensuring understanding, and nurturing a cohesive team spirit.
Clear communication channels lay the groundwork for seamless collaboration, enabling team members to work harmoniously towards common goals.
Moreover, a communication-rich environment fuels productivity by minimising misunderstandings, streamlining workflows, and cultivating a shared sense of purpose among team members.
So what are the options?
From ubiquitous options like Slack and Microsoft Teams to video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet, each platform offers distinct features. Slack, for instance, excels in real-time messaging, while Microsoft Teams integrates seamlessly with the broader Microsoft 365 suite. Understanding the strengths and limitations of these platforms is crucial for making informed choices.
Consider factors such as the nature of your work, the size of your team, and individual preferences. For instance, a development team may benefit from platforms that facilitate code sharing and integration.
Provide Support and Set Protocols
Not everyone will find the transition to remote communication simple.
It’s essential to provide support during this change and remember that someone is bound to face difficulties. Remote workers are breaking communication norms, and management that sets guidelines can make their lives easier.
- Conducting trials or demos
- Gathering team feedback
- Setting expectations for response times
- Specify use cases for messaging and calls
- Outlining boundaries for after-hours communication
Utilise Video Conferences Effectively
Written Communication Etiquette
- Focused messaging: Avoid unnecessary details that dilute the core messaging.
- Use bullet points: Bullet points help present information in a structured and easily digestible manner.
- Don’t use jargon: Steer clear of complex language and stick to a writing style accessible to everyone.
- Proofreading: Check your work. This is obvious.
It’s harder to know if your remote employees are encountering any difficulties when there’s no in-person interaction. Scheduling a one-on-one with personalised discussions about progress, challenges, and career development will improve remote team communication.
Create an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and concerns during check-ins. This open dialogue fosters trust and enhances team collaboration. Encourage everyone in your team for an end of Friday catchup with virtual drinks to unwind for the week.
It’s these small friendly gestures that make remote work worthwhile.