For many people and businesses, remote working has become the new normal. Some companies have even decided to permanently adopt this way of working after the pandemic, which means packing up their offices for good and ultimately saving them money. However, although we’ve adapted to remote work nicely, enjoying the comforts of working from our sofas and having a more flexible schedule, there have been downfalls. One thing that has suffered from the work from home era, is communication. So, how can you improve your remote workers’ communication?
Keep Your Team In The Loop
Let’s be honest, most of us weren’t familiar with remote working before the pandemic, so it’s taken some getting used to. However, one way you can ensure that you’re communicating effectively is to have daily meetings with the whole team, so that no one is left out of the loop. Even if you don’t have much to update people with, having everyone on the same page promotes effective communication and ensures that you touch base with your team every day. Having it at a set time also gives people structure to their working day, which isn’t always easy to achieve from home. It also gives you an opportunity to discuss things openly, where employees who may not have normally communicated with each other get the chance to or set up further meetings to follow up on discussions from the meeting.
Establish A Line Of Communication
Zoom, Teams, Whatsapp, Email, Phone call, Facetime, the lines of communication out there are never ending. That’s why it’s important to establish what remote workers will actually be using to communicate. There’s nothing worse than when you set up a meeting, you send them a link to Teams and they didn’t know which platform it would be on. This results in them having to download the platform and you lose half of your time with your colleague just setting it up. This is poor communication and could ultimately have a negative impact on how effectively the work gets done.
Can You Get Hold Of People
In an office setting, all you have to do is run next door or pop your head over your computer to grab someone’s attention, but this isn’t so easy with remote working. It’s vital that people are easy to communicate with, whether that means picking up the phone or keeping an eye on their emails. Remote working can sometimes offer a more flexible schedule, which could mean people aren’t necessarily working their normal hours to free up more time or they have other at home commitments which creates distractions. Although this can’t always be helped, it’s important to encourage remote workers to be available when they’re meant to be to improve communication.
Video Calls Are The Next Best Thing
When you lose the ability to meet with your team in person, video calls are the next best thing, providing opportunities to connect face-to-face but virtually. It also provides a much easier and natural way to have a conversation, rather than opting for email or messenger. However, one thing to always remember, is to pre warn employees that they’re required to have their camera on. Otherwise, you might catch them off guard and lead to them frantically having to change out of their dressing gown and brush their hair.
Keep Office Culture Alive
Although we’re currently unable to meet in person or work in the office, it’s important to encourage keeping the office culture alive. One of the best things about working in an office is the banter and conversations that come with it. You might even have been close enough with colleagues to have social interactions outside of work or host events for employees to enjoy and grow their relationships. These things might not be possible right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create digital opportunities to connect remote workers. This will help to maintain team rapport and ultimately promote better communication between employees. There’s no harm in bringing a bit of fun to these dull times!
We’re all doing our best to adapt to the changes this pandemic has brought, remote working being one of them. The way we communicate may be facing challenges, but implementing these tips should help to improve your remote worker communication.