Effective communication is a challenge most managers face when working with remote teams. Small details can be overlooked with the lack of face to face conversation. There’s also a concern about employee productivity and morale.
Working remotely might seem daunting to both employees and managers but with a strong strategy in place, building remote teams gives businesses an opportunity to provide a healthy work-life balance and positive culture for employees.
Read our tips below for communication solutions when working with remote teams.
Choose The Right Communication Tools
It might be difficult to choose a communication tool that works for everyone. One person might prefer phone communication, while others prefer email. It’s important to have a consistent communication plan for the entire team. Creating a communication policy that most can agree upon is helpful.
This might mean using multiple channels for different kinds of communications. For example, using a communication platform might be good frequent conversations throughout the day, while other platforms like Google Meet or Zoom might be better for team calls.
Using project management tools during the day is a good way to keep the team updated on project statuses and a good way to encourage collaboration.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
Working remotely can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness. There’s a lack of human interaction. It’s important for managers to keep the lines of communication open and check in on team members. This can be accomplished by a weekly team call–a forum to discuss ideas, and review the status of projects and deadlines.
You can also have a dedicated time simply just to catch up. Working remotely removes the “small talk” parts of the work environment. It’s healthy to set up social gatherings such as an after work virtual happy hour or morning coffee talk to keep a positive work relationship between employees.
Communication is the only way for remote employees to know what’s expected of them. Be sure employees are clear on project deadlines, KPIs, and next steps. Such details can easily be missed or overlooked in a remote setting.
Using a daily activity report is a good way to keep track of what tasks were worked on or completed each day.
Have Clear Intent
As a manager, it’s important to have clear intent. This is the only way to make sure there are no misinterpretations, especially when communicating virtually. Using email or messaging might be a fast way to get in touch, but if it doesn’t have clear intent, you can easily confuse or mislead employees.
Avoid using vague words like “that, this, it”. Instead, provide specific tasks within your message so employees can fully understand the scope of what’s being asked.
Communication Solutions For Your Remote Team
Since working remotely is becoming increasingly popular, it’s important that your employees have strong communication skills. Try using some of these tips within your virtual team to help employees feel more productive, connected, and successful.