Remote work is the norm today as businesses manage COVID-19 induced changes by asking their employees to work from home.
Transitioning to full-time and long-term remote work, however, comes with challenges.
The most significant problem lies in the creation of communication gaps from not being able to directly talk with peers. There’s also the matter of adopting new tools that enable collaboration and task management.
How can you make your communication more effective while your employees are in different locations?
Well, let’s explore that right now! Here are ways that you can boost communication in your team while remote working.
Use the Right Tools
It’s no secret that the tools you use will play a significant role in how well your communication takes place. Here are the most important platforms and tools you’ll need to support your team as they work from home.
One of the ways that social media has transformed how we communicate today is the ease with which it makes real-time and seamless conversations happen. Most social media platforms have an instant messaging format. And businesses can use this casual way of conversing to get real work done.
Platforms like Slack provide the ease of real-time notifications and the user-friendly interactions you get on social media for a more professional purpose.
You can make channels for teams, for the entire company, or create channels for specific topics like person and family matters.
Want to message a person directly? That’s easy too as platforms like Slack enable you to direct message your peers easily. You will also benefit from the availability of its mobile application.
But more importantly, a platform like Slack easily integrates with productivity tools, HR platforms, G-Suite, and many more apps that enable people to work from a single platform.
Project Management and Collaboration
With remote working comes the need to organize and track key tasks. This becomes difficult when you have team members doing different things. There needs to be a way to collaborate.
Using a tool like Asana is great for most businesses. You can create teams, assign tasks, track due dates, add comments, and send live notifications when changes are made.
The game-changing feature is that your team can download the app on their phone which means that they won’t miss any key information.
Likewise, if your business’s model rests heavily on coding then you can use collaboration platforms like GitHub and CodePen.
Even with all the tools available, you can’t do without face to face conversations. There are important details that need to be mentioned live so that it gives people a chance to get their questions cleared.
What’s more, you ensure that people are connected to each other in the organization.
It’s important to have regular meetings as a way to keep your team informed on what’s happening to track important KPIs. A weekly business-wide meeting to provide an overview of the business’s progress is essential. You also need to create weekly conference calls for different teams.
The action of carrying out conference calls itself is easy, it’s structuring these meetings that becomes a challenge. Let’s look at how creating a clear agenda for your meetings will boost communication.
Structure Your Meetings
It’s a common complaint that meets are time-wasting activities in businesses. This is often the case when there’s no clear agenda and there’s a clear lack of preparation.
For regular meetings, it’s helpful to have a documented process to follow. The document can be attached to the calendar event and can consist of the following:
- The purpose of the meeting
- News about what’s happening in people’s lives
- Whether current goals are on track
- The to-do list for the next week
- Any ideas, feedback, and suggestions
Responses can be typed ahead of the meeting and you can focus on discussing any urgent issues during the live call. It’s also helpful to arrange the agenda by clearly listing out the order in which people need to speak. This is useful especially if you have a large team.
Create a Company Hub
So far, we’ve covered communication needs that occur during the day-to-day operations of a business.
However, there’s also a need to provide a repository of information that’s evergreen. This includes onboarding information for new employees, company holidays, benefits offered, and the mission and values of your business.
These are things that people will refer to over and over again. A company hub is also a great place to help employees by creating an FAQ page and accessing the employee handbook.
In other words, this is where people can look up information that’s not related to everyday tasks. Make sure that you add a search feature and update the information as necessary, and you can always point people to information in the hub.
Remote working is the norm today. It offers many benefits to you and your employees as you’ll enjoy greater flexibility and work-life balance.
However, communication can get difficult and affect the quality of work being done. We’ve listed several helpful ways you can boost communication in your remote team.
By following the tips mentioned here, you’ll see an improvement in how well your teams work together. It will also create structure and a sense of organization that people will respond to well. Give these suggestions a try and help your teams thrive.