Working remotely from home has been garnering a lot of attraction ever since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work setting allows employees to do their job from the comfort of their homes and also helps them save hundreds of dollars spent on conveyance costs. According to a study, remote workers can save up to 4000 US dollars in a single year.
Not only does remote work help save money, but it also offers flexibility for the employees and contributes to relieving their mental stress. Working from home also lets workers maintain a good work-life balance and saves them the time it takes to commute from home to the office and back again.
There’s no denying that remote work has numerous benefits for employees, but it has also proven to work well for employers. According to a survey conducted, nearly 83 percent of the employers agreed that remote work has been a huge success. It allows employers to create a greater pool of talented and qualified individuals from all over the world.
Despite being such a huge success among employers and workers alike, remote working presents some big challenges. One of the biggest issues with remote working is that it can get hard to communicate effectively and in real-time with employees.
This lack of coordination can impact the employee’s performance and productivity.
Keep reading this blog to learn more about some amazing, easy, and effective tips that can help improve your communication and coordination with remote employees.
Following up on a task is important to ensure that everything is going smoothly and is on time. However, if you’re following up on a job or asking your employees if they received your previous message via multiple mediums including, email, phone, and text, you need to stop.
It might seem harmless to you, but abusing these access points can be constituted as a type of digital dominance, which is an uncomfortable and relentless form of harassment. The medium of communication you select forms various demands on the receiver’s time, and utilizing all of them for the same task or message is extremely annoying as well as ineffective.
To avoid this problem, you must be careful about how often you’re disturbing the remote employee with the same message. Be wise while choosing your digital volume.
Various communication channels such as video conferencing and instant messages are used to communicate with remote employees. These channels allow you to have structured and formal meetings with your employees, where everyone contributes and reports about their work progress and other important things.
However, these meetings don’t offer a chance to have laid-back and informal communication about non-work-related things or a water cooler chat in a physical office. You can make this happen by using your communication channels for unstructured and informal meetings where you encourage the employees to share their opinions on things that aren’t related to their work.
A virtual water cooler can help you build camaraderie and get your employees or team to engage with each other.
One of the perks of going to the office is that it allows the employees to stay in the loop about company projects and other happenings. Whereas, while working remotely, employees have little to no means of staying in the know about the latest happenings in the organization, which can make them feel isolated and impact their performance.
However, the best way to keep them abreast of the latest happenings and internal news is by communicating all the information through a dedicated platform, which can also streamline information. You can do this by sending an internal letter to all the employees through email at least once every month. Section and divide the newsletter according to business unit and assign a team leader from every division to put together content for the newsletter.
Not only will this help to communicate the latest information to all workers but will also make a good archive which you can refer back to at any time.
Make it a point to schedule virtual chats every week or in two weeks to discuss any projects and tasks you’re working on together. Not all of these meetings need to be about a specific topic, but scheduling these meetings from time to time allows you to have an insight into different parts of the organization that you may have been unaware of.
This method of communication is extremely effective in tackling the communication barrier you might have with remote working employees or colleagues.
Make sure to ask how your employees’ week is going during these meetings, as this allows them to relax and encourages them to open up.
One of the most important things to ensure effective communication with remote workers is to use an intentional communication plan. With these plans, you can decide on when, how, and what you want to talk about and communicate. Make sure to create a feedback loop to check and validate if the relevant people received the correct message.
You can begin with a basic and uncomplicated communication plan and then iterate. Collecting feedback from your remote workers after communicating with them will give you all the necessary data which will help you improve.
An internal messaging system is very important for a company that hires remote workers. Several short conversations occur in a physical office that also need to happen when employees work remotely. But it’ll be a hassle and an ineffective approach to have these small conversations through video and audio calls. Even if you use emails, there’s a risk of people not checking their emails regularly. With these issues, you’ll soon find yourself in need of a new and more effective communication medium to have small but necessary conversations.
An instant messaging system allows remote employees to communicate effectively and quickly without putting an additional burden or strain on their emails and inboxes. It can also improve communication between the employees once they learn how easy and convenient it is to use the system.
The advancements in technology have exposed all of us to numerous communication platforms. Although it’s great to have multiple choices, it can get quite confusing and a huge hassle to communicate with remote working employees using different communication methods.
The best way to avoid such issues is to settle on a communication platform that allows you to have clear, open, and effective communication with your employees and colleagues. Make sure that this platform has all the resources and tools your organization requires and train your team, if necessary, to use the selected platform effectively. You can also list some tricks and tips on how to make use of the platform in the best way possible and send it to all the employees. This sheet can also be used as a reference by future employees.
Remote workers and teams need to form new norms that help establish clear communication. Some companies use acronyms for digital communications such as NNTR, for No Need To Response, that can help bring certainty and predictability to virtual and online conversations.
Individual remote working teams can also form their separate norms, such as which platform to use and which to avoid. This can help lessen any confusion and help employees categorize communication.
If you use fewer words to be more efficient, you’re not alone. However, this practice can be a nuisance for other employees and team members will waste their time trying to figure out what you’re trying to communicate. And even if they can understand your messages, there’s still a risk of them misinterpreting them.
Don’t be under the assumption that your colleagues understand your shorthand and cues, and take some time to be clear while communicating, no matter what medium you’re using to communicate. Although it’s hard to be too clear, it can be very easy to be unclear and create confusion with the way you communicate.
Lack of human interaction and structure can be a huge problem for employees who’re working from home. It’s also hard to avoid this problem, especially if your employees live in different parts of the world.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t help your employees at all. One way you can boost employee morale is by encouraging them to interact with each other, the same way they would communicate in a physical office.
A simple salutation like ‘good morning’ can bring your employees out of their shells, which will make them feel more involved.
All your employees working remotely doesn’t mean you can’t have team-building activities with them. Once a week or a month, you can conduct a virtual meeting where all employees come together and take the time to appreciate and recognize each other for their efforts and hard work.
You can also set a space for celebration and create virtual rituals and events like birthdays or Christmas. These activities will allow your employees to interact with each other and get to know their colleagues, allowing them to have more open and clear communication with each other.
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