When you finally decide to move to remote teams, a lot of communication challenges are born. The office-less culture hampers the flow of communication and collaboration, which impacts the environment and productivity of working. This is because a major part of face-to-face discussions is lost in emails and rest is restricted to short calls and Skype conversations.
How can you build a good culture again?
How can you communicate with your team clearly to overcome the challenges?
Remote work is daunting for everyone, from managers to low-level employees. Here are a few tips to manage work and maintain workplace efficiency. Read on to know how you can improve communication in your office.
7 Tips To Communicate with Remote Team
Whether you are just trying to adjust to the temporary COVID-19 situations or struggling to move everything to remote working permanently, communication is imperative. Let’s see how you can mitigate challenges.
1. Proactively Manage
You can’t wait till the problem arises. In remote working, you need to act fast and act before. It is necessary to judge whether a problem is forming or not. If everything is not running smoothly, you need to make it seamless and fluid. Your team should be able to communicate without any guidance.
This requires initial efforts from the HR team or managers. A lot of managers in the organization need to set the right example for every team member. For instance, making a group on Slack for a project. Here, every cross-functional team should be able to communicate.
For example, if the marketing team needs an update from the web development team, they should have the authority to directly call the dev team member and talk. Of course, many times, you may need the manager’s approval for activities. But that doesn’t indicate you can’t talk about how both teams would collaborate.
2. Offer Feedback
You need to encourage discussion and feedback. Once the project is over, sit with the team, appreciate their efforts, and offer feedback; whether good or bad.
If your team had missed details in this project, discuss it, and talk about how you can mitigate these challenges in the future.
If your team had completed the project nicely, discuss what the client liked, and encourage them to keep up the good work.
3. Avoid Interruptions
There are workplace interruptions that can disrupt the flow of work for onsite and offsite employees. Similarly, you can’t include these interruptions in remote employee’s work.
For instance, if the remote staff has already informed you that they don’t work on Saturday and Sunday, don’t keep calling them during the weekend to get updates. Unless they have agreed to work on something due to the urgency of the situation, you can’t hamper the work-life balance of the employee.
Further, if the employee has told you that they are working on your project, don’t call them every 15 minutes. Give them the time they are asking for.
4. Use Tools
Purchase subscription of the right tools. For instance, Slack for communication. You need to have the right tools by your side to make communication and data sharing easier and risk-free.
Help your remote team to communicate and collaborate.
5. Avoid Long Text Documents
One thing that every remote team employee dreads is long documents. Unless the receiving-user is a content writer, you don’t need to send big documents. Simply, arrange a short meeting, explain to them the requirements, and ask them to take note.
Give them the document just in case, they need a detailed overview.
Additionally, as the manager, you may have read the document. Right? Highlight the things that the remote employee needs to take care of to make the document easily traversable.
6. Provide Clear Deadlines
It is easier for remote employees to procrastinate. They even have multiple projects so they can easily push your project to the backseat.
Therefore, set a deadline for the task. If you are working on a big project, then divide the end-goal into smaller goals. Set separate deadlines for these goals and discuss them with your remote employee. Make adjustments if necessary. Follow up once or twice before every deadline.
Instead of hiring one employee after another, it is necessary to build a culture of communication and effective collaboration. This would help you reduce turnover and improve engagement in employees. Hence, it will give you the ability to enhance the productivity of the entire team. Check out the above tips to get on top of your communication challenges. Move towards proactive strategies.
Kamal Rastogi is a serial IT entrepreneur with 25 yrs plus experience. Currently his focus area is Data Science business, ERP Consulting, IT Staffing and Experttal.com (Fastest growing US based platform to hire verified / Risk Compliant Expert IT resources from talent rich countries like India, Romania, Philippines etc...directly). His firms service clients like KPMG, Deloitte, EnY, Samsung, Wipro, NCR Corporation etc in India and USA.