With COVID-19 pandemic restricting employees to practice social distancing and working remotely from home, companies are facing tough times communicating with everyone on board and bringing them on the same page.
As many employees earlier haven’t ever worked from home, many failed to communicate effectively and work efficiently. Also, the employees who rely solely on in-person interactions to collaborate on projects and tasks, learning how to keep their team motivated and engaged is one of the biggest challenges. As such, the organization or employer must keep the communication practices productive and in place.
Communication is the foundation of good remote work. Good communication ensures all the teammates and workers are on the same page and conduct their tasks effectively. To ensure proper communication practice, they should keep the following tips in mind:
Be Proactive in Communicating
Since remote work doesn’t allow a supervisor to connect with a team in-person, it is normal for the communication levels to go haywire. As such, while working remotely from home, it is essential to be proactive in keeping the lines of communication open and for each worker. Employers also should communicate with the employers regularly and early and state the guidelines and tasks efficiently.
Schedule Daily Communication
Scheduling daily calls/communication with the team is essential, as it lets the employers coordinate with the team well and sync up the priorities and tasks for the day. Also, early communication and start to a day ensure that the issues or tasks that require urgent attention are solved early and easily. Always be consistent in communication.
Set Expectations from the Start
Often, communication during remote work isn’t efficient, and the team members fail to be on the same page as their supervisor. There may be times when the team wouldn’t be able to login/check-in at the same time as the supervisor or may face similar other hurdles. To avoid such a situation, team members must outline their expectations from the first go to reduce frustration, and ensure a smooth transition to the remote working process.
Enquire about Communication Preferences
There may be instances when the supervisor prefers to communicate through email, while one team member chooses to collaborate over messaging and another over video calls. In such a case, the communication preferences must be sorted out to a single medium that is suitable for all for effective communication. For complex and bigger projects, one can opt for Zoom or Google Hangout that ensures faster communication, accessing multiple documents and easy mails and messages.
Often in personal contact at office, a supervisor ends up following with the team and checking on their tasks multiple times throughout the day. This, however, shouldn’t be the case in remote working as it can be distracting, and sometimes it sends the wrong message on the supervisor’s trust on the team. It is better to assign daily tasks and follow up a few times in the day.
Adopt New Communication Tools
Email isn’t the only option when it comes to communicating during remote work. There many digital tools and hubs wherein team members and supervisors can regularly connect for remote work. There are also project management tools like Slack, Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, where supervisors can break down large projects into mini-tasks and monitor work progress. These tools also allow the person to ask questions or comment on tasks, add assignments, and set up alerts and reminders.
Prioritize Video Calls
When remote employees cannot be seen or communicated effectively, video calls are the best way! The video calls provide efficient opportunities to connect face-to-face, virtually with the person. If the supervisors are used to communicating with the team members on a one-on-one person basis regularly, then remote work can make the team members feel isolated. As such, connecting with them through video chats is the key!
Give More Time on Tasks
Remote working requires time to adjust and to complete the given tasks. Working from home may have distractions if the employees have kids at home. Productivity while remote work can take a dip due to distractions and other obligations like child care at home. As such, employers should give ample time to the team members to finish their daily tasks. The employer should understand and provide the employees with space and grace.
Keep the Office Culture Going, Even at Remote Work
A company office culture is different from a remote work- there are informal conversations and interaction between the employees that are essential to developing the office and bonding the camaraderie within a team. Even though workplace culture cannot exist in remote work, one should create digital opportunities to connect casually can maintain the team rapport.