With more and more employees entering remote work each year, remote teams are considered the future of work. Technology has made it easy for a lot of employers to adopt remote workforce. However, you’ll find that communication is the biggest obstacle in managing remote teams. The challenges are multitude right from synchronizing across different time zones to different language to different cultures.
So, how can you boost communication to help the remote team work together irrespective of their location? Here are some communication secrets that can help you bridge the virtual gap with remote employees.
Communication is the oxygen of a remote workforce. If you’re working with a remote workforce, remember to over-communicate. When communications happen digitally, there are a lot of chances for a text or email to be misinterpreted. Establish specific standards of communication to prevent the misinterpretation of messages and ensure that everybody’s on the same page. As more and more communications take place digitally, the need to enhance your communication skill increases.
Kelsey Grabenstein, VP, Inside Sales of CipherHealth says, “The most important thing for managing a remote team is having consistent, regularly scheduled communication and measurable expectations.”
As an employer, it’s your job to be proactive to ensure that everything runs smoothly between you and your remote workforce. The more proactive you are, the smoother the communication is. Being proactive you can wipe out communication issues before they happen, set the right direction and help align the remote team towards the organizational goals.
Thanks to new technologies for offering a plethora of ways to connect with the remote team. It’s important to use new communication technologies that allow for real-time communication and collaboration. These real-time technologies like instant messaging (IM), video calls, conference calls, and file sharing are the foundation for forming strong connections and help maintain an open communication. They can also make communication easier and effortless.
There are a plethora of tools that can help you communicate more effectively with your remote workforce. These can help you save time and energy. Try out some of these tools
Calendly – Helps you schedule meetings quickly and efficiently
Flowdock – Provides a chat space where your remote team can communicate with each other
Mikogo – Allows sharing of the screen with ease
Uber Conference – Helps you set up and hold conference calls
State of Writing – Offers writing guidelines to improve your communication
Most of the time, you will be communicating through instant messaging (IM), so you can stay in touch with all your remote employees easily. However, there may be times when you need to choose another method to communicate with your remote team. For example, if the message contains more details, then email can be the right method to communicate. If it requires more inputs from other members of the remote team, video meeting may be the right choice. As an employer, it’s up to you to identify which method of communication is right, based on the situation.
A common myth prevails that emojis are for teenagers and they are the tools for lazy writers. But, GIFs and emojis can be very helpful in communicating with your remote teams. Written communications can misconstrue something and can fortuitously offend or upset a person without meaning to. Emojis can get across the real meaning of your messages instantly and can certainly avoid confusions. So, use emojis while communicating with your remote team, sensibly.
Nothing beats face-to-face communication for team bonding and creative collaboration. Video calls have never been more affordable with the tools like Zoom, Skype or Facebook messenger. Video calls can help you communicate easily, get direct answers, read body language and minimize the risk of misinterpretations. Live meetings can help build, nurture and grow team relationships over time. Complement traditional emails and messaging apps with video calls to boost communication.
Communication is paramount to build successful remote teams. Communicating effectively with your remote team doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to think smart about the most effective ways. Start with these seven secrets and you will find your way through to effective remote team communication.
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