Team communication is more than simply efficient work. It fosters trust, fosters camaraderie among team members, enhances morale, and assists employees in remaining interested in the job.
Investing in open lines of communication will quickly establish trust among working team members, resulting in increased productivity, output, and morale in general. It is one of the most useful areas that you can invest in, and perhaps one that can generate the highest impact for your business going forward.
Here are some tips for ensuring effective team communication when working from home:
- Use several methods to convey different messages
When working remotely, email isn’t your sole tool for communicating with team members. Email is typically preferable for lengthier communications or those with several attachments, as well as when you can wait for a response. Indeed, there are several digital platforms and technologies available to help smoothen the move to a remote work environment and foster greater cooperation.
While there are several avenues for engaging with distant employees, not all communication systems serve the same purpose. For example, an instant messaging network (such as Slack) is appropriate for brief communications that require a quick response.
- Consider Time Differences
When you operate on a dispersed team, you and your distant co-workers aren’t only in separate time zones. You may also be operating in various time zones.
Be aware of when your co-workers are working and try to message them accordingly. This may necessitate a slight movement in your schedules, but it will be worthwhile if your communication improves.
- Improve Your Writing Ability
If you work remotely now or want to do so in the future, you will spend the majority of your time interacting using text apps. While virtual conference technologies like Zoom and Google Meet are useful for remote work, the majority of your communication will be textual. It stands to reason, then, that your writing communication abilities should be capable of delivering ideas and information consistently.
Even if your organization employs regular video or phone conversations to communicate with a remote team, the majority of your team interactions are most likely textual.
This allows you to consider what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You may arrange your ideas, edit your messages, and take as much time as you need to come up with a solution. That being stated, pay great attention to the tone of your communications. Because written communication might be misconstrued, you’ll want to avoid coming across as excessively pushy or, on the other hand, too ambiguous.
- Be Proactive
Being proactive is one of the finest communication skills for a remote worker, regardless of how you connect with your team. Proactive communication can be as simple as regularly updating your boss on a project you’re working on or even informing co-workers that you’ll be out of the office the following week, asking your managers what they want, providing daily check-ins, sharing projects as digital document files, and offering to be an online communication lead.
- Take Note of Your Tone
Body language and facial emotions are important components of your communication. When you can’t meet in person, it’s crucial to understand that your printed words have greater weight. You want people to feel appreciated and heard, and your tone of voice in an email may be difficult to understand, so make sure you’re blending warmth with clear, frank information.
If you’re not sure how your emails or messages are coming across, some websites can analyze your tone and recommend changes.
- Keep the Three C’s in mind
The goal of communication in the work-from-home setting is to link employees who work from different places. Most of the time, technology is used to bridge the gap.
No matter how you communicate, focusing on the three Cs (clear, consistent, and concise) will ensure success.
Clear messages are straightforward and to the point. People will know how and when you will communicate, as well as the kind of messages you will deliver if you are consistent. And succinct messages are short and to the point.
Try to pay attention to delivering the proper amount of background, inquire about the needs of team members, and request assistance, tips, and a link to key information on the subject
- Empathy should be practiced
Empathy is not just the role of managers. To build efficient remote team communication, you must also foster empathy among the team. This can be practiced through team development activities such as role-playing scenarios in which one employee speaks while the rest of the team observes and shares what they see and sense based on body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, or by sharing experiences that will allow your team to easily share their feelings and expressions. Empathy is genuine and is being practiced by an increasing number of businesses; it may also be performed remotely to improve effective communication among team members.
- Assume the Best Intentions
One of the difficulties that remote employees may experience is a lack of face-to-face interaction. While you may create rapport and get to know your co-workers no matter where they are, when most of your conversations are written or asynchronous, you may read more into the message than is there.
In an email, light-hearted tones and sarcasm may not always come over. As a result, always presume the sender has good intentions. When in doubt, spend as much time as you need to ensure that you completely grasp what is being stated.
Similarly, while sending out communications, try to keep the same idea in mind. Consider using emojis to help convey your sense of humor.
- Attempt to Meet Offline
When you work in an office, you see your co-workers all day, every day, making it easy to create informal ties with them. When you work remotely, however, you may only speak with your co-workers once in a few days and by email, if at all.
Making time to meet up with co-workers in person whenever feasible allows you to hang out and get to know them outside of typical working hours. If you can’t meet in person, consider scheduling virtual coffee breaks or happy hours. This will assist you to divert your focus away from work and establish relationships with your co-workers.
- Try team-building exercises
Remote team-building activities are virtual activities that engage employees and strengthen relationships among teams. They are comparable to typical team-building exercises in physical workplaces.
When done correctly, virtual team-building activities increase colleague connections, boost team performance, creativity, and trust, and assist to break down silos that may be detrimental to corporate success.
Scavenger hunts, coffee breaks, personality assessments, images of the week, and other activities assist to generate a support system among team members and a good remote working environment that allows them to reconnect.
- Be truthful
When working remotely, make an effort to truly listen to what your co-workers are saying, be honest in any given assignment, and raise your level of honesty.
Others recognize your dependability when you demonstrate honesty. For example, your co-workers are aware that you will complete your piece of the large project before the deadline. Your employer is aware that you will complete your reports on time. These minor details may appear insignificant, yet they contribute to a favorable reputation and demonstrate your dedication to your profession and company over time.
Managing a remote team is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, it does not take away from how important it is to manage these teams efficiently. Trying to focus on the fundamentals mentioned above would be the best place to start.