How To Make Communication Better For Remote Teams
There are many good things about having remote workers or even running a business from home. If you set up your own business this way, you’ve probably already thought about these benefits. Working this way can lead to better productivity, lower costs, and a better work-life balance for everyone.
But there are also bad things about it. One of them is that employees can get lonely and feel like they don’t have a say in the business. This is why it’s good for team members to talk to each other. Here are some ideas for how to improve how your remote teams talk to each other.
Plan Regular Meetings
When people work from home, their main problem is that they never get to see their bosses or coworkers. They may talk by email, text, or special programs for working together, but it’s not the same as being able to talk to someone in person.
Planning regular meetings will help a little bit. The meetings can be in person, but if your teams are spread out across the country or even the world, this can be hard to set up. Video meetings, which use modern technology to make sure people can check in with each other as often as possible, are a much better choice. If you can, give people their own space within the meeting so they can talk and catch up during breaks.
Change How The Team Uses Writing
The majority of business groups rely excessively on slang, abbreviations, and acronyms. These can be helpful for shortening one’s written output, but they can also lead to misunderstandings if not widely known among team members. Make a glossary or list of acceptable acronyms and abbreviations for the team to use, and ban the rest.
Changing from short, snappy emails to longer, more in-depth ones is also crucial. Short emails are fine for making quick notes, but they are not suitable for discussing or explaining crucial matters. Train your staff to include as much relevant information as possible in their email correspondence. The goal is clear communication with no room for misunderstanding.
Keep in mind that, due to time zones, it could be a while before everyone can get their questions answered. Direct, specific communication can prevent confusion and discomfort for all parties involved.
Invest In The Right Software
If you work from home, you’ll need different software than if you work in an office. Even though we’ve said that face-to-face (or virtual) meetings are important, they don’t usually happen every day. To make sure everyone stays on track with what they’re supposed to be doing, you need the right software.
You’ll need to start by using software that lets you move files and documents safely so that everyone can do their work without any problems. Secure file transfer programs are a great way for your business to move data safely both inside and outside of your company.
You’ll also need ways to talk to each other. There are many, and which one you choose will depend on your operating system and what you want the program to do. In the end, though, you’ll need to choose something that is safe, reliable, and flexible enough to work for both large groups and one-on-one meetings. Microsoft Dynamics is a great example.
Train People To Use This Software
Even if you have the best tools for communicating with a remote team, that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. So that you can get the most out of these tools, your team members need to know how to use them. In many cases, this means you may need to set aside time to teach your team members how to use these tools and software to their full potential.
You can also give them rules about how to use the software and programs you have given them. You can decide, for example, how they can share their documents or tools with people who aren’t on staff and still stay safe by adding secure passwords.
Set Clear Deadlines And Expectations
Many managers micromanage because they are afraid that their team members will do something to hurt their reputation. When working with a physical team, the manager might engage in a lot of micromanaging. When working with a remote team, this can be harder. Still, there are managers who try to do it. It’s never a good idea.
Instead, these managers can stay in charge and use one or more of the above-mentioned collaborative tools to break up work, give it to the right people, set deadlines and expectations, and more.
So, they’ve told each team member what they can expect, and they don’t have to keep looking over their shoulders. They won’t worry as much that the team will do something wrong now that they’ve split up the work. It will also give the team members more room to work.
Try Virtual Team Building
Remote workers may have the most trouble with being lonely. It can lead to a lack of interest, a drop in performance or productivity, or even the loss of an employee.
The only way to stop feeling alone is for people on a team to get to know each other and make friends. Team members can better talk to each other, talk about problems, and find solutions to problems before they get too big if they are connected to other people.
There are team building activities for people who work together in an office, and there are also team building activities for people who work together online. You can do both things at the same time and things at different times. Make sure you implement them.
Show Empathy And Understanding
Good communication isn’t just about having the right physical (or digital) tools. It’s also important to care about and understand the people on your team. As a manager, it’s important that you’re willing to check in on your workers and ask if they’re okay or if they need anything. This can be enough to make someone’s day better and help them get more done.
If you want your business to be successful and run from home, you will need to make sure you have everything in place to make that happen. Communication is the most important thing.