Remote working and Working From Home have been adopted by many organizations in the recent past. From flexibility, productivity, efficiency working remotely has had a myriad of advantages but despite them all, it is important to remember the core tenant of successful teams – communication.
The proliferation of remote teams has forced organizations to change how they communicate since the levels of communication are equal to the team’s success.
To avoid the main mistakes that remote teams make in terms of communication, here are a few tips that you can adopt to help streamline or tweak how you communicate:
Today, there are plenty of communication tools, and channels available for you to make connecting with remote teams as easily as possible. You can dedicate each channel for a specific purpose, which improves your levels of communication.
For example, you may use Skype, Slack, and email to communicate daily with your team. But you can also organize & designate these channels into Skype for group meetings, Slack for social media queries, and email for project updates.
Obviously, you will need to adapt these to suit your business, but it can be extremely beneficial, and your days will become a lot more productive if you use certain channels for certain purposes.
It is likely that your remote teams are working in different time zones. So special care needs to be taken to keep track of when people are available and what’s getting done, especially for projects that require contributions from multiple people.
Sharing online calendars or schedules, posting updates about availability and time off, and using references like Every Time Zone or World Time Buddy when planning meetings or other team activities can all be good practices.
For tracking projects, tools like Trello and Asana are popular choices with remote teams.
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It can be easy to lose track of what your remote teams are working on when you are not in the same location as them. But it does not have to be that way.
Making a progress-tracking or to-do list app part of your workflow can be a great way to keep the whole team on the same page.
Not only can it serve as a motivational and accountability tool, but it can also function as an asynchronous way for team members to stay updated on tasks and projects.
Some popular options to check out include Todoist and Weekdone.
Instead of standing by the water cooler to catch up with everything that’s going on, the email inbox will become the new cooler spot.
However, if you’re writing poor quality emails to your remote teams, not only is this going to waste your time, it’s simply not a very effective way of communicating.
Instead, practice writing grammatically correct, straightforward, and memorable emails. This means proofreading, and editing each email before you hit send.
You can even take a class online to help you enhance your writing skills or have your work read over by a professional writer if you’re composing something more substantial.
If you’re not writing properly, it’s so easy to miscommunicate, and this is where problems will start to arise. For example, if you’re using poor grammar and punctuation, the sentence you meant to say can be very easily misinterpreted and the original message will be lost.
Always ensure that your writing skills are the best they can be. To help you polish your writing you can always opt for online grammar resources, such as the State of Writing or Grammarly to brush up on your writing knowledge.
Likewise, you can use online writing guides, such as Boom Essays, to ensure you’re communicating in the right way and using the best format possible.
It’s important to be direct with your messages. Keep things short. This is a much more direct form of communication, which leaves little room for miscommunication.
To practice this skill, you can use online tools like Easy Word Count or AcademAdvisor to track your word count in real-time. When using messages, try to keep messages below 100 words if you can.
At the end of the day, it does not matter how diligently your remote teams work, if you have not nailed the communication bit, managing your team will be an uphill task. As far as communication is concerned, don’t work hard, work smart.