Remote work has made workplaces less personal, which naturally influenced communication. When the coronavirus started, and companies transitioned to remote work, employees had to adapt to such an environment. Now, even if they manage to work from both home, office, or other remote locations, communication remains one of the top issues when it comes to virtual work.
A lot of managers and team leaders have tried everything in their willpower to make their teammates feel less isolated when working from home. However, they had no luck in boosting communication and making it effective for everyone. How can you make it happen?
1. Set guidelines for communication
Assuming your team will know how to communicate remotely straight away is wrong. While some may be having connection troubles, others simply may not be computer literate enough to figure out how to get in touch with colleagues. Such differences in knowledge will only set your team further apart. Therefore, setting communication guidelines can be beneficial for the entire team.
Write a protocol in which you’ll highlight some of the main rules, such as the response time, tools, and adequate mediums for different types of communication. Also, this allows you to show support to your team members who might be struggling with newer technology or have language barriers in communication.
2. Beware of preferences
We all have our preferences. Luckily, the online world and technology allow us to choose means of communication when working remotely! While Millennials and Gen-Z are known to prefer text communication, it doesn’t have to be the truth for everyone. From old-fashioned emails to new and popular chat apps and video conferencing tools, people have a wide range of different communication channels to choose from.
Even though you can adapt to personal preferences when holding one on one meetings, it’s always better to consider options that will work for the majority. This is one of the communication tips every executive should follow. Remote communication requires a certain degree of flexibility and adaptation on both ends. It means learning about new ways of communication and adapting to them as well. We need to be open to these new ways.
3. Choose adequate tools
When working and communicating remotely, tools are your best friend. Whether you opt for a text messaging tool, collaboration app, or file sharing platform, you need to pick only the best for your team. Since you know them the best, you’ll know what kind of interface, features, and usability they like and need; pick accordingly.
For instance, project management tools are essential in every industry for assignment tracking, setting goals, and planning your days. This can help avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings, which certainly helps communication. Also, implementing an intranet with vital files accessible so everyone can save time and overcome some communication barriers.
4. Organize virtual team buildings
The best way to bring the team together and create a cooperative atmosphere is to organize team buildings. When team buildings are mentioned, the first thought is an adventure in nature. However, you can organize an equally exciting experience for your team online. So, what are your options?
For instance, organizing online game nights, or coffee meetings can be fantastic for in-team communication. However, if you’d like something more thrilling, video games and escape room puzzles are ideal to get the adrenaline pumping through their veins. Besides spending quality time together, your team members will get to know each other, and make wonderful memories, which boosts interpersonal interaction! Plus, everybody loves attending fun events organized by their companies. It allows them to get to know their colleagues in a whole new light.
5. Prioritize work-life balance
Let’s face it, no matter how much we like our colleagues, having some time for ourselves is essential. We need “me time” to recharge our batteries and cool off after a long and stressful day. But how does that help us improve our in-team communication?
Even though the link doesn’t seem as clear, work-life balance can increase communication satisfaction and improve it overall. Once we’re recharged, we’re ready to engage in new activities and chat without colleagues. This makes communication more pleasant for both ends, which gradually improves the overall convey of messages, tolerance, and empathy.
It’s commonly known that communication is the fuel for productivity. Therefore, working on communication and actively improving it helps your team achieve better results. These are only some of the tips that will certainly boost the communication within your team. It’s up to you as a leader to figure out the next steps and maintain that communication on a higher level.