How to Improve Remote Team Communication

Mastering remote team communication is a complex undertaking. If your business is operating remotely, it is crucial to eliminate as many challenges as possible for your employees. With many workers struggling to collaborate and communicate remotely, it has never been more apparent that clear communication is the key to success in the workplace.

Challenges like miscommunication, scheduling, or ineffective online meetings will affect remote team communication and productivity. These problems can cause conflict, hurt employee relationships, and damage your bottom line. The good news is that plenty of tools and strategies are available to help your team improve how they work and communicate.

Here are six ways on how to help improve remote team communication for your business.

1. Trust your remote team

In a remote work environment, the traditional methods of checking in on employees cease to be effective. With employees being out of sight, it may be tempting for managers to message employees about a project’s status. Unfortunately, this approach can be counterintuitive to the overall project.

Constant check-ins can quickly become annoying for your employees as not everyone is on the same working schedule. Managers are taking up the employees’ time by regularly asking for updates. Likewise, the frequent interruptions can also impact their focus and productivity and make them feel untrusted.

Using a project management tool to keep tabs on each other’s work will reduce the need for check-ins. This platform helps employees feel trusted to perform at their best.

2. Utilize employee communication software

Communication apps and software appeal to the modern workforce. They allow employees to feel included in an innovative and forward-thinking company. The communication software helps build company culture, which is the foundation of a successful business.

An internal communication app will help solve numerous problems by consolidating information. It allows truth to be communicated from a single source. These apps can be used for:

  • Human resources
  • Pay stubs and employee
  • Benefits information
  • Message boards
  • New hiring and onboarding
  • Workplace safety and compliance
  • Employee training and development
  • Company news and announcements
  • Employee directories

Utilizing employee communication software is helpful on many levels as it encourages a connection within the workforce. As disengagement can be costly to company profits, communication apps help employees stay engaged. They will receive direct access to HR, management, and their co-workers. This streamlined way of staying connected will help boost engagement and enhance workflow.

3. Find the right tools for your team

Tools provide platforms for file sharing, project management, and conversations. Using the right ones will boost team productivity, provide visibility, and enable fast collaboration. Whether a tool for project scheduling or a message board, the right tools help your team achieve its goals. Establishing preferred tools and sticking to them will help your employees work efficiently, reducing wasted time.

These tools include:

  • Projected management tools
  • Video conferencing software
  • Team communication apps and software
  • File sharing tools
  • Screen recording apps

Ensure your employees are equipped with a unified toolbox. The tools help them stay connected and feel confident in their work. Ultimately, your team will feel happier with additional resources and work more efficiently to increase company profits.

4. Set guidelines for remote communication

Once your team has the right tools, it’s vital to ensure there are guidelines for clear communication to reduce questions and improve workflow. Effective communication in remote teams doesn’t happen overnight. Putting in the time and effort to create an easy-to-follow approach will reward you and your team tenfold.

Establishing a framework for remote communication helps everyone avoid common mistakes. There’s no need to include everyone in a conversation intended for one person nor make it unclear what mediums should be used for specific discussions. When determining the guidelines for your team, you should consider:

  • Time zone differences
  • When and where communication takes place
  • What is the standard duration between responses given and tasks to be carried out
  • What are the correct channels for each type of communication
  • What jobs require synchronous or asynchronous communication

5. Minimize the amount of remote team meetings

Video calls are similar to in-person meetings because they effectively communicate verbal and non-verbal cues. However, Zoom calls are not the same as meeting in person. When your team works remotely, everyone might be on different schedules. The need to cut back on constant video calls becomes essential.

It’s essential to respect everyone’s time and understand that not everybody is as receptive to virtual meetings. Ask yourself, “can this meeting be solved by an email,” and, if the answer is yes, then you should probably skip the video call.

6. Keep remote meetings small and brief

In larger teams, synchronous communication becomes even more limiting, with many members operating within different time zones and schedules. To solve this problem, remote teams must focus on real-time asynchronous communication. This doesn’t mean to say synchronous communication should be phased out entirely. However, maintaining a healthy balance will ensure employees are as productive as possible and not annoyed by unnecessary meetings.

To reduce wasted time, it is also effective to decrease the size of your Zoom meetings when they do happen. Too many people in a Zoom call leads to distraction and unnecessary conversation. Limiting your synchronous sessions to below ten people can improve engagement and guarantee everyone’s voice is heard.

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