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7 Tips to Improve Communication with Remote Teams

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed our working routine and opened up a new standard work arrangement. Many quickly adapt with remote communication as the primary way for organizations to communicate and accomplish what needs to be done.

Here are 7 tips on how you can successfully communicate with your remote team:

1. Use Multiple Ways to Communicate

Be open to using various channels and methods to communicate with your team. When we hear remote communication, the one thing that pops into mind is virtual video meetings. Although online meetings are the most utilized form of remote communication, remember to optimize messaging and email connectivity.

Maybe one member of your team prefers email as an efficient way to communicate. Another member may find video calling more enjoyable and productive. There are also instances where a direct message is the most practical way to go. Knowing what works best for you and the members of your remote team significantly helps build effective communication.

2. Invest in Internal Remote Communication Software

With the rise of WFH as the new normal comes dozens of software and applications you can use for managing a remote team. Choosing which tools to use can be pretty overwhelming since most of them have overlapping functionalities.

Many companies opt to invest in internal messaging tools for employees to communicate with each other quickly. These tools also provide features and functionalities not only for communicating but also for project management and scheduling.

Although you may not be physically working together, interacting in a convenient and easy-to-use platform creates a sense of teamwork and collaboration. The right tools will help you and your team achieve your goals while working together and staying connected.

3. Set Up Remote Communication Norms

Once you have the right communication tools, the next wise thing to do is set up your team's remote communication guidelines. Establish a standard on how communication tools are used within the parameters of work-related transactions and activities.

For instance, you can set up restrictions on the use of video calls strictly for team meetings. Or identify direct phone calls for emergency communication. Messaging is usually for general chatting, and email is for official communications.

Ensure that everyone is on the same page on when and how to use these tools by letting employees know what kind of communication is acceptable or not.

4. Set Clear Schedules and Expectations

Create a more transparent communication with your team by establishing project and accomplishment deadlines and tasks priorities. Set up a regular working hour, but be flexible enough to accommodate your team's unique needs and responsibilities.

Understand that working remotely can pose many distractions uncommon in working in the office. These distractions can range from mothers taking care of their children or someone caring for a sick family member.

So, having a workable structure for you and your team allows a certain schedule for them to accomplish their tasks while attending to their personal responsibilities.

5. Keep Communication Bursting Forth

According to Harvard Business Review, the best remote teams involve a high messaging activity schedule followed by long periods of non-disturbance. This means rapid-fire communication with a long silent period allows team members to work and develop their ideas and focus on deep work.

This communication technique enables remote team members to work independently without their managers and supervisors watching over their shoulders. On the other hand, supervisors can use their time on other important matters and refrain from micromanaging their teams.

6. Continuously Gather Team Feedback

Encourage employee feedback to know what works best and find areas where your remote work setup can improve. Getting employees' feedback and addressing their concerns timely promotes effective communication and employee engagement.

Remember that open communication is still a key element to ensure a conducive working environment despite the distance and limitation of communicating personally.

When you are sensitive to your employees' needs, especially when it comes to how they communicate their work issues and concerns, you give them a sense of trust, and it makes them feel heard and appreciated.

7. Schedule a Virtual Social Hour

Schedule a fun online activity where employees can hang out, chill, and enjoy their time. You can host a weekly virtual game night where your remote team can participate and enjoy it no matter where they are.

You can develop and grow personal connections and promote fun and camaraderie by simply giving an hour or two of fun activities in a week.

Final Thoughts

The global pandemic has been a strong driver for many companies worldwide to pivot into remote work for varying reasons. Since then, remote communication has become the norm, especially for companies with a Work From Home (WFH) setup.