A worldwide pandemic being caused by COVID-19 has changed a work routine. It forced business owners to rethink their approach to how to handle the working process.
Especially, it was highly reflected on setting up the work in the teams.
Due to social limitations, the employees have to work from home.
This kind of work has both positive and negative aspects. But the main question is how to keep remote work organized and effective.
In this post, you will find out five actionable tips on improving the team’s remote communication.
Pros and Cons of Remote Communication
Right before you find out the actual tips on how to improve the team’s remote communication, you should be aware of the pros and cons of working remotely.
There are four major pros of remote working:
1. Remote work is far healthier for your life
It seems quite difficult to maintain your life healthily when you’re working at the office. Work hustle forces people to restrict themselves from having balanced meals. You, as an office worker, have to communicate with somebody from your team. There are lots of trivialities that distract you from healthy-important things like having a launch.
In contrast to this, working from home allows you to leave on your own devices. It means you can regulate your time wisely. You don’t need to go to some restaurant or cafe to have dinner. Everything is in one place. Therefore, you can enjoy – home-cooked food, no office noise, no senseless chatting with colleagues, an opportunity to take short breaks between work, and doing various physical exercise sessions.
2. Build a balance between life and work
When you work remotely, you can spend time with your family. Eventually, you will be able to create your schedule. This schedule would consist of time that you can devote to your work and family. As a result, your balance between work and life will be achieved.
Consequently, you will be happy and love your work more.
3. Increase in productivity
What is the main reason for the increase in productivity when you’re working remotely?
It is having a flexible work schedule.
It allows you to work in different time zones and build your personal work schedule. Thus, you can work during those hours when you are more productive. The more productive you are – the more results you will bring to the table.
Remote work helps you save more money each year.
You won’t have to pay the bills for your vehicle maintenance, parking, restaurants, etc. To put it simply, you will save tons of money by working at home.
Now, let’s review four cons of remote working:
5. Lack of motivation
One of the most dangerous downsides of remote working is lacking motivation. You know that there is no one around and nobody can see how you perform your work.
You’re becoming a victim of procrastination and laziness. Once these two bad habits turn you into a slave, you can say goodbye to your career.
6. No communication with your team-mates
Working at the office gives you an opportunity to talk to your colleagues whenever you need. Being a remote worker you will have to use instant messaging or video calls. Plus, it demands you to report on the work done. By the way, in this very case, it makes sense to use report making software. It allows you to create reports that would be visually appealing.
Unfortunately, the absence of direct communication within the team might lead to ineffective team collaboration in the future.
7. Challenges related to work management
If you work at the office, you don’t need to bother yourself with setting up the Internet connection, uploading different tools and software that would be necessary for your work.
While working remotely you will have to take care of all these work preparations by yourself. You will have to make sure that the Internet connection works fine. That you use to-do lists to manage work tasks, have installed project management tools, and other stuff to make your work productive.
Now, let’s proceed with exploring tips for improving remote team communication in more detail.
Five Remote Team Communication Tips to Consider
You as a business owner must understand that the success of your work depends on your teamwork. Therefore, you should keep it on track and apply actionable tips that will help you along the way.
Here are five tips that will help you improve remote team communication.
1.Think about using communication channels
The first thing that you will have to do is to decide what communication channels you are going to use during a remote work period. While your employees were working in the office, they could restrict their communication using email correspondence and G-chat. But remote work needs some other way to build communication within the team.
Before choosing the channels you should think about a few work-related issues:
- Is there a necessity to have video calls
- Is there a necessity to show some presentations by sharing a screen
- Is there a necessity to create meetings using emails
When you have answers to these questions, you can move forward with your decision.
For example, one of the best channels that will help your team to communicate and work on the projects is Slack. There are a plethora of ways how you can use Slack in your remote team’s work but the biggest plus of it is live communication.
We use it here at Visme on our daily basis. It allows us to discuss whatever we need that is related to our work or random life things. Our entire team is located in different time zones and we don’t have an opportunity to communicate whenever we want. Likely, Slack helps us leave messages and create threads that each member of the team can see and reply to.
If you don’t like Slack for some reason, you can review Slack’s alternatives to choose from.
Talking about the tool that would help you keep all the tasks organized in one place, you can use Trello. It allows you to create boards for each task, set up the deadlines, and track the progress. One thing Trello’s missing is that it doesn’t offer built-in prioritization frameworks. But not to worry, you can take advantage of these project prioritization tools that as well support Kanban boards, timelines, roadmap templates, backlog refinement, and all the necessary features to help you prioritize tasks or manage your product wisely.
2. Schedule meetings via video calls as appropriate
If there is some misunderstanding happening during the work in the office, your team members can raise a question shortly. But if it happens when your team works remotely, the lack of communication might lead to some unexpected circumstances in the working process.
Fortunately, you can create a sort of video meeting a few times per week. For instance, you have a regular video call with your team on Monday to discuss the plans for the future week of work. The second call could be initiated in the middle of the week where you can talk about the issues that should be resolved promptly. And the third call can be arranged on Friday. At this call, you can pool the results of the week.
You can use various services to make your team video calls happen – Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts. It is up to you.
Despite the fact, don’t overdo with the video calls. It might take lots of your team’s team and could lead to some unproductive results later. Therefore, you should realize the importance of team meetings but don’t make it your top priority in the work.
3. Work on Meeting Agenda and Setting Priorities
As already been mentioned, your remote team communication meetings should be efficient and don’t take too much time. The aim of these meetings can have both a personal and general approach. However, you always must save the time of your team members during the meeting.
It means you must decide on a meeting agenda ahead of schedule.
What does it mean?
You must discuss with the team leaders what they are going to cover during their reports. You should ask them to prepare a set of priorities that they would present in the meeting. If junior employees have something to add, the team leaders should make time for them.
General meetings have the purpose to cover the challenges of the company. While personal meetings can highlight the issues related to the specific separate departments of the company. For example, it won’t make any sense if you raise a question related to hiring a developer for your new project while running a general call. Instead, you can discuss this question with your HR lead in a private meeting.
4. Meeting participant limitation
It is pretty easy to handle online meetings when your team consists of 15 people. It won’t be hard if there are 25 people on the team. But will it be productive to run an online meeting that would unite 50 people in one call?
You should take into account a few nuances like a time zone difference, some technical issues, the possibility of a team member’s absence, etc. Instead, focus on splitting your team into a couple of smaller groups that would be divided per department. It will help you discuss the topics that would be related to a certain department specifically.
Also, you should encourage the other members of the team to create meetings in their small semi-group.
5. Don’t hesitate to record online meetings
It is quite difficult to keep in mind everything has been said during the online meeting. Even if there are up to 10 people reporting on their work activities, you won’t be able to remember everything in detail.
Hence, you must record your meetings and share them with your team members. It will help them replay the video record and consume information again.
Plus, you can save these records in the folders per meeting topics and give access to those employees who were absent during the meeting for some reason.
To Sum Up
A modern-day disaster locked people in their houses all around the world. They must adjust to new conditions of living and still keep their work done.
Remote work needs harsh self-discipline and constant access to other team members for communication purposes. And you have just got familiar with five tips that will help you manage your team’s communication routine online.
Follow these tips and make sure that the working process in your team will go smoothly.