Communicating with staff at any time requires focus and care to get the right outcomes for your business. When you’re in the office calling a quick face-to-face meeting can also clear up any misunderstandings, as body language can reveal what voice alone may not achieve.
So how do you manage to get the right messages across your team and management when you’re all working remotely?
If your business has staff remote working albeit reluctantly, it may have suffered from early setbacks, i.e. the message lost in translation reduced productivity, and team members going offline during work hours.
However, not every company is experiencing the same challenges with their staff when working away from the office, so what are some of these businesses doing that we can all learn from?
In this article, we consider some quick and easy tips for communicating with remote workers.
Check-in Regularly with Video Meetings
One of the most important things you can do is speak to your team a couple of times a week. When you are constantly emailing back and forth, messages can be lost or not interpreted correctly.
We’re all used to getting the body language cues to help us out with communication, so make sure you give yourself the best chance to get more productive meetings with video chat, i.e. video conferencing.
Some staff who are more wayward when working at home have a one-to-one daily video call. Plus, have weekly or bi-weekly team meetings.
Also, encourage your management team to check in with their staff in much the same way and with the same regularity.
While the number of meetings may seem overkill, start out in this manner and reduce the meetings as you see better results from the remote workers that are harder to communicate with and are less productive when working remotely.
Work on Team Building
Team building exercises are important for every office. Most employers ensure there are activities every month to bring the team together.
Out-of-office events should not go out the window just because you now have a remote team. Instead, you can still meet up outside of the office and bring the fun online and create a great company culture.
For example, you can have a picnic in the park – this is also great for exercise when you add a team game like baseball to the event’s activities.
Also, online team-building virtual hangouts and playing quizzes and other games will relax and bring the team closer together.
What’s more, just because you work remotely does not mean you cannot give back to the community together. For example, you can be like many businesses and help charities as a team. There is nothing more successful for creating an enviable team culture like ‘doing good in the hood’.
Many philanthropists can inspire your business to do better for those less fortunate, for example, see how Tej Kohli is helping people through the charitable work of a Foundation.
Many people inspire us to be better global citizens, Bill and Melina Gates’s foundation is working hard to eradicate Polio, and there are many others just like them doing amazing work for humanity.
Charity work can be the glue that binds your staff together to achieve their targets and your company objectives.
Use Collaborative Software
Just because you are not in an office environment does not mean that you cannot work together. There is a lot of great collaborative software out there for your business that allows everyone to come together. You can see what everyone is working on and make sure there is no duplication of tasks.
Everyone is kept in the loop and aware of what their team is working on. This software is ideal for collaborating on projects where everybody has a different role to play. For example, Google Docs suite of online word processing tools, including ‘word doc, sheets, PowerPoint templates are free and collaborative.
There are many free and fee-based products, so do your research and choose the tools that work for your business.
Require Progress Reports
When you are in the office, you can check up on how every team member is performing with a catch-up meeting. This could be by approaching their desks, having a quick chat or through regular meetings.
Unfortunately, unless you’ve got systems reporting that you can revert to and discuss via video chat or email, remote working can make worker accountability more challenging. Learn how to read the audits, i.e. all activity within your shared system, to see who within the business has been working at any given time.
Remote working offers a lot of benefits to business, which we have not discussed in this article, so see working from home benefits.
To achieve better staff management now remote working is here to stay, track tasks, check in with worker wellbeing, ensure the team is on the same page, and be team players with regular catch-up events.