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How To Improve Communication To Manage Remote Workers

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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 they are 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 occurring with video chat, i.e. video conferencing.

For some staff who are more wayward when they’re 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 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 coming in from the remote workers that are harder to communicate with, and are less productive when they’re 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.

Team Events

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 as well as 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, for online team-building virtual hangouts and playing quizzes and other games will relax and bring the team closer together.

Charity Work

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 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 member of your team 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.

Summary

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 and ensure the team are on the same page and being team players with regular catch-up events.

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