Trying to maintain an optimal degree of communication with a remote team has always been a work in progress for many businesses, but now that COVID-19 has dominated the planet, more and more businesses are finding out for themselves the troubles that come with unorganized remote working practices.
Sure, there are plenty of ways you can communicate now, from email and text messages to Zoom calls and cloud sharing services, but that doesn’t mean communication is easy. However, if you know what mistakes to avoid, you’re actively giving yourself the best possible chances to succeed.
In today’s post, that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about.
1) NOT COMMUNICATING ON THE PROPER CHANNELS
Think about how your remote team is communicating and how effective these levels of communication are. You need to make sure you’re using the proper channels to maximize how clearly and concisely you can send a message and share information without being irritating or misdirecting to others.
For example, are you writing out a super long text message or email containing a ton of information that’s going to need to a hideously long response, or can you just phone the recipient up and save time by having the conversation over the phone?
2) NOT RECOGNIZING CONTEXT
Context is so important when it comes to communication, and it’s vital you remember that just because you’ve been in a meeting and read all the emails and know everything there is to know about a certain subject, project, or task, that doesn’t mean everyone you’re talking to is in the same boat.
When you’re talking about, well, literally anything, make sure you’re clearly communicating the context in which you’re speaking, so there is basically zero chance of there being a misunderstanding.
3) NOT ALLOWING FEEDBACK
“Feedback is important in every area of life, especially when it comes to evaluating and accessing your remote working practices. By not opening up the floor and asking everyone on your team whether they like using the video conferencing software you’re using, or if they have any ideas on how this could be made better, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities to improve your team’s capacity to succeed,” shares Tessa David, a business blogger at Academized and Writing populist.
4) NOT ALLOWING SPACE FOR QUESTIONS
One common mistake that every business makes, not just remotely but in all areas of business, is not allowing people the space to ask questions. Whether you’re on the phone, communicating via email, or having a meeting, make sure you’re asking people whether they have any questions they want to ask.
This is a great, if not the best, way to iron out any problems people are having, and you’ll be able to clearly ensure that everyone understands what’s going on. This is perhaps the most important point for getting everyone on the same page.
5) ONLY TALKING ABOUT WORK
If you went into work and all anybody ever did was talk about work, how depressed do you think your team would become, and how quickly would that happen?
The same applies to remote working. By not setting aside time to check in with everyone and talk socially, you’re breaking down the boundaries and relationships your team has.
“By being social and nurturing your relationships, your team members will be far more engaged with the team, way more productive, and way happier to be a part of what you’re doing. This is an easy thing to forget, so be mindful of it,” shares Nick Turner, a tech writer at Studydemic and Boomessays.
6) NOT TALKING AS BOTH TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS
While you may have a group meeting daily or weekly, or even multiple meetings a day, make sure you’re not just communicating with your staff during these hours as a group, but you’re also making time to speak to people on an individual basis.
Again, this helps to give people the opportunity to air any concerns they may have about remote working or the projects you’re working on, plus helps develop and grow the relationships you have with your team members.
Remote working doesn’t have to be hard work, and by actively creating a team that thrives on the trusting, social, and connected relationships you help develop, remote working could be one of the most successful ways of working you’ve ever achieved.