Working remotely certainly presents numerous challenges. Improve communication between remote teams by implementing a few basic guidelines. While some are familiar with the constraints and differences in a work-from-home situation, many have always relied on in-person interactions.
Improve Communication Between Remote Teams With New Tools
To ensure coworkers are always on the same page, clear communication is vital. It may take some time to get comfortable with new tools like video conferencing, chats, and messaging apps, so it’s important to be patient. A good idea is to provide clear instructions on how to use these communication tools. Include where they can be accessed and send login credentials to each employee. Then practice accessing each, allowing for questions and answers until everyone is comfortable.
Create Appropriate Rules
Once your teams are used to their new tools, consider implementing some basic ground rules for each. Just because everyone is working from their home office or other remote environment does not mean you have to dismiss your pre-pandemic codes of conduct, dress, and etiquette – especially during video calls. While you should be flexible and take into consideration each person’s personal situation, some simple guidelines will allow for more effective interactions. Some ideas include:
- using mute during video calls while others are speaking
- business casual for video calls with clients
- minimizing lengthy / frequent text messages, use email or proper apps
- agree on when and how much personal discussion is appropriate
- start and stop times for daily communication (maybe stick with9 to 5 or similar)
Ask for Feedback on How to Improve Communication Between Remote Teams
If team members seem to be struggling with balancing work and home, be open to discussing alternatives. Moving a video call or allowing additional time for deliverables may be a simple solution. Your team members may have young children at home, or older adults, that require care and attention. Allowing some flexibility will make your staff more confident in their ability to handle it all. If any of your new communication tools seem to be less stellar then expected, look for replacements. Be open to options that may provide more streamlined approaches to the way your company works.
Include “Happy Hours”
Once you start to improve communication between remote teams, plan some fun, social events. It’s important to keep morale up and allow for more relaxed interactions. There are dozens of team-building activities you can find online, like these from teambuilding.com. If a more relaxed interaction is preferred, Monday morning coffee is always a great way to catch up on personal details and get ready for a productive week.
There are numerous other hurdles to be mastered if you find yourself working remotely. Getting a grasp on efficient, productive communication methods is vital to collaboration and productivity. You’ll be able to more effectively address other remote-working items… and maybe have some fun while doing so.
If you or your teams need home office furniture solutions or simply want to discuss ways to work smarter, contact us.