Effective Ways To Improve Remote Team Communication
In the past year, the number of people working remotely in the United States has increased substantially. Many of the businesses forced to embrace remote work during the pandemic are now huge fans of this flexible work situation. Experts predict that nearly 36 million Americans will work remotely by 2025.
Whether you are a business owner managing a remote team or a remote worker, you are well aware of how important communication is when trying to keep productivity levels high. If you are struggling to communicate with other members of your remote team, now is the time to figure out how to fix this common problem. Read below for some effective ways to improve remote team communication.
Morning Meetings Foster Better Communication
Remote work is becoming the norm for businesses in the United States. Businesses that are recently embracing this work situation are finding out how important clear communication is. The workday schedule for remote workers is usually wildly different.
If you manage a remote team, you need to realize just how important morning meetings are to keeping everyone on track. In a traditional office setting, morning meetings are a very organic and standard practice. Remote workers have to use video chat software like Zoom to make these meetings happen.
When scheduling these morning meetings, you need to give yourself and other team members plenty of time to join the video chat. Great morning meetings set the tone for a virtual workday and provide remote workers with vital information needed to keep productivity levels high.
The Power of Virtual Water Coolers
A remote team that gets along is usually more productive. The communication tools remote workers have at their disposal allow them to reach out to fellow team members with the click of a button. Tools like email, instant messaging and video chats are both effective and easy to use.
These tools are generally used to structure team meetings and provide remote workers with crucial updates about the projects they are currently engaged in. If you want to bring your remote team closer together, encouraging them to create a remote water cooler is a great idea.
This remote water cooler can be something as simple as a group chat created by remote team members. With this group chat, remote team members can talk about things that aren’t necessarily work-related. If you are in charge of creating this virtual water cooler, set a few ground rules to ensure the conversations in this virtual forum aren’t offensive.
Schedule One-On-One Virtual Meetings
Individuals in charge of managing a team of remote workers routinely use one-on-one virtual meetings. These meetings are usually the only chance a remote worker and their manager have to talk about specific topics related to their assignments. If you are a remote worker trying to prepare for an upcoming one-on-one meeting with your manager, you need to do things like:
- Create a list of recent wins
- A list of questions about current/future projects
- Ideas about future assignments
Coming to these meetings prepared not only helps you get answers to important questions, it can also impress your manager. The last thing you want is to fly by the seat of your pants during these crucial one-on-one meetings due to the problems this can cause. This is why you need to view preparing for these important meetings as a priority.
Provide Information About Your Communication Preferences
Everyone is different when it comes to how they prefer to communicate as a remote team member. If you have recently landed a job as a remote worker, you don’t need to be shy about conveying your preferred way to communicate. If you are somewhat old school and prefer face-to-face communication, then using video chatting software like Zoom or Skype is imperative.
If you want to avoid these face-to-face interactions, then let your boss know you prefer instant messaging or email. By vocalizing your communication preferences, you can avoid struggles later on that might hold you back from being productive.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Clarifying Questions
During your meetings with other remote team members, you may encounter some things that are confusing. If you are unsure about a new project or a particular assignment, the last thing you need to do is stay quiet. Getting in the habit of asking clarifying questions can help you be a better remote team member.
Most managers will have no problem stopping their meetings to address their team members' questions and concerns. You can show your boss that you want to do the best job possible by asking these questions. Ideally, you want to take notes during these meetings so you can look back at them later.
Keep a Consistent Work Schedule
Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits that come with working remotely. The main thing you need to keep in mind when trying to succeed as a remote worker is the importance of a consistent work schedule. Not only will this schedule help you stay productive, it will also allow you to set boundaries with your employer.
If your employer knows that you work from 8 am to 5 pm every day, they will avoid contacting you after these hours. During the hours you are scheduled to work, you need to respond quickly to communication attempts from your manager. This will show them you are actually on the clock and that you are working hard.
Before each workday begins, take the time to make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. With this list, you can structure your workday and maximize productivity levels while on the clock.
Take Communication Seriously
Being successful as a remote worker requires both hard work and great communication skills. By using the tips in this article, you can improve your ability to communicate with your remote team.
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