To truly optimize remote team communication with your colleagues or employees there are many points to consider including the tools you use, the time zone consideration, and even the tone, frequency and length of your written and verbal interactions. Preview of 10 ways to optimize remote team communication:
1. Use Different Tools for Different Messages
Although several platforms make communication with colleagues from remote locations feasible, not all communication platforms meet the same requirements. For instance, for secure, confidential messaging and calls: Zangi, team messaging that require quick responses: Slack, project management: Jira or Scoro, workflows and ideas: Notion, work reporting, time billing: Paymo. Email is generally more suitable for longer messages or those with many attachments, as well as for situations when you can wait for an answer. Video calls or conference calls are perfect for face-to-face interactions or even large gatherings: Zoom or RedBooth.
2. Learn People’s Preferences
Perhaps your boss prefers email communication, while you have colleagues who prefer instant messaging. Another prefers video calls. Determine who is the one that you like best and try to communicate in a manner that is most suitable for their needs.
3. Be Proactive
Whatever way you interact with your team, being proactive is among the essential communication skills you can acquire for those who work remotely. Being proactive in communication could be as easy as constantly updating your boss on an ongoing project or even notifying colleagues you’ll be away from the office this week.
4. Improve Your Writing Skills
Even if your business frequently makes phone or video calls for a distributed team, most of your team’s interactions will likely be written. This allows you to consider what you’re planning to communicate and how to express it. It’s possible to organize your thoughts, revise your emails, and take the time you’ll need to develop your idea. Be aware of the tone you use in your emails. Because written communications can be misinterpreted. You’ll need to ensure that you don’t appear aggressive or, in reverse, too vague.
5. Remember the Three C’s
When you communicate, it is necessary to concentrate on the 3 Cs: clean, consistent, and concise. Simple communications are easy to understand and remain faithful to the truth. Consistency is when people know when and how you’ll communicate and what type of messages you’ll send (do you usually utilize instant messaging or email?). To help you stay on the three C’s of how to work remotely, make sure to keep these three things in mind while you write your message:
– Give the proper quantity of information.
– What do you require?
– What do you recommend (if this is the scenario)?
6. Engage in Casual Chit Chat
Communication for work will naturally consume the majority of the time. It’s beneficial to have time for informal and casual conversations as well. Not communicating about your job or the task at hand will help you build a connection with your coworkers, which will help enhance teamwork. If you don’t have one, then ask your employer to create an instant messaging channel that you and your team can use for only casual conversations. The more you learn about each other, the easier it is to collaborate.
7. Respect Time Differences
If you are part of a distributed organization that wants to optimize virtual team communication for coworkers, you aren’t only working at different locations. You might have different time zones, too. Be aware of when your colleagues are in the office and attempt to communicate with them. This could require you to alter your schedules slightly; however, it’s worth it if communication improves.
8. Assume Good Intentions
One of the problems to optimize remote team communication for workers might face is the absence of face-to-face interactions. Sarcasm and light-hearted tone aren’t the only things that can be seen in emails. Always assume good intentions on behalf of the person sending the email. If you are unsure, be sure to take as long as you need to ensure your understanding of everything that is being stated. Try to keep this in mind as you send out your emails. Think about using emoticons to communicate your humor.
9. Try to Meet Offline
Making time to connect with your coworkers in real life as often as possible allows you to spend time with them and meet each other beyond your 9-to-5 routine. If you cannot meet in person, even after the outbreak, you can make virtual coffee breaks or happy hours. This can help divert your focus away from work and allow you to build friendships with your coworkers.
10. Avoid Micromanaging
You might feel pressured to keep track of your team members about the progress they’ve made on specific projects multiple times throughout the day. But this could be distracting and send the wrong message to your team that you don’t trust them to finish their work. These suggestions will allow you to improve your communication skills via remote. Over time, you’ll see that greater clarity and efficiency of your communications results in higher productivity and connections.