20 Aug How to Communicate with Your Team whilst Working Remotely
We’ve all received an email or text using CAPS and we instantly jump to the conclusion WHY ARE THEY SHOUTING AT ME? Or the use of a full stop in a way that makes the preceding sentence just a little cold. So much is lost in traditional online communication. Sarcasm and tone of voice are not as easily conveyed. Words appear black and white. But with modern technology offering improved interactivity and collaboration, there’s no reason for us to feel any less connected whilst working remotely. There’s no reason for us to lose that emotion, that collective company culture that ultimately defines your workforce’s day to day interactions with not only each other, but with the outside world. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you communicate with your remote team effectively.
Remember, there’s no such thing as over-communication.
Take the extra time, to be extra clear. Don’t mistake brief communication for concision. Clarity is the most important aspect you can get right whilst working remotely. Even if it takes a while, get your point across in its entirety. If you leave your words open to varied interpretation from your team you may actually end up wasting time in the long run. There should always be room for your team to express themselves and to put their own creative spin on tasks, however nuanced, but it’s important to at least get the basics across to save yourselves time, money and resources.
Strike a balance between trust and support.
When thinking about the regularity of your communication, simply think in relation to your conversations in person. You’re not likely to call, text and email in the space of a few hours while you’re in the same office, so why would you do it remotely? Being self-aware of your digital volume is a necessity if you want to build trust between your team or maintain the rapport you have already built with them in person. So, when you send that Email, just wait for them to reply. Continuing to contact them on multiple platforms will only put them under unnecessary pressure and may even put strain on your working relationship. Setting up clear communication guidelines can also aid this process in the long run and makes sure that the entire team is aware of professional boundaries from the outset.
As well as being aware of your digital volume, it’s also important to be conscious of the fact that each platform requires a different voice. For example, it may be appropriate to send emojis on Slack, Whatsapp or by text, but before you send that smiley face on the end of an email, think about whether it fits with the formality of more traditional methods of communication. Although this is mostly common sense, simple details like this ensure that you maintain a level of professionalism within your team and set a standard for others to follow.
Present your ideas & concepts visually.
Without constant face to face interaction, the need to convey information digitally becomes pivotal to workflow and collaboration. Because of this, the one-dimensional, written documents you might typically send will feel like overkill given time. Implementing the use of video, graphics, tables, graphs and illustrations can help mix things up and keep your team engaged. The addition of visual stimuli and vibrant color can also cater for those who interact better with this form of media. Equally, documents that contain audio can aid team members that have a preference to auditory learning.
Harness the power of collaboration software.
With a plethora of options available, it can be difficult to know which software is the best choice for your team. It’s important to establish which one is right for you in order to get the most out of your time and resources. It might seem obvious, but just seeing each other’s faces will help everyone, as you can pick up on non-verbal signalling. Facial expressions and body language are indicators of moods and emotions that you wouldn’t otherwise see. If you are going to use text-based tools such as SMS, Slack or WhatsApp, then make sure that you bridge the gap by communicating in great detail in order to more effectively convey tone of voice by using narrative, description and humour.
However, if you’re looking to go beyond video calls and group text chats then Laduma can offer you something unique, that will give you an edge on the rest of your industry. We can transform your physical spaces into digital workspaces, allowing you to free yourself from your computer screen and work in a more natural way. Work on your walls like a whiteboard, leaving no visible trace, while your remote team write and draw on the walls using stylus-enabled mobile devices. If you want to hear more about our room mirroring, user profiles and round-the-clock support, among other features, contact us using the form below.
The most natural way of working for the post-COVID world is almost here!