Remote Team Communication | 4 mins read

6 Tips to Drastically Improve Remote Team Communication

6 tips to drastically improve remote team communication
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Employee engagement is the driving factor behind business success in today's competitive landscape. Engaged workers are much less likely to take unplanned time off, seek alternative employment, or experience difficulty with a coworker.

When employees feel connected to their employers and those they work for, companies experience increased profits, lower turnover rates, and fewer safety-related incidents.

Therefore, maintaining employee engagement is one of the top goals for future-oriented companies that want to gain a competitive edge.

Maximizing employee engagement requires businesses to improve and establish synchronous communication practices. A culture that fosters connectivity results in better collaboration efforts and a higher quality of output.

For remote-based employers, maintaining high employee engagement by optimizing communication is a growing concern.

6 Tips to Improve Remote Team Communication

Effective communication is the foundation that allows workers to complete tasks in a timely manner and maintain critical relationships with customers.

There are an extra set of communication barriers for those working remotely. Because off-site employees are isolated and under minimal supervision, it's easy for a team member to feel separated from others employed at the business.

Employers must utilize a set of tools and techniques to ensure remote employees can collaborate and meet key objectives. The 6 top tips to maximize communication for those who work remote include-

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1. Show Compassion

Employees that are transitioning to remote work may be frustrated by all of the new methods required to communicate, particularly if they are used to the traditional way of performing tasks.

This is especially true for older workers, those with limited technical capabilities, and employees who prefer in-person communication. Companies must be patient with these workers and expect there to be a learning curve.

Preparing for bottlenecks can help ease frustration and resolve problems before they become critical. The IT department should be readily available to help fix bottlenecks and managers must be reachable to answer questions.

2. Maintain Human Interaction

When remote workers feel isolated from other team members, their productivity and morale decrease. It's essential for management to encourage regular interaction between remote teams to avoid these problems.

One-on-one meetings, weekly team video conferences, encouraging the use of employee profiles, and investing in messaging systems can all be effective ways to keep everyone connected.

3. Utilize Video for Meetings

Many organizations make the mistake of eliminating meetings once they go remote. Thanks to advancements in technology, managers can maintain their meetings through video chat systems across time zones.

This provides a way for everyone in team remote work to address problems, check-in with management, and ask questions. It also holds everyone accountable to their KPIs, as management can review the weekly progress of the team during each of these meetings. It also offers workers a chance to connect face-to-face so they can feel a part of the group.

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4. Create a Non-Work Venue

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Boosting remote employee engagement may take some creativity, but remote teams need it. Experts have assessed that work environments that emphasize relationship building and connectivity have a lower turnover rate and improved employee morale.

Creating a forum where remote workers can discuss non-work-related subjects can be a great way to optimize employee engagement. Of course, managers have a responsibility to make sure workers are completing tasks and not spending all of their time talking back and forth on messaging systems.

However, implementing a space to encourage relationships building during downtime can be an effective way to maintain friendships that existed in the office.

5. Utilize Messaging Systems

Remote-based employers must have some type of messaging software tools to optimize collaboration. Short in-person work discussions that occurred in the office need to continue at home just as they did before.

Managers should consider an employee messaging system such as Slack that allows users to speak privately, in groups, and share documents. Users can also reference these conversations later if they need more information to complete a task.

This allows employees to quickly communicate without flooding each other's email boxes. Because alerts are sent immediately to the receiver when using a messaging software system, it's more difficult to accidentally delete it or not see it.

6. Make Remote Work Fun

An employee prefers to communicate with someone he/she relates to. If managers portray themselves as cold and aloof, it can make a remote employee feel more isolated than he/she already does.

Managers should ask how employees are doing every day, what their interests are, how their children are, or what their plans are for the upcoming holiday.

They may encourage employees to change video chat background images to something they enjoy or update an employee profile to include favorite hobbies. This can help remote workers get to know one another on a more intimate level.

These tactics can be effective icebreakers that foster a culture of connectivity and open communication. Management should also consider hosting virtual happy hours, coffee dates, or other remote-based interactive events to help people feel comfortable around each other.

An improved sense of employee belonging leads to higher work satisfaction and a stronger workforce.

  • Have a virtual coffee date with a coworker
  • Create a chat group to discuss company-related events
  • Use the phone whenever possible to feel less isolated
  • Share or create a company newsletter

Key Takeaways

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In conclusion, here are the key takeaways to remember about improving remote team communication

  • Management should show and encourage compassion when transitioning to a remote-based environment. IT should be available at all times to help resolve system failures or other bottlenecks that interfere with employee productivity.
  • Encouraging regular human interaction can help remote workers feel a part of a team and encourage them to communicate.
  • Videos are a great way for remote workers to ask questions, connect with others, and for management to gauge employee performance.
  • Management may create a non-work venue or online water cooler or virtual water break for employees to get to know one another and build relationships.
  • Slack or other employee messaging systems can make it easier to share documents, expertise, and receive quick responses from coworkers.
  • Remote work should be interactive and fun so employees feel confident asking for help, connecting with others, and sharing ideas.

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