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How to improve your communication with remote teams

by Selipha Kihagi
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In a human environment where communication is the one most powerful tool to put your point across people, there is no doing without it. However, in a virtual environment, this becomes the challenging part. Office culture without an office can sound haunting. So, how exactly do you establish a connection? Communicating with remote teams requires smart skills. 

Skills that help you pass on your message without creating the unnecessary fuss. Read on to know the tips that can work wonders for you. The first step will be to change your attitude towards it i.e. change how you perceive the remote-connect with the team and be ready to adapt and use technology to your advantage. Technological advancements have served the human race in n no. of scenarios. This is no special one. 

Collaborative Software:

In your physical absence among the team members, make sure to connect with them on a daily basis using the organization’s collaborative software. Investing in the collaborative software at this time will put your money to good use. Connecting virtually helps to build a sense of connection and the team will know that you care. Talk about personal well-being apart from professional updates. Effective communication is the key to corporate success, software such as Slack, Google Suite, Desk Time can help you in professional endeavours.

Virtual Company Culture:

An online company culture enhances an employee’s trust. This can be done in many ways. One such way is to organize catch up meets on a regular basis or organizing a fun virtual event. Also, this keeps the employees engaged in the company’s matters. It, in turn, helps in making it easier for you to keep them focused. In times like COVID-19, companies around the world have realised the whole new dimension of work from home. A virtual company culture can boost productivity in unparalleled ways.

Use Templates:

Templates can be of great help when you wish to establish a work culture away from the office. You can use a daily report slides template to assist you in tracking the progress of a given task. Utilize the templates to explain the work to your co-workers through a flow diagram. Visuals are easy to comprehend as compared to plain text. You can describe your thoughts better and make your audience fully attune to the topic.

Lucid deadlines & expectations:

No one has the time for continuous follow-ups and on the other hand, no one either likes to be locked again and again for the same deliverable. It is highly advisable that setting achievable targets and expectations will do the job for both the parties. No extra efforts in tracing the status are required if a particular time has been agreed upon by both the stakeholders.  

Long text Documents:

Make it a habit to convey a message most efficiently. A long document signifies your laziness of reading it on your own and passing it on directly to the people in the team. Inculcate the habit of doing your homework if you want the team to replicate the same. Prepare a detailed summary of the points that you wish to communicate. 

Productive Presentation:

Communicate productively using the PowerPoint presentations and dynamic slides. Visuals, charts, tables talk volumes and are much better than a long text file. It represents the efforts that you’ve put in to explain the matter to the teams. To make it more interactive, you can have a video call with the team instead of the audio. 

Proactive Management:

Making things smooth is the way forward for ease of working. Planning for a project and doing necessary preparations at your end can save you from unpleasant surprises. Checking with the team members about the feasibility of the task and their availability for performing a specific task is a great way of proactive management.

Encourage Feedback:

It is also a good idea to ask for feedback and any suggestions that any team member may have for an improved version. It is hard to strike discussion in a virtual environment and to ensure equal participation; you can encourage your team to provide their valuable feedback when you are done explaining your part. 

Avoid Interruptions:

Keep away from interrupting the employees at any time that you feel comfortable. Respect everyone’s time and reserve a time for updates from everyone. This gives the individual time to focus on a particular assigned work. Of course, if it is urgent and the update cannot wait, then you should reach out to the concerned individual without holding back.

Constant Motivation:

Working away from the workplace can be difficult as your team may not feel enthusiastic enough to keep going in the so-called work from home scenario. A bundle of things go missing, people interaction being the most crucial one. You cannot judge the team’s emotional needs sitting at a different place and you might not be able to treat them as such. Find a way to keep your team in high spirits and if the situation demands, you should connect to the people on an individual level. 

Try out ways to discover what works the best for your team. Carrying out group tasks can also be a way to make sure that everyone is connected irrespective of the location constraints. A little effort in terms of adaptability to the changing environment will enable you to cope with the online connectivity concerns with the teams. This is the need of the hour and flexibility is the one such way to maintain the sanctity of the workplace even online. 

Getting used to it will take time and acknowledging the same will put you at the forefront of receiving the things as it comes with grace. Additionally, educating yourself and your teams on the challenges and benefits of working from a remote place will come as an added advantage to both the concerned parties. Make use of the best practices to avoid the inexplicable outcomes.

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