Working remotely offers an incredible assortment of advantages to businesses willing to adapt. Instantly, your workers will skip the commute, reducing stress and freeing up time. They’ll have more flexibility and more control over their work environments, thereby increasing morale and productivity. And of course, without a central office, the business itself will save a ton of money. Here are the communication pain points for remote teams — and how to solve them.
There are a few problems associated with remote work. Notably, one of the biggest issues is communication. When workers regularly see each other, they have a chance to bond, make small talk, and casually discuss work-related topics. They can meet in person, freely and easily.
By contrast, you’ll deal with a number of pain points related to your internal communication in a remote environment. Acknowledging and addressing these issues proactively is necessary if you want your organization to continue running smoothly.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest communication pain points in remote teams — and how to solve them.
Meetings have long been a staple of every business’s communication strategy, bringing people together for collaborative discussions, problem-solving, and brainstorming. Obviously, meetings haven’t gone away; virtual conferences have replaced them.
However, virtual conferences come with a share of problems that compromise the effectiveness of meetings overall. Bad connections, interruptions, and role ambiguity can all make a mess of a traditional meeting.
There are several easy ways to solve the virtual meeting problem:
Most teams have various channels to call upon for communication, such as email, SMS texts, phone calls, instant chats, video calls, and project management platforms. But how are you supposed to know which channel to use for which message?
Using these channels effectively and appropriately can be a major struggle. Here’s how to solve the issue:
Remote employees can’t collaborate directly the way they can in person; you can’t stop by a coworker’s desk or sketch out a brainstorming web on a whiteboard together. If you want more effective collaboration in a remote environment, you have to work for it:
Teams with strong individual bonds to hold them together tend to be more productive, consistent, and more positive than their counterparts. But how can you encourage team bonding when your employees all live miles away from one another and never see each other face to face?
No organization will communicate perfectly, especially when scrambling to assemble a good remote work strategy on short notice. If you want to keep improving, you have to invest in ongoing positive changes.
These are some of the best ways to do it:
While remote work will always have some communication challenges that aren’t present in a traditional work environment, most of them can be overcome with a handful of strategic changes. Devote time to rethinking and rebuilding your communication strategy from the ground up, and your team will be able to work together as efficiently as ever.
Image Credit: andrea piacquadio; pexels
Originally appeared in ReadWrite