Did you know 42 percent of the US labor force is working from home? If you want to learn about communication ideas for remote teams, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to improve remote team communication.
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- What Communication Channel Will You Use?
When you have a remote work situation, you’ll need to define and set up the communication channels. G-chat and email might have worked while in the office together.
Now, you’ll need a different kind of channel to use with everyone working from home.
What type of meetings can get completed over email? Will you need to share screens or a dashboard? How will you keep chats in a centralized location? When will video calls be necessary?
Before you research the channels out there, you need to figure out your primary needs. See what communication methods will help your team stay productive.
- Pick Helpful Collaboration Tools
There are different tools that remote teams use. Trello, Slack, and Skype are various ones to try. Check out the other software to see what would fit your specific needs.
Experiment with a few before you choose a platform. You’ll want to see what communication channel works best for your team.
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- What Are the Guidelines?
You may not have had communication policies in your office. Now you’ll need to manage remote employees from various locations. Think about setting up guidelines.
Will specific teammates check in on the hour? Will others send updates on different projects throughout the week or day?
How will workers get held accountable? Is there a specific period that’s too long when responding to a call or chat? Will people need to log hours or report their work?
How will employees clock off? Are there specific hours that everyone needs to communicate?
Figure out your communication policy. Make sure you put it in a written document and send it to your employees.
Hold a meeting with your team. You’ll want to explain the communication responsibilities and expectations. Talk about the expectations on a video call so you can make sure everyone understands.
Give your team a chance to ask questions.
- Schedule Video and Audio Calls
You shouldn’t wait for a misunderstanding or communication gap to occur. Plan meetings often, so everyone stays on track.
People will have the opportunity to voice concerns more often. You will have happier teammates and an efficient workflow.
Take a poll to see what day will work best for a check-in.
- Don’t Waste Time
When you work with remote teams, meetings can be a waste of time, like in the office.
Meetings can become more challenging to schedule. In a remote situation, you’ll deal with technical difficulties. People might show up late and cause hold-ups.
Beforehand, make sure your team knows how to use the meeting software. This way, you won’t waste time helping them connect.
To stay productive, you need to meet with your team regularly. Think about what meetings are crucial. Limit the time spent in meetings that you could handle in a chat session or quick email.
- Don’t Include Too Many Participants
Company-wide meetings will have a particular purpose. Yet, they become less productive when everyone attends. Limit the number of participants you have in every session.
This way, you can ensure that the meeting is efficient and focused.
To organize the meeting, consider who’s essential for the particular meeting. Limit the number of people who will only listen. You can always catch them up later in an email or quick video call.
Separate your team based on their priorities and agendas. Divide them into smaller groups.
Ask them to schedule their own meetings.
- What’s the Agenda?
If you want meetings to be efficient, decide the meeting agenda beforehand.
Before the meeting begins, you’ll also want to send the written schedule out to everyone. This way, they’ll understand the agenda of the meeting.
You can communicate the flow and make sure everyone knows when they can present their ideas. They’ll also see the order of topics.
- Don’t Forget to Set Priorities
You’ll also need to define your priorities. What do you need to accomplish during the meeting? What are the essential topics you have to discuss, and what results do you hope to find?
Communicate your priorities to everyone. This way, your team will know what to discuss. Different people have various priorities.
You’ll need to figure out what topics to address and what ones you’ll save for another meeting.
If you don’t set priorities beforehand, you’ll have a chaotic meeting. People will be voicing their opinions without real purpose.
- Don’t Forget to Record Meetings
When you don’t speak in person, it will be difficult to remember what someone said in a meeting. Record important sessions. Organize the recordings in folders that get labeled with topics and dates.
You can refer to past conversations if you forget something or have a question. You can send the meeting recording to someone who couldn’t make it.
Most video conferencing services will let you record and download your session. You can even start and stop the recording. Grab what you need to save for future reference.
Now You Know How to Improve Remote Team Communication
We hope this guide on communication for remote teams was helpful. Improve remote team communication by sending out agendas and setting clear expectations.
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