To work together and to ensure success, your team should communicate well. Communication is the key to business success. Rightly said – To survive and thrive, it is very important to have an effective remote team communication strategy.
Doing remote communication with your team is easier when you will approach it in the right way. When the communication is good, it works amazing, each of your team members comes together, and you all see them around each other.
But how do teams communicate the right way? Here are some of the tips and tools which we recommend –
Keep a regular check-in
Working Remotely seems to be a very lonely thing. So it is very necessary to keep a check with your remote employees daily. You can initiate video call meetings using tools like zoom, google hangouts to bring with ideas, work, or just to catch up. Plan at least 2 meetings every week and keep yourself ready for Adhoc calls. Talk to your team members every single day. Discuss everything, and share thoughts, ideas with each other.
By keeping a check on your remote employees regularly, you will be able to know the status of current or future roadblocks before they arise to become an issue.
In order to track the progress, you can also create a daily activity report template. It will make it easier and faster to track daily check-ins. That way, you can track problems and progress that may otherwise go unnoticed or fall to the wayside in a remote setting.
Create an office culture online
Before starting with this point I want to ask one question – the day your workplace turned full-time remote, what exactly do you miss? Most likely, the people. Company culture is what makes a perfect work environment.
The way how people perceive each other, culture is formed. It may mean a quick conversation while preparing coffee or getting a happy hour after work. Employees want to be respected and valued wherever they work. You don’t have to come up with major rewards or glamorous decorations to prove that you respect your workers. A quick celebratory blog or infographic shared with the whole team can be a perfect way to prove you respect the good work they have accomplished.
But aside from honoring and celebrating workers, how can you build the corporate culture when all of you operate remotely? Communicate with your peers frequently while operating remotely. Don’t be afraid to chat, and more, on anything you’d be at the workplace. Share pictures of your meal, your dogs or babies. People are going to be looking for a human connection after a few days.
You can bring the office culture online with initiating digital events and hangouts. You can also create fun online activities which is one of the finest ways to bring the office culture to your entire staff too. Polls, Quizzes, Storytelling, discussions about popular movies, tv shows are enough. It is not compulsory that your work chat should be all about work. You can even host an online Trivia night where your remote employees can play with each other. You can create an online simple invitation and send it to your employees so that they know about every single digital event.
Taking care of time zones
Addressing time zone variations will save a lot of hassle and confusion for remote teams upfront. This might sound like a trivial problem but a remote team needs to know the time zones of everybody. This is probably one of the toughest challenges a simulated team will encounter regularly.
Time zone can truly have a huge impact on a company’s efficiency. When arranging meetings the managers should check the time zones of all their remote team members and ensure that they don’t allow anyone to go online too early or remain unreasonably late.
One smart thing that you can do is to provide a time zone conversion app to everyone and ask to use it whenever the scheduling of the meeting is done. Make sure to keep everyone in your team in the loop.
Communication Plan is needed
Communication between remote teams typically doesn’t happen organically; a plan is required to push it. Since teams are not in a co-located workplace together, everybody has to be diligent about developing a plan for communication—one that can function not just inside departments, but also one-on-one with managers and workers.
Managers and company executives should schedule weekly meetings with their employees. Create a well-planned structure of every project, assign tasks, and systematize the workflow. Also, Managers, team leads should carry out one-on-one meetings with team members to closely work on projects. There should be transparency in the communication process. The team heads should have honest and open conversations with their remote workers about communication expectations. The clearer the expectations, the more successful the team will be at communicating.
Use Emoticons And Gifs
When everyone is communicating through the written text, it is very difficult to understand how somebody is feeling. You cannot understand what the person is trying to say. While working on the office space you and your team can look at each other and can understand emotions. But while working remotely you cannot have face to face conversations. So, to eradicate this barrier, make your team use emoticons and gifs to express themselves.
For example – “Alex, I need to speak with you” can be interpreted to be happy, just neutral, or angry. Try to put smileys when you talk. “Alex, I need to speak with you :)” It will help Alex to sit back and relax and does not get stressed out for the coming conversation.
Provide training and incentives for career advancement.
Offering immersive training programs is a perfect opportunity to show remote workers that you think for their growth and advancement at the company. There are a variety of technology courses accessible at places such as Udemy, or you can develop your training courses for issues like enhancing leadership and upgrading professional skills.
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For the remote team communication to go smooth, the most needed thing is the company’s digital toolbox. Employees can easily be led out of sight as there are no in-person interactions while working remotely. Therefore, it is very important to set up a tech stack that provides several ways for communication.
Some of the most excellent remote work software which allows smooth instant messaging, video conferencing, document collaboration, and meeting schedules are –
Remote Team Communication Tools
For face timing with your remote team, Zoom is just the perfect tool. It is a video conferencing tool that is meant for both large and small group meetings. It also offers great mobile accessibility. It allows its users to create unique meeting URLs so that each meeting occurs in its own space. Google Hangout is the other alternative if your remote team needs a video conferencing tool.
2. Google Calendar
Google Calendar gives remote teams a simple and easy way to view and share team members’ calendars for smooth and seamless meeting scheduling. In case you need to set up a meeting with more than one person, you can look at the respective person calendars and find an open time slot.
Also, Google calendar provides its users with one setting that allows them to indicate their office working hours. If you have scheduled a meeting with a person outside your office timings, then a notification alert is sent to you. You can also add the Zoom Scheduler Chrome extension, which allows you to schedule Zoom meetings directly from your calendar.
Slack is one of the most interesting chat tools which you and your team can use for casual conversations. It offers its users to initiate one-on-one chats or quick group conversations via streamlined channels. To add a little bit fun to your conversations you can add emojis, gifs as well. Also, you can make separate channels department wise, one for company announcements, one for project discussions, and so on.
4. Google Drive
One of the most important things which are needed for a remote team is document accessibility. And Google Drive is the most versatile and popular tool using which you can create google doc sheets, spreadsheets, sliders and can store them forever. Also, at one time these sheets can be accessed by multiple team members and can be updated or modified in real-time. Sharing the doc files is very easy and fast. You can even create folders and can share team drives for logos, images, important documents, etc.
Managing remote teams is all about keeping healthy team communication habits, alignment, and fostering the connections that help your remote teamwork better and faster. Also, you need to focus on creating culture, connecting with your team regularly, appreciating their achievements and efforts, and ensuring a personal touch.
Here, In this blog, I have got you the team communication cheat sheet and some great tools that you must use to keep the communication going. Start connecting and strengthening your remote team.