While effective communication within an office setting can be quite challenging, it becomes an even bigger issue when you are managing a remote company. It can be difficult to manage a team when your employees are working from home or in remote office settings across the region. Fortunately, with a bit of creative thinking and an open mind, you can keep your office running as efficiently as possible, whether or not your employees are working from home.
You can use a wide variety of creative tools to improve communication at your remote company. If emails or conference calls are not working as effectively as you’d like, you should consider implementing internal messaging tools. Internal messaging systems are a great way to contact an employee who might not check their inbox as frequently as other employees do. They can also take much less time than trying to contact them on the phone since they are likely near their computer.
In a traditional office setting, it is really easy to ask questions and provide clarification in person. Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve that level of accessibility when you’re working remotely. This can prove disastrous if steps aren’t taken to improve communication with your virtual employees. Remind them of your open-door policy, and provide plenty of opportunities to ask questions at the end of a staff meeting as well as throughout the day. Be proactive and send regular emails to your employees in order to ensure they do not need clarification on tasks and goals. Some employees might feel shy about asking questions in front of other staff members at meetings. By providing several different outlets for your employees to ask questions you will greatly improve staff communication and increase your overall work productivity.
Traditional office settings often have staff rooms where employees can gather for their lunch break or a quick conversation. Unfortunately, remote companies lack the opportunity for informal communication between employees. This can have a direct impact on employee cohesion and their willingness to open up, ask questions, and successfully collaborate with one another. Consider creating “virtual water cooler” moments. You could plan a quick midday online trivia game that everyone can participate in or even try out an online escape room. By creating informal opportunities for your employees to relax and let off a little steam you’ll have a happier workforce and a better company atmosphere.
It can be difficult to run a successful business and meet your professional goals, especially if you do not have the right tools to be an effective communicator. If you are finding it particularly hard to meet company goals as well as maintain company standards you may want to consider enlisting the help of a communication coach. A coach can help you master the art of communicating effectively through the use of body language, tone, and speech so you can take charge and help your company rise to the top.
It’s important to understand that every employee has a life outside of work, which means things can come up from time to time. Practice empathy with your employees and try to be more understanding if they miss an occasional meeting or are late to a conference call. Working from home means they are likely juggling family obligations alongside their work obligations. Their child might suddenly become ill or their pet might have an appointment with their veterinarian. Workplace empathy can have a positive impact on employee satisfaction as well as rates of productivity. By practicing an empathetic management style you will not only make a positive impact on your company, but you will also increase the likelihood of recruiting and retaining highly skilled employees.
While virtual workforces were born out of necessity due to the recent pandemic, it seems as though they are here to stay. Fortunately, there are many ways to foster open and effective communication between your employees that will have a positive effect on your company. By thinking outside the box and using a wide variety of strategies you can improve communication between your staff members and create a positive and engaging work culture.