We can all agree that 2020 has been a tumultuous year for all economic sectors and nations worldwide. Many companies have been forced to implement work from home policies, with varying degrees of success. While it’s a new situation for the majority of business owners and employees, remote work is definitely not a new concept.
Maintaining the same level of efficacy and productivity in the home office is a challenging task. However, it’s also completely doable, but it will require great organization and effective communication. These aspects are something that even employees who have experience with remote work may still be struggling with. In this article, we list five useful ways in which remote workers can develop their communication skills. Here’s what you should consider doing:
1. Set Clear Guidelines And Expectations
According to experts from SalesHood.com, proper organization is essential for the company to operate on the highest possible level and generate maximum profit. If your employees are not so familiar with the entire home office concept, it’s crucial to ensure that this transition goes smoothly. The new work from home setting may be frustrating and confusing. As such, you should provide them with detailed instructions and outline your expectations from the start. This way, you’ll create a stable framework you and your employees can refer to when needed.
2. Encourage The Use Of New Communication Tools
Since you’re no longer working in the office, you won’t be able to get up from your desk and go to a coworker to ask them about something. You won’t catch up on your way to the kitchen or in a corridor, and you won’t see your colleagues clocking off and leaving. If you want to establish an effective communication channel, you need to embrace entirely new communication tools.
If you haven’t done it already, consider implementing business communication platforms like Slack, monitoring your employees’ progress via project management tools such as Asana or Trello, and tracking time and managing tasks with dedicated software. Give your employees a comprehensive walkthrough and encourage them to use these new tools. This way, everyone will stay connected while being able to record and track their progress.
3. Prioritize Video Calls
Since you no longer see each other on a regular basis, things can get a little lonely in the home office. Don’t underestimate the importance of face-to-face contact. Since it will be limited, opt for something that’s closest to it, and video calls are your best option.
Though it may feel a bit unusual for a while, your employees will appreciate this form of personal contact. However, remember to notify them beforehand that a video call will take place. Nobody likes to be caught off guard, so be mindful of that and give them a heads up.
4. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
One of the best ways to ensure effective communication is to come up with a schedule of online meetings. A call every morning to go through the tasks for the day is a great idea, so are regular meetings that evaluate work performance. Also, make time to check in on your employees’ personal lives to show them that you care.
When the times are uncertain, every ounce of certainty can bring a sense of peace and organization. Adapting to the situation and coming up with a new routine is your best bet to ensure that everyone stays on the same page.
5. Maintain Office Culture
What happens in the office stays in the office? That doesn’t have to be the case! While certain interactions and conversations can happen only in brick and mortar workplaces, you can adapt to the new reality and bring at least some of them over to the online environment. If your company has a routine, such as lunch at a particular hour, you can transfer this informal time and organize a virtual happy hour or lunch.
You’d be surprised how team-building events can be organized remotely. Make sure you give them a try because they can work wonders for employee morale. Cultivating company culture online can bring your coworkers closer and strengthen their professional bond.
The Bottom Line
Many people who work in an office environment still experience communication issues. If they remain unresolved and employees switch to the remote mode of work, they’re only going to get worse. However, it appears that social distancing orders are going to remain in place, at least for the foreseeable future. For some companies, this has become a new normal, and employees got used to this situation. Others may still struggle with finding their rhythm under new circumstances.
Nevertheless, a company won’t work properly if employees fail to communicate with each other effectively. That’s why it’s crucial to teach them what they can do to prevent that from happening.