As a 100% remote company, we strongly believe in the power of virtual communication. Whether you’re new to remote work or a seasoned WFH pro, here are our top four tips for boosting effective communication in your remote working environment.
1. Get creative with technology
Instant messages, emails, phone calls—there are tons of ways to keep in touch when working remote. And between communication, project management and meetings, you’ll probably need multiple tools to meet your teams’ needs.
Consider making a list of your team’s needs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Create a budget (if you opt for paid platforms), and bring your team in on the conversation. Which platforms have they worked with in the past? What was their experience like? Take this into consideration when making your final decision. After all, your team will be using these tools just as much as you!
2. Set (and respect) boundaries
Leaving your work at the office can be hard when your home is your office. But staying in communication too much outside working hours can actually contribute to remote work burnout, leaving you and your team at a disadvantage. One of the most important components to effective communication is allowing yourself and others the chance to recharge. Encourage your team to be proactive instead of reactive, and allow them space to pause between communications. That’s not to say unresponsiveness is a good thing—just that taking time to pause and reflect before responding to messages can seriously boost communication quality.
Encourage your team to set communication boundaries, and look for ways to understand their communication habits. You might just find some opportunities for communication optimization along the way!
3. Be transparent with your needs
For many of us, the days of popping by someone’s desk for a chat are long gone. Losing this touchpoint may seem inconsequential, but a surprising amount of information is given and received in casual conversation, meaning things tend to slip through the cracks when working from home. If you’re collaborating on a project or need support on something, anticipate your needs by touching base with people ahead of time.
With that being said, keep in mind that other people might need your support as well! Consider saving dedicated “office hours” in your calendar. Let your team know you plan to use this time to have an open-door policy, where they can reach out to you and have your undivided attention. This is a great way to encourage conversation, bond with your coworkers and tackle creative problem-solving as a team.
4. Don’t be afraid to have fun!
Remember when everyone started doing Zoom happy hours? Why did we ever stop!? Don’t be afraid to use your conferencing app for more than just team meetings and touch bases. Consider scheduling regular events for your team, whether it’s a trivia/happy hour on Friday or weekly virtual lunch. One of the best ways to maintain healthy communication throughout the workplace is understanding that you don’t just need to talk about work-related issues. Building better cultures starts with quality time!