8 ways to communicate and collaborate effectively with your remote teams
Every global organization is very well aware that effective communication among remote teams is crucial for success. But if you have a remote team, communicating effectively with them has always been challenging. A lot of important details can be lost over long messages or emails.
So how can you have better communication with your teams dispersed globally? Staff timer app, like a lot of budding startups, has a very flexible remote work policy. Almost 10% of our team members work remotely full time, with many more shifting to remote work partially. We know, shifting to remote working arrangements makes communication and collaboration pretty daunting at first, but if you follow the simple tips given below with your remote teams, you are sure to see a difference.
Accept That There Will Be Challenges!
As mentioned above remote work has its own challenges. Specifically, if you have never worked in an office setting before. Adapting to remote work, making your own work schedule, using digital means of communication, and learning can be a hassle. Sometimes working from home can make you feel unproductive. But if you are aware of the challenges yourself and willing to accept them only then you will be prepared to face them one on one.
Before you transition to remote work, lay out a proper plan about difficulties that you may face such as team communication, meetings, distractions, and so on and so forth. Note them down and develop solutions on how you can best tackle them while you are away. A detailed policy document can do the trick!
Check-in Daily With Your Teams
Working remotely can make you feel isolated at times. With no one around to bug, you may start to feel lonely at times. So it is crucial to check up on your team daily. Ask them about their daily tasks. One best solution is to have video meetings to catch up on things.
Always have open lines of communication. Have weekly, monthly meetings but along with that stay prepared for any ad hoc calls too. Checking in with your employees not only boosts their morale but they can also share any or all issues they are facing. As far as the checking on the progress of employees is concerned, so that you stay on the same page as them is through the Staff timer app.
Intelligence reports can give you a sneak peek into daily work activities that make it easier to track daily tasks. Through real-time monitoring and screenshots, you can track roadblocks and progress that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Recognize Your Team’s Efforts
When employees are working from home, they might feel disconnected from their peers or may feel that their efforts are not recognized or acknowledged. You can prevent this if as an employer you make it an obligation on yourself to recognize your teams’ accomplishments and point out good work by giving a quick shout out through email or the company’s public communication channel. There’s nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment and success.
Watch That Tone with your remote teams
One of the biggest challenges of written communication is its ability to be misunderstood. Without facial expression or body language that we usually use to identify meaning, messages can sometimes appear as rude, when they weren’t meant to be.
That’s why it’s important that you thoroughly review each message or email before hitting send. Just ensure that your message is rightly conveying the meaning behind it. Pro tip: using emojis can help lighten up the tone of the message.
Use Team Collaboration Tools
Digital tools matter a lot while working in remote teams. Many companies have said that they can not live without project management or collaboration tools such as slack, zoom, google docs, and the like. Some of the most frequently used tools for remote team collaboration are listed below:
- Staff timer app: Time and task tracking
- Asana: Project management
- Basecamp: Staying in touch with the client, also project management
- GitHub : Version control
- Google Suite : For emails and collaboration
- Google hangouts/meet : One-on-one and group meetings
- Dropbox: Document sharing
- Google Docs: Document sharing and collaboration
- Salesforce : CRM
- Hubspot: CRM
- Slack: Company-wide communication
- Trello : Project management and communication
- Skype: For client meetings and calls
- Zendesk : Support
- Zoom : Videoconferencing
Encourage Group Discussions and Feedback
It is important for you to encourage group discussion and open and honest feedback with your remote teams. Encourage them to ask questions, so that they can have a clear understanding of the subject at hand and tasks. This not only decreases errors but also increases your remote team members’ confidence to ask questions. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to make sure that your messages are effectively and clearly communicated to them.
Also, you can get honest feedback out of your employees by showing that you are interested in paying attention to what they have to say. As an employer, you can also make mistakes so if ever you are wrong about anything instead of going into defensive mode, try to willingly own them.
Switch to Video Conferencing
Email is a useful way of non-verbal communication, but if you need fast responses, you should turn to video chat. It offers a more personalized communication because it lets you see body language and expressions. There’s no room for misunderstanding.
Some Intentional Fun is Good
One of the tried and tested ways to improve team collaboration is by having some virtual fun. Crack appropriate jokes, celebrate birthdays, have virtual lunch, and learn sessions for socializing. It helps remote teams to connect with each other and perform better with a refreshed mind. It also makes them feel special and included no matter the distance.