The majority of Americans have been working at home for almost a year now. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Remote work has helped slow the spread of COVID-19, but it presents unique challenges, especially when it comes to communication.
If you have a question in an office setting, you can get up and visit your co-worker’s cubicle. Now, though, you have to send an email, make a phone call, or schedule a Zoom meeting. There are more steps involved and interacting with others electronically leaves plenty to be desired.
If you’re feeling discouraged or frustrated, know that you’re in good company. We’re all trying to adjust to the “new normal” and it’s tough. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make things easier.
1.) Lay down some basic guidelines. Before you can improve communication, you have to establish a companywide policy. When brainstorming, it’s important to consider several factors, including:
- Time zones
- Rules for each type of communication (IE: Video, email, text, phone)
- When employees are “on” and “off” the clock
- What times of day are the busiest or slowest
- How quickly you expect a response
Once you come up with a basic outline, share it with your team and ask for feedback. That way they’ll have a role in the decision-making process.
2.) Allow employees to communicate in a way that’s convenient for them. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to communication. Someone who lives alone might enjoy video meetings on Facetime or Zoom, while a busy father trying to juggle work and his children’s schooling might prefer a discussion over text or email.
Allow your team to communicate in a way that aligns with their lifestyle and needs. If you want to keep tabs on everyone throughout the day, consider creating a companywide Slack Channel. If your employees find it difficult to stay focused and on-task, consider investing in a project management application like Asana. Don’t be afraid to experiment. See what works and what doesn’t.
3.) Make sure everyone is on the same page. Working from home doesn’t just require communication, it requires overcommunication. When launching a new project, make sure everyone involved has access to critical information, including:
- The context and goal of the project
- A firm deadline
- Contact information for each team member who is involved
- Any necessary information or tools required to complete the task
As a manager, it’s important to make yourself available. If someone gets stuck or encounters an obstacle, make it easy for them to reach you, no matter the time of the day or night.
These are just a few of the things you can do to foster improved communication while working remotely.
If you’re thinking about making the transition to a CRM like Salesforce, get in touch. (801) 245-0500We’re here to make the process easy and hassle-free.