How to ensure good communication with your team when working from home
More and more of us are embracing remote working these days, whether that is through necessity or desire. The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to stay away from the office, whilst many companies were already moving to allow home working on at least a partial basis before that. This is great news for many of us, as working remotely enables higher levels of flexibility and freedom – plus has been shown to boost productivity and feelings of satisfaction at work. Of course, the viability of this all depends on the systems your business has in place to facilitate effective and efficient home working to ensure good communication with your team.
One of the aspects some employees struggle with when working from home is good communication. These days there are plenty of digital communication tools that enable us to connect with each other remotely, but we still need to learn how to ensure the same high standards of good communication with your team as when we’re sharing a physical office space with colleagues. Here’s how.
When you are in the same room as your coworkers, communication comes naturally. You say hi when you arrive, share small talk as you make coffee, and so on. When you’re working remotely, however, you need to put in a little bit more of an effort to sustain that sort of regular contact. It doesn’t have to be much – just the occasional email, instant message, or Zoom call – but it helps you to keep connected and, as a result, stay productive. The more regularly you communicate with someone, the easier it is!
Adjust your communication strategy according to who you’re working with
We don’t all like to communicate in the same way. Some people love face to face chats or video calls, whereas others much prefer the more indirect route of email or instant messaging. If you can figure out – or just ask – which type of method your coworkers would rather use, you can adjust your communication strategy to fit both of your needs best. As a bonus, your colleagues are sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness. In the same vein, it’s worth switching up your communication style according to who you’re speaking to as well. Emojis might be fine with your fellow team members but not appreciated so much by your boss!
Learn how to make the most of instant messaging services
There are so many instant messaging services available these days which have been specifically designed for use in the workplace, and they are far more powerful than you might expect. It’s not just the big names either, so it’s worth doing a bit of research to find the best Slack alternative for your team. Once you’ve chosen your system, have an exploration of all the different tools it has to offer and what advantages it can bring. From virtual project management to real-time online collaboration, they’re packed with ideas for leveling up your communication and teamwork. The key is finding ways to consistently use and setting patterns so that it becomes natural and helps to foster good communication with your team.
Set boundaries between work and home life – and respect other people’s
Just because digital communication tools enable us to be accessible at all times of the day, it doesn’t mean that we should be. Be strict with yourself about logging off at the end of the workday, and don’t pressure your colleagues to be available outside of work hours either. If you’re working late and need to message someone, that’s fine, but be sure to indicate that you’re not expecting or asking for a reply until the next working day. Most online communication tools have ‘do not disturb’ functions for this exact purpose, so don’t be afraid to make use of them. We all deserve some downtime!
These tips should help you develop good communication with your team while working remotely.