The last few years taught us that a lot could be achieved online. Businesses switched to WHF or a semi-remote model, with one thing being certain – online communication. And with it came communication issues, with the biggest challenge being – keeping scattered remote employees in the loop.
Remote team communication needs to be cultivated, which might seem more difficult than it actually is. And that’s exactly what we’re going to tackle right now – here are 5 effective communication tips to help you keep your remote team in check.
1. Schedule your meetings in advance and keep them consistent
“Nothing beats a solid schedule.” – Every project manager ever.
The thing is: if you schedule your meetings in advance and keep them consistent, people will:
- A) have enough time to prepare for every meeting,
- B) develop a habit of being at an online meeting at a certain time of day/week.
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2. Use centralized storage for data
Cloud technology gave remote workers data flexibility and security at the same time. Business-wise, it gives you a secure environment to share all data with remote workers, no matter where they are.
File sharing is a huge part of business communication. That’s why the cloud is the perfect solution. It makes file sharing easier (and safer) for everyone. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about on-site data storage or protection.
3. Set up a collab tool
The high demand for trustworthy online collaboration tools produced a wide spectrum of platforms to choose from. It’s a good thing, as long as you don’t fall into choice paralysis. You can do business over Slack, Trello, Telegram, or even Discord or Skype. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind before you dive into a collab tool:
- Team size – smaller teams tend to communicate better via mobile-friendly platforms like WhatsApp;
- All-hands-on-deck meeting frequency – If you rely on conference calls to communicate with your team, you need a collab tool with integrated video-conferencing;
- Preferred management system – Do you rely on large dashboards with streamlined project overviews? Apps like Trello can help you with that.
4. Make some communication ground rules
The rules you make depend on your team’s size and dynamics. However, online communication comes with its own set of rules you should establish as soon as possible. Make sure to:
- Keep the communication in a single channel;
- Prevent people from spamming/flooding the boards and chat rooms;
- Establish an absence/presence rule – not everyone needs to be on board all the time. This is best achieved by inviting only the necessary staff to the meeting;
- Make sure to share files through a single, secure online channel.
5. Send a follow-up/recording after the meeting
Lastly, you can utilize modern technology to keep your teams up to date, even after the meetings are over. And you can automate the bigger part of it!
Most bigger collaboration platforms give you the option to record the whole meeting/conference and send it to the participants right after. This will give people the chance to catch up on missed parts.
Bonus points if you include the agenda slides in the follow-up!
Keep the communication alive (but don’t overdo it)
Remote business communication is challenging. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have smooth online communication.
Sure, there will be moments of frustration caused by someone’s overblown mic or a dog barking in the background, but the point is – keep trying.
As long as you keep a solid schedule and don’t overdo it with mandatory daily meetings and digital tools, you will do just fine.
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