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5 Tips for Communicating Effectively as a Remote Team

 

Has COVID-19 forced your company to suddenly move to a remote work environment? Do you now have to communicate with your entire team remotely? If you’ve answered yes to this question then there is no doubt you are looking for all the possible tools and techniques available to make remote working as smooth and seamless as possible. Not being able to have those quick in-person meetings, and asking questions as they pop up can definitely throw a wrench in operations, but there are workarounds to the problem.

To make this unusual and trying time as stress-free and productive as possible, here are five tips for communicating effectively as a remote team.

 

Set Up Weekly Meetings

Just because everyone is working from home and not sharing the same physical space it doesn't mean weekly meetings can't still happen. In fact, working remotely is exactly when these regular meetings can prove to be so useful. It ensures everyone is on the same page, has an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns, share ideas, and set goals. With so many video chatting/conferencing tools available to people nowadays, it has never been easier to host a virtual meeting.

Some of the more popular video conferencing tools to check out include Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, join.me, and Google Hangouts Meet. It really is dependent on how many people will be joining the meeting, if you need to be able to share files and documents, and if you want video as well as audio. Some of these will be free, whereas others you may need to pay for the service.

 

Share and Export Outlook Calendar Data

Maybe you rely on Outlook Calendar to keep you organized, on track, and store information/data. If everyone is using this same tool then why not look for a way to get it off of the cloud and export Outlook Calendar to Excel? This will give each person instant access to the same information. This data can then be used to create reports and gain insight into important data and events.

 

Make Sure All Software is Collaborative

This brings us to the topic of software, which needs to be collaborative. Using tools that each team member can access in real-time will help ensure that there is flow, accuracy and that productivity levels stay high.

 

Expectations, Goals, and Deadlines Need to Be Clear

Because you will be communicating virtually, it can be easy for deadlines and goals to go by unnoticed. For that reason, it's vital to be clear on your expectations, goals, and deadlines for all departments and team members. Again, software can act as a scheduler and give everyone access to that same data. You can then highlight and send reminders for upcoming deadlines.

 

Take the Time to Read through Communications before Sending Them

One problem that remote teams can have is that instructions aren’t clearly communicated, which then leads people in the wrong direction. While you may think that your communications are clear and direct, remember that an email is going to read very differently than a face-to-face conversation. It’s always a good rule of thumb to take the extra few minutes to carefully read through any correspondence you are sending and ensure the message is clear.

 

Ensure Productivity Doesn’t Miss a Beat

By using each of these tips, you’ll find that communicating in a remote environment doesn’t have to be difficult, frustrating or stressful and that you can be just as productive as you were in the actual office. In fact, it may just persuade you to consider remote team working even when things do open back up.

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