Working from home has many advantages. You can choose your favorite space and wear any clothes you like. However, working from home also comes with challenges, including maintaining effective communication with colleagues.
Meanwhile, seamless communication is vital for remote teams. From chatting to video conferencing, you need to use the right tools and show an appropriate attitude to communicate with your team members.
If you’re a team leader, a manager, or an individual who wants to enhance virtual communication, the following discussion can come in handy. Here are the seven ways to build effective communication while working from home or remotely.
#1. Choose Reliable Communication Channels
To aid your communication needs, choosing reliable communication channels is necessary. You can use a chat or video app to message your colleagues. Tons of chatting apps are available for free, and most of them also support video calls.
Some companies also use a specific chatting app dedicated to work. This strategy can help a company maintain its employees’ work-life balance. However, contacting an employee using their main chatting app is an alternative option if something urgent happens.
You can find many messaging options available for free. Some best recommendations include Discord, Google Chat, Slack, RocketChat, and Flock. Those apps are available for web and mobile use and support file sharing in many formats.
#2. Use Video Conferencing
Remote teams need video conferencing for many purposes. For example, video conference is more effective for sharing ideas and internal meetings, so you can discuss marketing metrics more easily.
Zoom and Google Meets are two of the most popular options. You can share screens, use a whiteboard, and record meeting. With many features, virtual meetings can be as effective as in-person meetings.
If you’re looking for unique features to engage team members, there are many more options to explore. For instance, video conferencing tools like Wonder, Gather, and Spatial have virtual objects, games, and other interactive elements to make your video conference more fun and engaging.
#3. Schedule Regular Check-ins
When working from home, it can be your team may feel isolated or disconnected. This case can lead to miscommunication, delays, and other issues. Scheduling regular check-ins helps your team to stay connected and ensure that projects are progressing as planned.
Regular check-ins can take many forms, depending on the team’s needs. Depending on your team’s needs and preferences, you can do individual or group meetings via video, phone, or instant messaging.
Setting a specific time to ensure team members are available and prepared for the meeting is essential. Also, set an agenda for the meeting to inform anyone about the discussion. This way, they can come prepared with any necessary information or questions.
#4. Set Clear Daily Targets
Let’s admit it, a big challenge of working from home is getting distracted by household chores or family necessities. Without a clear set of targets, your team may face difficulties tracking projects and completing their tasks.
Before setting daily targets, discussing the team’s goals is necessary. Each individual may have different responsibilities and roles, so aligning their daily targets with those is needed to prevent burnout.
In addition to discussing team goals, it’s important to set clear expectations around communication and availability. This way, your team members can plan their workday accordingly and ensure they can meet their targets.
#5. Use Collaboration Tools
A remote team needs at least one collaboration tool to stay on the same page. It is commonly a cloud-based service that allows a team to manage projects, track progress, and communicate with team members.
A collaboration tool helps your team to stay organized. It’s a centralized platform for managing projects, tasks, and deadlines. Your team can assign and submit assignments, set due dates, and track real-time progress from a single platform. You can also monitor performance and create reports.
There are many collaboration tools to choose from, offering their unique features and benefits. Some popular options are Asana, Airtable, Trello, and Slack. Some also offer free versions that you can upgrade anytime you need to.
#6. Be Responsive and Mindful
To be responsive and mindful in your communications, you must promptly respond to messages and emails. Most importantly, you have to mind your tone and language when replying to messages or sharing opinions.
A way to be responsive is to set up notifications on your phone or computer for important messages or emails. You can respond immediately and prevent delays in communication. Another way is to set clear expectations with your team members around response times.
Be aware of how your words, languages, and actions may affect others. Use appropriate language and tone in your emails and messages. It can also involve actively listening to others during virtual meetings and taking the time to understand others’ opinions and points of view.
#7. Set Clear Boundaries
Maintaining your focus when working from home may be difficult, especially if one lives with a family. Your family may ask for help doing work chores that require you to be away from your desk. If this circle happens a lot, your productivity can decrease.
The best way to avoid such a case is by setting clear boundaries at your home. Establish specific working hours and communicate those hours to your family and team members. It helps you prevent interruptions or requests for work outside of your regular working hours. So, you can ensure to have breaks and recharge throughout the day.
Also, consider creating a dedicated workspace in your home that is solely for work-related activities. This strategy effectively creates a physical separation between your work and personal life and makes it easier to focus on work when you’re in that space.
Communication is a vital aspect of every community. Whether you’re a team member or a leader, providing reliable communication and collaboration tools is necessary to build an effective team.
You can schedule regular check-ins and set clear targets and boundaries to maintain productivity. The above discussions can help you build seamless team communication and make working from home way more effective.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
Email/Gravatar: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro