The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every industry. Now, more than ever, streamlining your communication with a remote workforce is paramount to your company’s success. As we continue seeing the effect of COVID-19 on telecommunication services, keeping your workforce in touch while maintaining deadlines, workflows and productivity is the secret to success.
You’ve likely implemented several methods such as video calls to continue holding regular meetings with your workforce, but how can you improve communication in remote working to make it seamless? This guide will review some creative ways to improve your work-from-home and remote communication for your workforce.
What Is Remote Communication?
Before we dive in, let’s take a closer look at what remote communication is and how it works for companies looking to remain competitive and productive in today’s unique business environment.
It may seem incongruous to think of a concept as modern as remote communication being hundreds of years old, but it is. If you’ve ever mailed a handwritten note to someone in another city, that’s a form of remote communication. The same goes for talking on the telephone, watching the national news broadcast and listening to drive-time radio on your commutes to and from work. However, the business world has undoubtedly evolved since the days of the Pony Express and presidential fireside chats.
Today, remote communication typically refers to communicating online with others. You can probably picture your latest video chat with your boss, co-workers, peers, family and friends. COVID-19, combined with a global economy, has forced nearly every industry to adapt and enhance communication methods for a remote workforce. Almost everyone working from home participates in two primary types of remote communication in their daily or weekly routines.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication
Synchronous, or real-time, communication happens in the moment, with two or more parties communicating directly with one another. Examples include live video calls or in-person conversations.
Asynchronous communication is a planned, information-based approach involving a delay between participants, such as an email or text message.
Immediacy is the most notable difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication. Synchronous happens with live participants, whereas participants in an asynchronous communication respond at their convenience. Successfully communicating with a remote workforce typically requires a blend of both.
Working with employees across different time zones lends itself to asynchronous communication methods, which aren’t always as streamlined as project managers and remote managers would like. So, how can you improve WFH communication and mitigate COVID-19’s effect on your internal communications?
Ideas for Streamlining Remote Communication
Finding ways to streamline communication with remote workers is the latest challenge facing remote managers and project administrators across all industries and businesses. Figuring out how to overcome communication challenges on a remote team takes more than ordering your workforce to immediately reply to emails and keep their chat box open all day.
Timely communication is critical, but effectively keeping your teams up to speed and maintaining the healthy flow of ideas within your various departments is probably a significant contributor to your company’s success. Consider these ways to improve communication while boosting productivity levels.
- Prioritize emails
- Choose the right communication tools to meet team needs
- Hold meetings only when necessary
- Effectively manage telecom services
Managers can make the mistake of bombarding their team with issues that might interrupt workflow. As you tackle streamlining communication methods with your team, consider implementing one strategy at a time to keep from overwhelming your workers and making them less productive.
Email is one of the first types of asynchronous communication tools for remote workforces. Over time, remote workforces have reconsidered email as a form of synchronous communication team members and remote managers use for immediate, direct interactions with one another. However, email is only a modern-day form of paper memos and handwritten messages. Overwhelming inboxes with numerous messages can be counterproductive and make employees feel pressured to respond right away.
You can imagine how this hampers progress and interrupts your team’s workflows. Instead, consider email as a form of asynchronous communication that condenses several pieces of vital information into one electronic message. Declutter employee inboxes by including relevant links, calendar invites and document attachments in your emails. Convey all the information your employees need to access that day or week, and reduce the chances of critical emails getting overlooked because remote teammates have too many messages clogging up their inboxes.
Choose the Right Remote Communication Tools to Meet Team Needs
Streamlining communication with a remote team means carefully choosing the tools to make that possible. Doing so requires you to evaluate your team’s needs and assess your workflow goals. It can be tempting to experiment with several different tools all at once, but this approach is essentially throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks. The most practical approach is to stick to no more than two or three communication tools your team enjoys using.
Remote teammates need the ability to bounce ideas off one another quickly and efficiently. Online tools that streamline your team’s ability to communicate synchronously and asynchronously are vital to your company’s success and sustained growth. Improve, empower and encourage communication with your remote teams with features that include:
- Live chat and group messaging capabilities for synchronous communication
- Video creation or video-sharing capabilities for asynchronous communication
- Ability to share updates using project management tools
- Calendar integrations, presentation abilities and virtual meeting capabilities
- Email notifications to alert team members when new assignments come in
Having some or all of these capabilities in your remote communication tools lets you keep teams in communication with your base operations and one another. With time and an open mind, you’ll discover how to overcome communication challenges on a remote team.
Hold Meetings Only When Necessary
If you find yourself getting frustrated by holding countless meetings that could easily have been emails, you’re past due for a change. Holding meetings only when necessary doesn’t have to mean eliminating your daily team briefings from the calendar.
Overcommunicating with your remote team is nearly as detrimental to your company’s productivity as not telling them enough. Sometimes, streamlining your remote communications means taking a “less-is-more”‘ approach. Keeping your remote workforce preoccupied with too many meetings will only slow down their progress and limit productivity. Wherever possible, cut down on your meeting time and free up your workers to focus on completing projects and reaching company goals.
For example, if you usually hold several team meetings per day, try consolidating them into one daily or weekly meeting, depending on workflows and project types. You can also check in individually with employees whenever necessary. One of the best ways to streamline communications is by focusing only on the most relevant details and information.
Understanding the limits overcommunicating places on your team’s ability to complete workflows is a step toward improving your company’s work-from-home culture.
Effectively Manage Telecom Services
Another strategy for streamlining communication with your remote workforce starts with managing your company’s telecom services. Evaluate what you have and assess anything that might be lacking. Consider the following ways successful telecom expense managers approach their telecom services:
- Taking regular inventory of services
- Eliminating unnecessary services
- Consolidating services where possible
- Keeping your contracts organized and accessible
Telecom management solutions involve a combination of assessing your current services and exploring new opportunities for improvement. Streamlining your telecommunication services into one consolidated account goes a long way toward overcoming communication challenges between managers and teams. Depending on your company’s size, you may need to hire a professional company with experience managing and budgeting telecom service contracts.
Work With Cost Management Group to Manage Your Telecom Services
Streamlining communication with a remote workforce is simpler and more affordable when you have the experience and resources of a professional organization dedicated to solving your telecom service needs. At Cost Management Group, we will help you maximize your telecom services while driving down costs.
With over two decades of experience, CMG has the resources and capabilities needed to meet our clients’ demands and maximize your company’s growth by eliminating wasteful spending, managing services and increasing visibility within your core operations. Contact CMG today to learn more about how we can streamline your remote workforce communications and increase your company’s bottom line.