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How to best communicate with remote workers

When COVID-19 impacted work structures across the globe, many companies shifted to remote work. This shift in the work environment has enabled companies to continue functioning or, like us, to continue growing! Since many employees have never been in a position to work remotely, challenges have undoubtedly presented themselves as we move further into the reality that working from home is going to be the new norm, at least for a while. Check out these tips below for ways you can communicate with your team, no matter where you are. 

Meet Regularly 

This sounds obvious but when we’re working in the office, we see each other every day. So when we aren’t in the office, we have to take extra time to have meaningful conversations, large and small. Your department or team should meet each week to discuss goals and deadlines, but you should also carve out time to speak one on one with those you work with most. We can’t simply turn our heads to ask a question anymore, so our communication lines are naturally decreased. With a few scheduled meetings, you can keep your team on track!

Keep Your Calendar Up To Date

To assist with keeping open communication lines, it’s crucial to make sure your calendar is up to date. This can help your coworkers communicate more effectively with you. We can’t be in multiple places at once, not yet at least, so knowing if your coworker is on another call or working on a strict deadline for a project can help ease the distractions that come with virtual communications. 

Video Chat to Speed Up Responses

We all dread the delay of hearing back from someone, especially when their answer impacts your work, so when possible, ask if they have a moment to jump on a quick call. This cuts out the back and forth on emails and also offers more transparent communication. This also combats the issue of visual versus auditory learners. It’s vital to understand that verbally explaining what you are working on might be more comfortable for a coworker to grasp than reading your explanation. We all comprehend differently, so find what works best for you and your colleagues. 

Be Clear and Speak Up

We can’t ask a coworker at the water cooler if they understood what the boss said during this morning’s meeting when working from home, so speak up and ask questions while you have the chance! If you aren’t sure what the next step is, clarify it. Repeating back what someone told you is a great way to make sure you understood exactly what they were saying. Wrapping up your conversation with a quick overview of action items, deadlines, and other important information ensures the ball doesn’t get dropped by anyone or lost altogether. 

Set Office Hours if You Manage Employees

Block out time on your calendar each day for those you manage or work with to pop in for any last-minute questions. Blocking off an hour or two on your calendar each day allows more fluid communication because employees/coworkers will know your “door” is open to them, which will help build team morale.

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