Has your business adapted to remote working? When people were asked to work from home where possible back in March of this year, many organisations shifted their offices online almost overnight.
The transition will have come easier to some than others. There’s no doubt home working poses challenges, yet many teams have found they’ve been able to work together better than ever before.
No matter how soon you plan to return to the workplace, effective communication is crucial. Follow the tips below to keep your team connected while working remotely.
Invest in communication technology
If you weren’t using them already, you’ll want to set up instant messaging and video call technology to help people chat and share ideas easily.
There are a variety of platforms and providers that all offer similar functionality without overloading people’s email inboxes. Phil Woodbridge, head of operations at Parcel2Go, a delivery comparison company offering customers a variety of couriers, added on his team’s use of video calls:
‘A method we have adopted is Google Hangouts – this brings a personal touch as you can see the team and interact as you were with them. It offers real unity and trust and is personable.’
Use collaborative software
Whether you want to collaborate on documents, store files publicly or view and manage team workflows, shared software also helps make people’s jobs easier when they’re away from the office.
Online collaboration tools may require some initial training and IT knowhow to get everyone set up and on the same page. But with clear processes and policies in place, you’ll be able to work together in real-time while storing files in a convenient, secure location.
Create regular check-ins
Just because you can’t hold meetings in person doesn’t mean you should cancel them altogether. Put that new tech to use and pencil in regular virtual meetings to make sure everything is still running smoothly.
Doing so can help you track progress while catching any problems or delays that may otherwise go unnoticed in a remote setting.
‘We have weekly touchpoints set up with all staff to review how they are feeling, look at their performance and review any coaching/training needed’, Phil explained.
Maintain your office culture
Working from home can feel lonely and isolating at times. People are likely to miss the office atmosphere and their daily interactions with co-workers, so make time for more informal chats and team-building events too to maintain your company culture.
This could be anything from virtual ‘water cooler chats’ to scheduled quizzes, happy hours and other creative options. Whatever your preferences, there are plenty of ways you can stay close to your team while physically far apart.
With the right level of trust, technology and established processes, remote communication doesn’t have to be difficult.
Photo credits: eOffice