In the past few months, ever since the world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies around the world have been faced with new challenges and forced to adapt to a new way of both living and working.
These challenges can, if we aren’t careful, lead to a decrease in productivity which is honestly the last thing you need at a time like this.
Because of this, good communication is more important than ever so in an effort to help you adapt, we have provided a short guide on how to effectively communicate with your associates remotely to keep everyone informed and up to date.
The Setup To Communicate With Associates Remotely
Working from home, while it may be a dream come true for many, is still quite a foreign concept and as such most people now doing so will be doing it for the first time. This can lead to poorly put together home offices with subpar equipment that will only make things harder.
To avoid issues, speak to your co-workers and make sure that everyone has the necessary hardware and software that they need in order to continue to do their job.
Whether this means providing them with work laptops, webcams, microphones, or software licenses, it is vital that they get these things as soon as possible in order to start working properly.
If you do not have any spare company laptops, most equipment can be hired relatively easily and inexpensively so be sure to make this step a priority or you can quickly end up with a lot of lost revenue.
Picking The Right Tools
Next, you will need to consider which tools you want to use to maintain a good level of communication between your team.
Most companies simply use a phone and email, but with a new lack of face to face interaction, virtual conference calls are an ideal way to keep your team up to date with one another. We recommend Zoom because of the vast number of additional features available.
For example, you can use virtual backgrounds to either keep a professional look or add some fun to your meetings depending on what you pick, there are plenty of options derived from Hello Backgrounds best practices (click for details).
Zoom also allows you to share screens, use virtual whiteboards, and control which users can enter, allowing you to keep your meeting private with no fear of uninvited guests joining in. Alternatively, other apps like Microsoft Teams can also be used but may not offer the same features and may not be quite as user friendly.
Feel free to play around with a few different applications but be sure to test them thoroughly with another team member to make sure that it will serve your needs, this is also a great chance to familiarize yourself with the technology so that you can assist your colleagues in their own setup when you decide on which one to use.
Remember To Keep Talking
One particular issue that is far more prevalent in a remote workplace is a gradual decline in communication. Without physically interacting with co-workers every day, it is all too easy to become isolated and slowly stop communication.
To avoid this, we recommend morning meetings or short, periodic briefings throughout the week to keep everyone engaged with one another. This will not only improve communication from a productivity standpoint, but it will also maintain a certain level of teamwork and camaraderie between your associates.
You can even add things like virtual coffee breaks or a designated period before or after the meeting for team members to chat, catch up, and talk freely so they are not exclusively talking about work-related matters.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation is changing from day to day, so it is unlikely that things will return to normal any time soon and it is very possible that more challenges will present themselves before it is under control.
Remember that the tips provided in this guide are meant as a basic starting point to help you maintain communication with your team, but whatever method you choose, the important thing is that you keep talking together.
Try to always adapt your way of thinking to maximize your productivity while also keeping a good relationship with co-workers. If somebody falls sick and is unable to work for a while, be sure to check in on them to help them feel as if they are still part of the team.
This is especially important nowadays because if they do fall sick, they will likely be alone for at least two weeks. Look out for yourself, and look out for your associates to come out of this pandemic stronger and closer than when it started.
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Author: Anna Johanson