Having a remote workforce comes with one big issue – communication. When employees work remotely, it becomes difficult to get everyone on the same page. The bigger your team, the more difficult communication will become. Fortunately, there are a number of things, such as utilizing virtual office solutions, that can help improve communication when most (or all) of your teams works remotely.
There are a few tips to improve communication between remote employees in a virtual office environment.
- Start by listening. Communication starts by listening to others and connecting. Create an atmosphere where employees are valued and can express themselves freely.
- Utilize email properly. Email is the easiest form of virtual communication. Train employees to write concise, clear emails. If a problem can’t be solved over email, pick up the phone.
- Remove communication barriers. Let your team communicate with you through Skype, email or by telephone. Removing these barriers improves communication greatly.
- Hold regular meetings. When possible, plan a regular meeting with remote employees. This allows the team to get to know each other and builds trust. Many virtual office solutions have conference rooms where you can hold a physical meeting with employees.
- Keep communication mediums consistent. Have a tool for messaging, collaboration and video calling. Don’t unnecessarily switch from Skype to Google+ Hangouts or other video chat programs.
- Create a time overlap. It can be difficult for all employees to be working remotely at the same time when in different time zones. Make it a point to have an overlap scheduled into the week where you’re available to speak to everyone on your team regardless of time differences.
- Alert your team about news. Both company and personal news should be given to your employees. Keeping them in the loop allows you to open up the lines of communication with employees.
- Use the cloud. Using the cloud allows you to share information in real-time. From collaboration tools to storing your important documents, all of this will expand your communication with remote employees.
Image Source : Alessandro Valli