In any discussion pertaining to working with remote teams, you will find some mention of the importance of communication. This is because this aspect of working with remote workers is not to be underestimated. The great potential could crumble with bad communication. When it comes to setting expectations for remote employees, the ability to articulate and establish clear objectives hinges upon an open line of communication.
In Part I, we discussed the importance of new hire onboarding as a foundation for setting expectations and responsibilities. So what does communication mean in the context of remote teams and employees?
Anybody who has ever worked at home will tell you that it was an adjustment, that it takes discipline, and that without the proper precautions —common communication and interaction— it is quite easy to start down the path of low productivity and uninspired work. From the employer’s side, this means that a consistent and conscious approach to maintaining communication open is not only effective but necessary.
Approach communication with your remote teams in a strategic way, understanding the different functions it could have within the organized structure of the company.
Generally, within a regular business week, you might find that different types of communication become necessary. Each of these serves to accomplish different objectives or goals.
Depending on the kind of communication, use different tools to structure work effectively. For example, email works well for ongoing communication while discussion boards could be used for more pressing or looming deadline discussions. Having a conscious approach to your communication strategies will pay off in the long term.
Once you have a strategy and plan of communication, discussing expectations with your employees will have a well-integrated system of support.
Plenty of online tools and interfaces have made the world of remote working better and more efficient. Tools that facilitate organization and task management have proven useful in setting weekly or daily responsibilities. This helps compartmentalize the necessary strides towards bigger projects. Tools like Asana, Trello, and Airtable can help with setting everyday tasks. Companies like CodersLink— that serve as outsourcing partners— also help establish strong connections between developers and companies; they are great assets that strengthen everyday relations between worker and employer.
Set milestones and track progress. Always have a system to track the ongoing progress of your employees and organize a time or place where workers can see what is getting done and how that work is having an impact on the bigger picture.
Have more suggestions when it comes to effective communication for remote teams? Let us know below!