Tips on Effective Communication With Remote Employees

Companies who employ remote employees face different communication challenges than those who use the traditional office setting to house their staff during the workday. When it comes to remote teams, or teams that work remotely and occasionally converge and meet in flexible workspaces, it becomes immediately apparent just how important communication is among team members. Beyond just the professional aspect, being face-to-face with a fellow staff member gives you a window into what could be happening personally. If you work within a remote team, one of the aspects you quickly notice is the importance of communication. Here’s a few tips on effective communication in flexible and virtual office settings.

Create a Place to Converge with Non-Work Related Chatter

In an office, getting to know your fellow co-workers is easy.  You see them daily and you begin to create bonds whether intentional or not.  This can lead to knowing when people need their personal space or even if someone is withdrawn because of personal reasons.  It’s much easier to lend a hand when someone is face-to-face which is why remote teams need a place to recreate the “water cooler” experience. While lunch and break-time discussions do also include work-related tasks, having a space using an app like Slack or even Facebook to enhance employee camaraderie. Make it a “No-Work Room, a room meant to share memes, music and funny anecdotes as much as possible. This will foster an atmosphere that will also give employees a place to share what’s happening on a personal level, should they choose, which is very important should personal problems and issues arise.

Calendars and Task Management Tools Keep People Accountable  

Should employees need to commiserate and discuss one-on-one ABOUT work, they’ll then use those same social channels to discuss privately or discuss within a separate app that helps schedule tasks and gives communicating to the most important factor in a business – accountability. When team members are not always in the same space, and even not share the same hours, this can be an effective way to keep tasks on-time and offer chances for team-wide collaboration.  Using Outlook to share a calendar for example will let you know when your editor in San Francisco is available to discuss with you a project as you sit in your flexible workspace in Toronto.  This keeps you organized, on task and not wondering how or when you’ll communicate with that particular employee.

Communication is the backbone of a good team and, even in remote settings, a corporate culture of openness and fun can be cultivated if open communication channels are created for team members to utilize – both personally and professionally. Since shared office space in Toronto is more cost-effective and far less demanding than leasing or buying your own commercial space, using these communication tips can help you stay productive and save money on your daily operations.

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