Remote Team: How to Effectively Communicate with a Remote Team
Communication plays an important role with virtual team success. As it may be hard to build a culture while your team is fully remote, communication will be your biggest asset in achieving this.
Use the below key tools to help you create effective communication with a remote team:
Respect Time Differences
This one may seem simple, but it will be important for you to consider time differences. As many remote teams are working around the globe and should be aware of their time zone. Utilize their hours that they are working and accommodate them. You will be surprised how much this makes an employee feel valued and included that you ensure the time isn’t outside of their work hours because it works better for you. We know that sometimes things happen and they will have to work later but try and not make this a reoccurring thing. You want to ensure employees still get a work-life balance.
Sending emails, texts, calling on the phone can get old sometimes. Utilize technology and jump on a video conference call and make it more personal. Even if it is a quick 20 min call, this will help your teams feel engaged and a part of the team. Seeing people face to face allows you to get clearer communication. In addition, you are able to read body language and facial expressions. This creates a positive and more collaborative environment.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our meetings and chatting that we are not valuing our team members time and space to get their work done. I think communication is key to any team, but you also want to remember that valuing their time will be essential. What I mean is that don’t include each team member on a meeting if they don’t have a purpose. If you are just wanting to include them just let them know its optional and you can send them notes on the meeting after. Over the years, I have realized that including everyone is not necessary and sometimes it takes away from our projects they could be doing.
Create Structure and Trust
When a new member starts you will want to make sure you are creating structure around the work and what you expect. If you don’t lay this out from the beginning, you will have a lot of confusion and your trust won’t be built. Show them your expectations and you will set them up for success within your team. Also being a remote team, you need to trust your team members and don’t feel like you need to check in every 5 mis on how they are doing. It will be obvious if people are not getting work done just because they are working from home doesn’t mean they are not doing work.
Ask, Don’t Assume
Don’t make assumptions. Before you jump to any conclusion, explore the details. People work differently and have different work style. It will be up to you to make sure you understand it by communicating with one another. Ask them, if something is confusing to you, or what is the status on certain deadlines, it will be essential to any success of a remote team.
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