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Until earlier this year, managers, team leaders, and executives have relied on face-to-face meetings to communicate with their teams, employees, and clients. However, with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, ordinary life has been turned upside down and the vast majority of employees are now working remotely from the comfort of their own home. While this may seem like a dream come true for most, remote working brings its own challenges when it comes to maintaining a high level of communication.
Below are a few tips on how to maintain communication with your team remotely
Establish the new norm
It is likely that your team and employees will be as clueless as you are to this new way of working, so it is important to quickly establish the new norm of how things work. If you expect your team to check in daily or weekly with you, be sure to set reminders in a shared calendar so that you can stay up to date with everyone. Unfortunately one of the biggest problems with the lockdown and remote work is that it can leave many people feeling alone and isolated. Be sure to take the lead and try to create a culture of cooperation where you encourage your team to stay connected and work together to help each other.
Finally, some people may need help or advice when it comes to setting up their remote workspace or home office, not everyone is fortunate enough to have everything readily available. Be sure to check with each member of your team individually to make sure they have both the hardware and software necessary to continue to do their job effectively.
Have regular catch ups
Coming back to the subject of isolation, make sure you communicate with your team regularly. Daily or weekly meetings are a good idea, and even if you don’t spend the whole time talking about work-related topics, simply communicating with one another will help maintain a good relationship which, in turn, will help everyone work better as a team.
Additionally, the lockdown can affect some people worse than others, people suffering from loneliness or depression may now feel even more isolated and this can take a serious toll on their mental health. Try to have weekly, one-on-one meetings with each of your team members to just check up on how they are coping and to see if there is anything you can do. While this may seem like a time-consuming gesture, your employees will notice and it can make a real difference for them to know someone is thinking about them as more than simply an employee.
Share resources and knowledge
As we mentioned earlier, cooperation and sharing knowledge is essential to ensuring a high level of productivity. There are plenty of tools that are incredibly useful for sharing information that many people are simply unaware of. For example, virtual backgrounds are a great way to maintain privacy and a professional appearance while in a virtual meeting, you can find office zoom backgrounds by Hello Backgrounds here. There are also tools like screen sharing and virtual whiteboards, and cloud storage solutions that are great ways to share documents, discuss topics, and brainstorm ideas, almost more effectively than if you were in the same office space. Resource and knowledge sharing is an essential part of remote working and is vital to keeping everyone in your team on the same page in order to continue outputting high-quality work.
Use all useful methods of communication
While virtual meetings and video conferencing have gained popularity, and rightly so, in the past few months, it is important to remember that there are other ways to communicate that do not involve getting on camera. In an office, employees can simply walk over to each other’s desks to ask quick questions or to get an opinion on something and, as you can imagine, setting up a video call to ask a question that can be answered in ten seconds is less than ideal. Instead, explore other ways to communicate such as instant messaging, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or even texting are all valid and great ways to communicate quickly without interrupting other team members from whatever they are doing at the time.