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Mastering Remote Communication: Strategies to Overcome Barriers and Enhance Collaboration

In a remote setup, having good communication is just as important as efficiency, productivity, and innovation. All team members should stay updated with crucial information without creating any confusion or doubts. With the right communication, remote teams can boost collaboration and build trust/connection.  

To master remote communication, having an appropriate communication regime is important. That's one of the efficient ways to overcome communication barriers and ensure engagement among employees.

Here are some effective strategies to master remote communication in a company:  

Communicate Through Video Calls

Video calls are one of the best modes of communication in a remote company because it uses both verbal and non-verbal cues for real-time interaction. It's also an ideal way to keep the conversation alive and monitor instantaneous reactions. Additionally, through video calls, you can explain things more clearly.

Suppose you have a new website design to explain to your web designer. But you are unable to describe your idea in textual form. In that case, you can video call that employee and explain things through audio, visuals, expressions, and screen-sharing. Video conferencing is like face-to-face interaction without being in the same location, so it's a must for a remote team.

Transform Your Textual Communication

Text messages are a simple, effective, and quick way to boost communication and manage a global remote team efficiently. But, there are some loopholes in textual communication that can low-key act as a barrier. This includes the short-forms and abbreviations.

Yes, we know how short forms can convey messages easily. But that's only if the people who you are communicating with are familiar with the same. Let's say you have a fresher at your company who is absolutely new to the corporate culture. If you start talking about technical things in short forms, they might not understand.

So, for such reasons, you should make your textual communication more clear and more understandable. Try to create a full-fledged list of the words that can be used and the ones to be avoided. If your employees are more comfortable with short forms, add those in your must-know words and hand them over to the other employees.

Emails for Formal Communication

Emails are one of the best modes of communication for formal discussions. As it's asynchronous communication, you can keep a thread of crucial conversations for the future. Also, it gives adequate time for you to decide on your emails to come up with the best possible reply.

Not only can email communication save time, but it can offer guidance and show competency too. A good benefit of email communication is that it's perfect for geographical outreach. When you are working as a global team, you are likely to face time zone issues and work shift barriers. For such cases, direct communication, like video and textual formats, can be a bit tricky. So, email is certainly a life-saving communication mode in such cases!

Avoid Micromanagement

We know how things can be a bit difficult when it comes to remote team management. As people are working from different locations, it's hard to track how they are utilizing their time. However, despite all the barriers, micromanagement is never a good option. In fact, it's considered one of the top things to avoid when hiring overseas.

Calling/emailing your team members constantly just to give them a push for a particular task can backfire big time. You must trust your employees and let them do their tasks at their own convenience. Of course, if you have urgent tasks, then temporary micromanagement can help, but if you do it all the time, the employee may get frustrated. It's also demotivating for the team members as they might self-doubt and lose their morale.

Virtual Water Cooler  

Ah, the office gossip near the water cooler! Love it or hate it, you certainly can't ignore it. But, in a remote team, as you don't have a physical space, you may miss the water cooler gossip. For that reason, remote companies can set up a new digital solution called a virtual water cooler.

A virtual water cooler is ideal for initiating causal interactions among employees between office tasks. These conversations are common in a physical office space, where employees can take a break and interact with each other over a cup of tea/coffee. Similarly, in remote setups, such conversations can be initiated through online discussion boards, virtual happy hours, trivias, and more.

A virtual water cooler can keep team members and higher authorities well-connected. Also, it can boost the fun factor in a company and improve its culture.

Feedback and One-on-one

Due to the lack of physical interaction, it's important for higher authorities to initiate consistent one-on-one with the team members. It strengthens the relationship in a team and helps the employees to feel more sound. During these conversations, employees can provide opinions and honest feedback about work, company culture, etc.

Meanwhile, managers and team leads can also give their feedback to the employee. They can highlight their performance and the areas where they need improvement. The thumb rule is to arrange about 5.6 one-on-one meetings in a week for an average professional. But even a once-in-a-week meeting is good to go!

Well-defined Workflows

Remote teams require a clear and well-defined workflow to avoid any confusion during team management. You must utilize activity boards and list all the tasks for team members clearly. Also, be specific with your timings, dates, and deadlines.

If your team is clear of their do's and don'ts, you can stay assured of negligible communication issues and a smoother workflow. Meanwhile, if you find any loopholes in defining the tasks, resolve them immediately.

Keep a Check!

Try to arrange group calls for your remote team and ask them whether they are happy with the communication regime or not. If you can't talk to them directly, create surveys and ask the team to fill out forms. Based on their feedback, you can identify whether you are on the right path with the communication factor or not.

Final Note

A remote company is incomplete without good communication. It works as a backbone that supports the company culture seamlessly. So, make sure you're not missing out on the same. Hopefully, the above strategies will overcome barriers and ensure smooth collaboration. Besides, Brix is always here to help. Schedule a call with our HR experts today to get more advice.

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