Recently, many companies have now realized the cost-savings and benefits of having remote workers. Furthermore, it had also given numerous benefits for the workers themselves. For instance, since they’ll be doing their jobs at home, they’ll have more time for family, exercise, better sleeping and eating habits, and enhanced work-life balance. Some companies also claim that having remote workers have increased their company’s production and productivity.
However, for some employees, remote work can be lonely and challenging. Remote working can be a significant change for workers who worked in a crowded working environment that involves numerous face-to-face conversations and customer interactions. Furthermore, the workflow has also changed. You won’t be physically interacting with your manager and other co-workers to complete your tasks.
However, other industries aren’t dealing with dramatic changes since the work itself is naturally done online. For instance, eCommerce store customer service will still cater to their service the same way, which is online. The only change they need to do is improve their presence and online services since more customers are now opting to buy or avail of service or product online.
Whether you’re new to remote working or have always been a solo worker, strong communication between your co-workers and customers is essential and shouldn’t be compromised. To help improve your communication, here are four tips to help you stay connected when working remotely:
1. Make Use Of Communication Apps And Software
Perhaps when your company was still operating in a standard office setting, the only communication tool you’re using is emailing. That’s because the other tasks you’ll need to do can be done through physical interaction, such as meetings, events, planning, and submission of outputs. However, with the new work remote setting, everything needs to be done virtually, which means email isn’t enough to suffice your communication needs.
Your management needs to settle for a communication app or software that everyone can use for virtual meetings and online planning. Furthermore, your company must also think of new ways on how to transfer and receive big files without delaying your business operations.
Suppose your usual emailing tool cannot cater to frequent large file sharing. In that case, it’s a sign for your company to use another communication software that’ll allow large file sharing in the shortest amount of time possible.
2. Schedule Regular Virtual Meetings
Now that your company has chosen communication software to make virtual meetings and chats easier, ensure you schedule these meetings regularly. Remember, there’s no other way to communicate with your employees other than virtual, so make the most of it.
Remember that virtual meetings aren’t only for product or service discussion. You can also use this platform to ask for your employee’s updates and how they are as a whole. Listen to their questions or suggestions about improving your workflow and current remote work setting and ask if there’s any flaw. You can schedule your meetings at least once a week. If you’re up for it, you can also start a group video chat in which all of you will be working with the video on, but silently. This will remind your employees that they’re not alone. Even just by hearing someone typing the keyboard is already enough to boost their mood and morale.
3. Always Be Available And Respond Quickly
When working in a standard office setting together, people have the luxury of quickly reaching out to their co-workers anytime for any questions or if they need to ask certain favors. You can easily talk to that person beside you and ask for help or walk to their nearby office desk and tell them your concerns.
In the remote work setting, you don’t get to experience such luxury. You’ll have to exert extra effort to reach out to someone virtually through personal chats or calls if you have any questions, concerns, or requests. For this reason, everyone in the company must be ready to handle impromptu meetings or respond to chats anytime. Strive to be always available for your co-workers and respond quickly if any of you need immediate answers. After all, it’s all about helping one another get through the remote work setting successfully and ensure no one is left behind. Being responsive can also build trust with one another and give you a sense of credibility.
4. Encourage Group Chats
Like the typical office setting, employees aren’t all about work during their eight hours shift. Employees also spend some time bonding with their co-workers by talking about their outside interests. Don’t worry, as interaction with co-workers isn’t about distraction or slowing down their work. It’s about increasing their motivation to work better.
Everyone knows how it’s better to work with a team than work alone. For this reason, encourage your co-workers to create group chats and facilitate fun and engaging conversations outside work. This will allow them to socialize with people who have the same interests as them.
To keep your business operations streamlined and efficient, you need to create an environment where both employees and the management can stay connected despite working remotely. The tips above can help you and your co-workers build an effective workflow and boost your company culture. Most importantly, staying connected will also remind each of you that no one is working alone.