The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 meant that we had to readjust some things so we could continue operations in many industries, including entertainment, shopping and even the workplace.
Gamblers, for instance, had to stick to casino online platforms as travel restrictions and non-essential business shutdowns meant that it wasn’t possible to gamble in person. Shoppers, on the other hand, had to do it online while companies moved to remote work to protect their staffers. To date, the concept of remote working has become the order of the day, and teams are increasingly becoming accustomed to it.
Unlike other activities that transitioned to internet-based environments, remote work is not an easy task, though. It takes some getting used to, from simply walking a few steps to another office to communicate to having to schedule virtual meetings and so on. If you’ve been struggling with adjusting to working with remote teams, here are tips that will help you communicate effectively and perform your tasks optimally in your home office.
Use of Easily Accessible Software for Everyone
To communicate effectively remotely, your team will need to have a way to share and edit files from any location and via any device. It needs to be a harmonious process where people aren’t left behind. There needs to be a collective effort to achieve the team targets you’ve set out for yourselves.
Thankfully, there is a range of helpful software to help with such situations. AnyDesk and TeamViewer are excellent examples of software as they allow you to access any other computer over the internet from anywhere in the world. All your fellow team members need to give you is the pin that will enable you to access their computer.
Consider Your Team’s Tech Infrastructure
For effective remote communication, you have to be at a similar level when it comes to the infrastructure available to your team. For instance, does everyone on the team have a laptop or a computer they could work on? Do they have the minimum software required to collaborate remotely effectively? Besides software applications like TeamViewer and AnyDesk, video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype will do you well.
Of course, there are other basics like the Microsoft Office 365 suite, which some people may surprisingly lack. So, ensure that you set up a list with items that all team members must cross off beforehand. An example of such a checklist with essential software and hardware that will come in handy with your remote team is as follows:
- TeamViewer or AnyDesk
- Zoom or Skype
- The Entire Microsoft Office Suite
- Screen recording tools like Camtasia and Zappy
- Cloud Storage apps like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.
Schedule Regular Online Meetings
The thing with working remotely is that you may be missing out on a lot because you are not there in person. Sure, you may have communications via email and even WhatsApp group messages, but that doesn’t quite cut it. You see, with such means of communication, you may not exactly catch something that feels off and could jeopardize the project at hand.
As such, it is vital to schedule frequent meetings to see and assess the team’s progress. The regular online meetings mean that you’ll more effectively keep tabs on the team’s progress so that none of the targets intended to be achieved for each individual lags. It also means that you’ll catch issues early enough before they develop into more severe problems.
Overcommunicate and Specifically Share Tasks
If you want the remote collaboration thing to work in a team, you’re going to have to overcommunicate. This means bonding to a whole new level to get things done. It also means letting people in, sharing tasks and not going at it solo.
For instance, sharing whatever tiny bit of information you come across may be particularly helpful in the long run. It may seem like you are oversharing, but this is what ultimately will make remote communication work out. If you are going to do a task that will, in the end, affect the team, then it is good to share in the task. This way of operation not only brings results but also fosters unity in the team.
Set Realistic Expectations for Your Team
Effectively communicating remotely with a team means that you also have to manage some of your expectations. Remember, not everyone will take to remote communication swiftly. It is a transitional process with its own share of challenges and so, it needs to be ushered in with patience rather than impatience. Therefore, set realistic targets for the team to achieve so that it can function well as one unit going in the same direction with the same goals.
It is no mean feat making remote communication work within a team set-up. As you’ve seen, there are a lot of complexities involved in this process. It, however, is easily achievable if you apply the tips discussed above to streamline the transition. What other practices do you think are vital for the success of effective communication with remote teams? Let us know right here in the comments section!