Working remotely has become increasingly popular in recent years. In addition to increasing your team’s productivity and efficiency, it also makes it possible for employers to truly hire the best people for the job, despite their location.
Having open communication within a team is so important, particularly when you aren’t in a physical office together. If your employees work remotely, establishing clear communication channels and expectations is crucial for things to run smoothly. Keep reading for 5 tips for establishing clear communication when working with a remote team.
1. Let Your Expectations Be Known Right Away
Establish boundaries right away with your remote employees. As soon as you bring a new team member on board, lay out your expectations clearly. Do your employees have set hours so you’ll always know when they’re available, or are they required to mark themselves as “online” within your email or Slack channel?
What does communication look like surrounding specific projects? Will they be required to update their progress regularly, or only notify you when a project is complete? How often do you require check-ins or touchpoints with your team? Whatever clear communication looks like for you—ensure everyone is on the same page so there’s no room for confusion.
2. Offer Different Avenues for Communication
Working in an office environment means more opportunities for quick chats, asking questions, or collaborating with colleagues. To help foster that same level of communication, be sure your team members are utilizing the live chat feature within your email or Slack channel. This allows communication to remain fluid with no questions left unanswered.
You can also create Slack channels for different tasks, projects, or types of communication. This creates space for questions, ideas, or updates without the need for constant emails.
Not everything calls for video meetings, and that’s okay. While client meetings are usually a good time for cameras to be turned on and employees to be fully engaged, quick check-in meetings with the rest of your team may be a good time to give your remote workers a break from their cameras.
3. Have Regular Meeting Times Each Week
Because in-person communication isn’t possible, it’s crucial you allot time each week—or however often you feel necessary—for check-ins and collaboration. These weekly meetings are a great way to open up communication for all members of your team.
You might also consider sending a team email at the beginning of each week with any updates or notes to mention. This is a great way for your employees to start the week up to speed while also being able to dive right into their work.
4. Make Space for Collaboration and Feedback
Offering space for collaboration and feedback is a great way to help your remote team members feel seen, heard, and validated. Working remotely can sometimes feel a little isolating, so it’s helpful and encouraging to keep each member of the team involved by creating opportunities for everyone to share their ideas.
5. Host Online Events for Socializing and Team Building
In addition to opening up communication for work-related items, consider offering virtual team-building events or opportunities to socialize. Ultimately, the closer the community you have amongst your team, the easier it will be to communicate clearly and effectively when it comes to working together.
Keep these 5 tips in mind when establishing clear communication and expectations with your employees. When you’re ready to grow your team, reach out to a remote staffing agency to help you find the best fit for your company.