10 Tips for Effective Communication With a Remote Team

 

Are you looking for more effective ways to communicate with your remote team? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. COVID-19 has forced many employees, and employers alike, to adjust to working conditions they weren't prepared to handle. However, employees now see the beauty in remote work and outsourcing. For instance, companies prefer to hire an offshore development team in countries like the Philippines instead of maintaining one in-house because it saves costs and improves productivity. 

 

Collaborating with a remote team is an efficient way to complete projects but it also comes with its challenges. For example, here at Cloud Employee, we’ve seen the immense improvement in our client’s operations in terms of workforce efficiency thanks to our premium offshore staffing solution.

 

That being said, the lack of physical connection can put a strain on effective communication. Luckily, these ten tips for effective communication with a remote team will help. 



1. Choose the right internal messaging tools

Many teams suffer in this area because they use more than one means of communication. Communicating through various channels is not only disorganized, but it is also not secure, and information could get lost easily. 

 

Choose a secure communication platform and create accounts for your team members. Then, ensure that each team member is aware of the forum and knows how to use it. With the advent of new apps, you are sure to find something that works best for your team. 

 

2. Use visual aids to ensure clarity

Unlike physical communication, where you can gesticulate using body language, virtual meetings do not afford team members this opportunity. As such, you'll have to implement diagrams and visuals to ensure that your message is communicated correctly.

 

Using simple icons and process diagrams can help explain things thoroughly for better understanding.

 

3. Promote feedback

Unless you are an autocratic leader, you should encourage your team to provide you with feedback on how to make work more efficient. Furthermore, encourage them to ask questions because it'll eliminate uncertainties, paving the way for a clearer understanding. 

 

Feedback does not only begin and end with your employees. You should also provide them with feedback. Positive feedback is a  great way to acknowledge your team's hard work and input. At the same time, negative feedback gives room for constructive criticism and leads to improved productivity. 

 

4. Encourage personal connections 

Keep in mind that the members of your remote team are not robots, and as such, should be treated as humans. Show that you care about them and their mental wellbeing by organizing regular team building events, virtual happy hours, and video coffee dates. These events encourage them to talk about non-work-related interests. 

 

Encouraging interpersonal discussions between team members creates a positive atmosphere for effective communication. After all, it is easier to work with people you connect with on a personal level, the tasks seem easier. 

 

5. Create an office culture 

Like it is with an in-house work team, you should also create a work culture for your remote team. Having a work culture is not only about creating a mantra or vision statement. You need to implement and document what you see for the future as it relates to your remote team. 

 

The document should be clear, articulate, and inspirational. If you want your remote team to be diverse, your office culture should communicate this properly so that no information is lost. 

 

6. Never make assumptions 

Though it is good to keep your communication brief and clear, try to resist the urge to put out conflicting information. Efficient communication does not rely solely on fewer words and shorthand. Using shorthand and cues can lead to misinformation. Your remote team should have a uniform idea of the message you convey irrespective of their background. 

 

Remember, you can never be too clear. So, to avoid doubts and misinterpretation, focus on being ultra-clear when communicating with a remote team. 

 

7. Schedule your meetings

Just because you are working with a remote team does not mean they should or will be available 24/7. While that would be nice and a lot more productive, it is not an ideal practice. To effectively communicate with your remote team, ensure that you schedule your meetings and check-in time. 

 

A schedule prevents you from bombarding your team with messages and digital dominance. It also allows remote team members to make themselves available for meetings without external interruptions. 

 

8. Define your remote team's goals

The last thing you want to cast aside is a well-defined goal when it comes to working with a remote team. Each team member should understand what their duties and roles are when it entails executing a project. 

 

Clearly stating each person's goals and expectations ensure everyone is on the same page and makes your appraisal or review process easier. For instance, if you manage a remote sales team, ensure each member knows they should increase their sales portfolio by 50% every six months. Also, ensure you reiterate this message during your scheduled meetings for better clarity. 

 

9. Establish communication norms 

We are creatures of pattern, as such, predictability plays a vital role in our efficiency and productivity. You can make it easy for your réalité team members to communicate efficiently by consistently sticking to a clear personal etiquette. 

 

For instance, you need to establish your email tone; will it be formal, semi-formal, or informal? What is the turnaround time for a mail response, and should every mail deserve a reply? Acronyms like NNTR (No Need to Respond) can be used to indicate that a mail does not need a response. There's a whole lot involved here and it should be defined early on to avoid any confusion. 

 

10. Do not underestimate your team's diversity

The beauty of remote work is the ability to work with people around the world. However, this diversity can be a challenge if it is not managed correctly. 

 

When sending a message or receiving it? It's best to be sensitive to your team members' cultural norms, time zone, and location to prevent misunderstandings and conflict. 

 

To Sum Up

As you may know, communicating with your remote team is an essential part of any project's success. Thankfully, it's not rocket science, you can communicate efficiently by following these tips. Each message you pass across should ensure everyone is on the same page, and that there is no room for doubt or misunderstandings. 

 

We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers in the Philippines, who are skilled across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.

 

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