Many employees find it hard to adjust to a work-from-home setting when they’ve spent years working in an office. Fortunately, there are VoIP phone handsets and other systems in the UK and everywhere else in the world to maintain communication between employees even while working remotely. However, having the technology is not enough. How can you, as a manager, help maintain effective communication within your team while working remotely?
1. Emulate the regular office schedule
One of the challenges of working from home is that it rarely ever feels like a working environment. It’s home, so it’s the place to rest and spend time with family, right? While this can also be a benefit of working remotely, many employees find it hard to focus when surrounded by the comforts of their house.
Hence, an excellent way to combat this challenge is by emulating the regular office schedule. By logging into the team chat at the usual office time and setting meetings at the same schedules, employees are more likely to feel the normalcy of working despite being in their pyjamas. Similarly, don’t hold any work-related conversations or meetings after work hours. Even if your team is at home, this doesn’t mean they can spare more time to work.
2. Set communication standards
How are you going to communicate with your team while working remotely? Determine the communication app you’re going to use and then centralize all streams of communication there. At the same time, instruct your team how and where to send deliverables when needed. Use the easiest and most efficient communication platforms there are and as much as possible, choose applications that your team is already familiar with.
3. Help your team set up
Unless everyone on your team is tech-savvy, make it a point to help your employees set up their tech so they can start working from home. From their VoIP systems to headsets, make sure everyone’s work systems are up and running before starting operations again. This way, you can avoid technical difficulties from disrupting work hours as much as possible while ensuring that no employee is left behind, technology-wise.
4. Encourage overcommunication
Communicating through online means is a whole lot different than talking face-to-face in the office, especially if there are generational gaps between your employees. In this case, overcommunication may be beneficial. Encourage employees to ask questions whenever they’re not sure about something, share whatever they think needs to be shared and discuss things in detail even if it seems excessive. This way, missing out on something is less likely despite not having your co-workers just a few feet away from you.
5. Call when necessary
For sensitive matters or things that are easier discussed through a call, use the phone as much as possible. Even though it will take up more time than instant messaging, using phone calls is an easy way to avoid miscommunication.
One or two employees working from home is usually not a problem. But when the whole team is working remotely, these are the best ways you can maintain proper communication between so that your goals are still met with the same efficiency as when working in the office.