Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, remote working has been an incredibly common working situation, with nearly 60% of the entire American workforce now actively working from home. What’s more, this seems to only be the beginning for remote work, with 74% of companies having plans to transition over 50% of their workforce online by 2025.
The work from home paradigm started within the pandemic, but with the realization that working from home is both more productive and costs companies much less with renters fees, it has now become a working staple. Alongside benefits for the company itself, employees don’t have to commute anywhere with remote working, saving them hours a day that they can use for whatever they’d like.
In short, remote working is a powerful tool for modern working. But, being across the country, or even the world, from your coworkers, can pose an issue for communication. In this article, we’ll turn to this problem, looking at the best internal communications tools that can keep your remote workers engaged.
We’ll cover the following methods:
- Instant Chat Is Your Friend
- Asynchronous Meetings
- Newsletters Instead of Morning Updates
- Virtual Learning
- Company-Wide Events – Breakout rooms
Let’s get right into it.
Also read: What are the Main Benefits of Automated Communication Systems?
Instant Chat Is Your Friend
For the past few decades, intra-company communication has been limited to email services like Outlook or Gmail. While these are still important, with a lot of company communication being coordinated through email efforts, they’re now not the only tools that we have available to us.
When your teams are working remotely, you still want to have the ability to rapidly exchange information, discuss projects, and coordinate among team members. Email, while useful, is typically a slow medium of communication. That’s where instant chat services like Slack or Microsoft Teams come in, allowing your team members to talk to each other directly in private channels.
Providing your teams instant chat channels will help them to continue to communicate rapidly, just like when they were in the office. Putting these social channels in place allows for quick communication, contributing to the ongoing progression of your internal projects.
Especially with remote workers, not everyone is going to be located in the same time zone. If your company works with freelancers or offshore talent, then you’ll likely have employees all over the world, making that morning meeting a little less easy to manage. To get around this, we recommend that you use asynchronous meeting tools.
This allows you to create a meeting and have anyone in your timezone join. From there, other remote employees can access the recording at absolutely any time, adding their thoughts into the chat box that’s shared with other employees. With this feature, you can also save a lot of time as your meetings will always get right to the point.
A core part of remote working is time zone difference, with tech tools that facilitate asynchronous meetings being vital to adapt to this new working format.
Newsletters Instead of Morning Updates
Many teams live and die by their morning meeting, this being a place where they can share company news and give out major updates. But, with time zone differences, this can get a little difficult to manage. While you can schedule an asynchronous morning meeting, another way to go about hosting a morning meeting is by simply compounding all the information into a newsletter.
Each morning, you can write and send out a short bullet point list of information that all of your employees will then read when they start working. By distributing information in this way, easily using an email service, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Although this doesn’t have the same feeling as a morning meeting, it gets the job done and can be a fantastic replacement for this function.
Especially for employees that aren’t confident with technology, a little extra support to navigate all of these new technologies can go a long way. Instead of just throwing your employees in the deep end with all these new internal communication tools, you can help them through the transition by providing virtual training.
A few modules running through how to use a tool, which you can create yourself by screen recording, will help people understand how to use a tool, and when they should use it. With these virtual videos in place, team members can access them whenever they need a refresher, helping them to navigate this new technology with ease.
Don’t forget that training facilitates the movement of these new communications tools, helping everything run smoothly – even when completely remote.
Also read: 4 Reasons Why Virtual and Hybrid Events will Remain in Future
Although the above tactics allow workers to perform their job to the best of their abilities while still being able to contact their coworkers, there is still a need to get people as close to face-to-face as you can now and again. Alongside team meetings every week or daily, you should endeavor to run some company-wide events now and again.
Structure these company-wide events through an online meeting platform like Google Meet or Zoom, providing different events for different worker timezones. Within this event, you can do a drinks evening, a cooking class, or some other fun event to keep your employees engaged. Just a small note, if you have a team social, be sure to provide breakout rooms for smaller groups.
When you’re in a singular Zoom call with 20 other people, it’s difficult to get the conversation flowing. However, when you’re in a breakout room of just 3-4 people, it’s much easier to have a real conversation where everyone has an opportunity to talk and discuss. A few events like this every month or so will keep people in the loop while also providing a great opportunity for team-building and socialization.
Remote working is a fantastic way of ensuring your workers get their jobs done while also having a much better work-life balance. While the benefits of this new working strategy are vast, replacing face-to-face communication is far from easy.
But, by incorporating the above tactics, you’re able to make use of the very best communications tools in order to keep your remote teams connected. From asynchronous meetings to newsletter updates, using these tools helps to keep all of your team on the same page. Luckily for businesses, the movement to remote work has aligned perfectly with the development of technology that facilitates this change. Make the most of modern tech, and remote communication becomes a breeze.
Leave a comment