Did you know that in Buffer & Angel List’s State of Remote Work 2020 report, respondents identified collaboration and communication as one of the biggest struggles with working remotely?
If that surprises you given the number of digital tools in place these days (think Slack, Trello, and Zoom; to name a few) to support remote teams, communication is still largely dependent on a multi-faceted approach. There are many pieces to the puzzle, beyond technology, to make your remote team successful. And we’re sharing the top six with you today.
- Set clear expectations
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. While you may think your remote team members can read your mind from wherever they may be working in the world, you must provide clarity on what exactly you expect from them from the get-go. Ask yourself, “What’s important to me?” to begin creating your own set of realistic expectations—whether that involves hitting deadlines, how often you’ll communicate, availability, and more.Doing so will ensure everyone is on the same page and help minimize future frustrations on both yourself, the employer, and your remote team member.
- Schedule regular meetings
It might be tempting to work day in and day out by communicating with your team members through digital tools and software. Still, we highly recommend you make space in your calendar for scheduling standing meetings at a minimum of once a week. That way, you can use that dedicated time to virtually check in on the status of existing projects and to-dos, discuss open goals, address concerns or questions, and really continue forging a solid remote work relationship.
- Give access to data and tools
Are there tools or software you use on the regular for ultimate productivity and communication? Maybe it’s a specific Slack channel or Trello board. Whatever it may be, be sure to give your remote team member access to those so they have everything they need to not only meet your expectations but also be successful as a member of your team overall.
- Communicate often on the status of work
The success of a remote team is dependent on both the employer’s level of commitment to regularly communicate just as much as it is on the remote team member. Incorporate a simple daily or weekly checklist for your remote team to submit to you digitally. Having this in place will help you focus on what you need to do to scale your business versus continually feeling the need to follow-up with your people. Ultimately, you’ll rest assured they’re working hard to accomplish the tasks they’ve been assigned.
- Be inclusive when it comes to work culture
Communication often becomes a bit more challenging if the entire team isn’t remote. Why? Because it’s easy for remote team members to feel left out and disconnected from everyday work conversations and traditional gatherings. So, it’s up to you to be creative in how to include them. You might consider having them virtually attend a meeting via Zoom or add them to a “watercooler” Slack channel that features all team members—both remote and in-office, giving them the chance to converse on fun get-to-know-you topics (with a few ground rules, of course).
- Encourage feedback and discussion
Feedback should be a two-way street. That being said, make sure you frequently let your remote team members know if they’re hitting the mark or how they can adjust on a regular basis. Remote team members, on the other hand, should also inform their employer if and when there’s anything that could help them work to their fullest potential. Encouraging an open and easy line of communication promotes nothing but a positive, transparent remote work environment!
Eager to have a successful remote team of your own and put these communication tips to good use? Let Instant Teams handle the search for a quality remote team member, payroll, policy, and managing your team so you can focus on growing your business.