Having communications issues with coworkers? Six months ago, you could walk over to their cubicle and try talking out your differences.
But in the era of COVID-19, more people are working remotely. Going forward, more workers will split their time between working at home and working in an office.
Knowing how to communicate effectively is one of those things that gets harder as the amount of remote work increases. It’s natural to feel more isolated in a home office.
At the same time, if you don’t get your point across, then the work quality will suffer. Keep reading for some tips on how to communicate effectively at work.
Set Ground Rules
In most cases, you can’t walk past your coworkers’ desks and say, “Don’t forget the meeting at 2.” There’s less structure to working at home, so how do you figure out how to communicate information effectively?
You can start with someone you do anyway: work e-mails. Instead of sending an email whenever you need to say something, start sending them on a more structured basis.
For instance, you can send an email every Monday morning laying out the week’s agenda. Make note of any meetings or deadlines. People are more distracted right now, so it’s easier to forget the important stuff.
Don’t forget to encourage people to reply. Yes, it might feel weird to get a dozen emails that all say, “Got it!” but it’s the best way to make sure you’re getting heard.
Streamline Your Tech
In an office setting, everyone is using the same phones and the same computers. That’s a lot less likely to be true when people are working from their home offices.
More than half of all Americans only use a cell phone now. That means their mobile device becomes their office line by default.
From a privacy standpoint, that’s not ideal. But if you haven’t already given your workers separate mobile devices for work, it’s unlikely you can afford to do so in the middle of a pandemic.
Look at getting each employee a second phone line without getting them a second phone. Yes, it’s possible to add a business phone line to a mobile device via something called a VOIP.
VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Under this system, your employees will have a second phone number without getting a second phone.
When someone calls their work number, that call will get forwarded to the second number. That makes it easier for employees to know if the call is personal or business.
What about texting and voicemail? Those features come built into the VOIP system as well. Consider it another set of tools available to your business.
How to Communicate Effectively During Remote Work
It’s tempting to try and bring all the employees back to the office as soon as possible. Yet figuring out how to communicate effectively with remote workers is a much better bet in the long run.
You shouldn’t have to choose between productivity and safety.
If this article was helpful, bookmark our site. We’ve got a lot more advice about navigating the realities of today’s workplace.