According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43 percent of workers in the U.S. stated they spent at least some time working remotely in 2016. This is up from just 39 percent in 2012.
Each year, these numbers seem to grow, and working from home is no longer a “new phenomenon.” In fact, it’s starting to be considered the new norm in both small and big businesses and corporations. However, there’s still a challenge for businesses offering remote positions to their workforce – communication.
The good news is, with the right approach, it’s easy to manage and monitor remote workers, remain in touch and achieve superior levels of productivity. Preventing communication issues is much easier than you think, especially when you use the five tips here.
1. Set the Expectations Early
The first thing you have to do is be clear and upfront about your company’s expectations for remote workers. While this will vary based on your company culture, your current needs, and your workers, the more direct you can be, the better it will be for everyone in your company.
For example, do you need your workers to be available at certain hours? Do you need workers to use a specific medium? Don’t assume anything – spell everything out for your remote workers. This will ensure they know what to do and what is expected of them.
2. Use the Same Platforms and Apps
There are hundreds of different collaboration, management and chat apps available today. If each of your employees is using a different tool, then they are never going to be able to communicate with one another effectively. Be sure your entire team has downloaded the apps you prefer to use for your organization.
3. Be Proactive
You need to set expectations regarding productivity for yourself, and the remainder of your team. If you know you have a huge project coming up, let your team know about it early. Also, make sure they know to tell you in advance when they need time off. The more notice you provide – even for small developments – the more time you have to react.
4. Avoid Interruptions
One of the main reasons that remote workers are often more productive than office workers is because they don’t have the same interruptions. However, these can still occur. Try not to ping someone on messenger or call them when you are aware they are busy. Reserve all communications for emergency situations – true emergencies.
5. Have a Plan in Place for Emergencies
From time to time, emergencies can and will occur. When they do happen, you can’t be scrambling around to trying and find team members.
Be sure to put standards in place (from the very beginning regarding how to reach out and how to handle emergency communication needs. This could be something as simple as calling rather than using email; however, again, you need to be clear and upfront about your expectations.
When you put these strategies to work for your own team of remote workers, you will find that communication isn’t difficult or challenging. Also, the more time you spend learning one another’s habits and each other’s speech patterns, the more effective you will be at keeping the standards efficient. This is also going to lead to better communication for everyone on your team.
If you need more information about communicating methods and solutions for your remote workforce, reach out to the professional staff at Monster VoIP.