With governments across the globe telling citizens to stay home due to COVID-19, those that are still working have shifted to a remote environment. In fact, Time Magazine has referred to this shift as “the world’s largest work-from-home experiment,” as many companies try remote work for the first time.
The trend of working remotely is nothing new. With a rise in workforce mobility over the past few years, working remotely is not as foreign as it once was.
Nevertheless, there are adjustments companies must make when facing our current indefinite remote environment.
Whether you have remote work experience or have never worked remotely before, it can seem like a daunting transition. One way to help your team adjust smoothly is by using the right tools.
After all, maintaining remote team communication is crucial as we navigate changing a social and economic environment.
Keep reading to learn about various tools and rules that can help your remote team maximise success and employee engagement.
Remote Team Communication Tools
When you imagine what tools you need to work remotely, you likely think of your computer first. But what other tools might you need to fulfill your daily duties?
Specifically, what tools do you need to stay on the same page as the rest of your team?
Remote communications may look like phone calls, text messages, and email chains—which can get cluttered.
The best way to keep your team up to speed is through remote team communication tools that help organise information.
As of 2019, the number of business and consumer emails sent each day is more than 293 billion. Email remains an integral part of how businesses communicate with their employees and clients.
With the staggering number of emails sent and received each day, the average inbox can get cluttered. This is especially the case for remote work environments; when every conversation turns digital, keeping communication transparent can get tedious.
Thankfully, shared inbox software like Threads makes transparent communication much easier to achieve when working remotely.
By organising your company’s messages into one easy to navigate location, Threads makes it easier for everyone to stay on the same page. You can customise how and what Threads automatically logs for you as well.
Let’s say you take advantage of Threads’ call recording and transcription features. You want this call data sorted according to the client that call is about.
Through the unique settings Threads provides, you can easily manage how all of this data is logged and make it easily accessible to the right employees.
Wondering how you can boost success through your remote team communication efforts?
Contact the team at Threads today to learn how Threads can streamline how you work remotely.
A common tool that helps support your remote team communication is shared digital workspaces, like Facebook Workplace.
What makes Workplace unique is how it goes past basic chat functionality and provides various features that integrate with the tools you use already.
Through Workplace, you can hold live video broadcasting sessions with your team. This tool can be a great way to engage with your employees instead of sending out a company-wide email. Plus, Workplace lets you go live from your phone or computer, making it easy to access.
Workplace also supports team collaboration efforts through various tool integrations with software like Dropbox, Salesforce, and more.
Another digital workplace tool to consider is Google Meet, previously known as Google Hangouts, which is included in G Suite. Overall, G Suite offers businesses a variety of ways they can collaborate and stay connected.
For example, your team can collaborate in Google Docs and even assign tasks and events that fit into everyone’s calendar.
Remote Team Communication Rules
When making the transition to working remotely, there are some communication rules of thumb to keep in mind. While they may seem simple, they can be easy to forget—especially if you haven’t worked remotely before.
Don’t Forget Video Chat Etiquette
Whether or not you have used video chat software in the office, it is important to keep various etiquette rules in mind.
First and foremost, it is recommended that you mute your audio when joining a meeting. Now, this doesn’t mean your speakers or output audio! What we’re referring to is your microphone or input audio.
We all live and work in different environments. Understandably, some of those environments can get noisy at times. By muting yourself as you enter a meeting, you are removing that element of distraction from your meeting.
Other video chat etiquette tips include knowing where your webcam is. It’s ok if you forget at first—you may not have needed it before now!
It is generally recommended that you sit back from your computer’s webcam—but not too far! Your meeting participants still need to see you. The same can be said for sitting too close to the webcam. It can be distracting for others if you’re only a few centimeters away from your webcam in a meeting.
Check Your Sound and Audio Before a Meeting
This is a simple rule but an important one. You can save time for yourself and others by making sure your audio equipment works before starting a meeting.
For instance, some people prefer to use a headset when participating in a digital meeting. This can be quite beneficial for various reasons, such as preventing audio feedback loops.
Nevertheless, some headsets may require adjusting certain settings on your computer or meeting software. So, it never hurts to double-check those settings before starting a meeting to make sure everything is working.
Contextualise Your Information
When talking to someone digitally, especially through text, knowing what they mean can be difficult.
After all, you can’t rely on hearing a person’s tone of voice like you would when talking aloud. So, you must instead rely on context clues to guide your interpretation.
We recommend contextualising your information when possible. When writing an email, take a moment to read it back to yourself. Does it make sense? Does it have any particular tone, even if it was unintentional when you wrote it?
Contextualising what you’re saying can help avoid any unnecessary tone, especially negative tone.
When you send an email saying, “we need to talk,” try to put why you need to talk into context. Maybe it’s about an important client meeting coming up.
Regardless, sharing that information can make it easier for your employee to understand what is being said.