Remote work presents an array of challenges, and it requires strong communication and high levels of trust. Oftentimes group messaging can become overwhelming for individuals. There can be dominant players in the chatroom, distracted conversations, and miscommunication.
1. The Acknowledgment Function
When sending emails or chat messages, encourage team members to acknowledge messages even if they do not require a response. Sending “Ack” following a message ensures that the sender knows that the message has been received and read. This is a simple solution that can prevent communication problems.
How many times have you received a message that you do not know how to respond to, simply because it does not have a call to action?
How many times have you sent a message that you do not receive a response from and are left wondering if the message was received?
These issues can be easily resolved by instituting the procedure of acknowledging messages. You will find that communication on your team improves greatly with the power of one word.
2. Separate Chats
If you find your team getting distracted in chat rooms, do a chatroom cleanup.
In an office people will engage in small talk or personal catchup during work hours. Having the ability to wish your co-worker a happy birthday or ask them about their weekend strengthens your relationship and builds trust in your team. Designating a chat room for these kinds of conversations ensures that the team does not miss important information threads.
In the online world we are able to avoid small talk but it is important to have a place where your team can bond in the online world.
3. Standing Meetings
Find an effective time to set a meeting that repeats on a regular basis. Have an agenda and send follow-up notes.
Working remotely can feel isolating and often leads to a disconnect between team members. Having a brief touchpoint with your team each week will ensure that everyone is clear on goals and outputs for the week.
4. Use a Shared Calendar
Proactive planning can be achieved using a shared calendar. This gives all team members a clear understanding of time constraints/vacations so that work can be planned accordingly. This also cleans up “communication hygiene” so that team members’ boundaries are understood and respected.
In the age of technology it can become overwhelming to be available around the clock. Establishing team boundaries with a shared calendar ensures that team expectations are clear and no one feels overly pressured. Your team can also create a shared document that shows the daily hours that team members are available to respond quickly to messages, emails, and phone calls.
Stay at home orders forced our society to quickly adapt to online learning. Companies such as Twitter and Shopify have decided to transition out of traditional offices and it is clear that more flexible work terms are here to stay. The benefits of remote work have been recognized and although not everyone prefers this model, there are ways to improve your team’s ability to work effectively from a distance.
If you are still working remotely try implementing the acknowledgment function, chatroom cleanup, standing meetings, and a shared calendar.
To learn more about how you can reconnect with your remote team visit www.gasparotto.co/services
About the Author
Jessica Orchin is the Director of Marketing at Gasparotto Group. Jess is an Honours in Business Administration graduate at the Richard Ivey School of Business. At Gasparotto Group she leverages her experience in sales, business development, and business planning to accomplish company goals. Outside of work Jess is an outdoor enthusiast and can be found in the mountains hiking, biking, climbing, and skiing.
The Gasparotto Group helps organizations create cultures that develop highly effective leaders and build strong, resilient teams.