How to improve communication in a remote team

02/25/2019

How to improve communication in a remote team

Communication is key for a smooth working team, any kind of team, even more so when it is in the professional environment. An important piece of information can slip down the cracks of an interrupted communication, and that can mean a huge negative impact for the success of a project.

But when it comes to a remote team, the possibilities of communication being abrupt or simply incomplete or inconsistent grow exponentially and dangerously.

That is why, if we are leading a remote team, we need to study all the many specific needs it might have and how are we going to manage and articulate all types of communication with each member and with the team as a whole.

We need to be updated with the technology, tools, gadgets and strategies that allow the best form of communication for each type of issue, and prepare our team to make sure that they know how to communicate, using what tool and to who they should address each issue. Essentially we need to create a protocol.

But there are little things that can help you improve your remote team communication, so today we bring you 3 main tips that worked for us, and will definitely work for you too.

How to improve communication in a remote team

  1. Provide the right tools and occasions to meet, talk and build connections using the best technology.

It is crucial that the team knows each other, that they know each person’s role as they would if they were sitting next to each other. But also, make sure that they get to know each other as people as well.

Allow some space for just “human contact” you can either open some time before or after online meetings for some personal small talk, or even open new ways of communication that would allow them to exchange some experiences non work-related to create a bond that will also help them feel part of a project and actually become a team.

  1. Introduce GIFs and emojis that will give a deeper dimension to what you are saying.

The main form of communication with remote teams is written, and sometimes, because it is a work environment, we can be too professional, too cold, or too formal. This might get in the middle of the actual message that we mean to send, maybe over alarming people or sounding rude, which would definitely hurt the team mood.

That is why introducing GIFs and emojis, we can help give a better sense of how we feel about a work situation, and add a more human emotional vibe that is very much needed in any work situation to avoid the super uptight suffocation.

  1. Don’t be scared, over-communicate.

It is easy to feel unplugged from what is going on at the office when you are working alone from home. It is also easy to feel left aside from small conversations at the beginning of a meeting while you are waiting for the whole team to join the call.

That is why we encourage every one in the team to over communicate on everything they feel might have a small or big impact on the rest of the team: a late delivery, a tech problem, some last minute news from the client or simply that they need something from the rest of the team.

As we said before it is key to know that everyone in the team, no matter where they are, are on the same page. The last thing we want to hear is a member of the team saying “When did that happen? I haven’t heard or read anything about that!” That right there is a huge red flag that will show us that we have to change our communication system, so until we have it nailed down, communicate every single change and event, and from there you can start shaping it.