Effective Communications For Remote Work
Communications is critical for any career. However, when working remotely, your ability to effectively communicate with the people within your organization is paramount. According to Apollo Technical, 16% of companies are fully remote globally. When working remotely, you should still strive to be visible and stay top of mind. Effective communications will help you do this.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn, where she interviewed Remote Work Advocate and Keynote Speaker, Mandy Fransz.
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During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Mandy shared how when she first started working remotely; she noticed there were so many meetings. She found these meetings weren’t always necessary and could decrease productivity because of a lack of communication. There are several ways to make sure meetings are productive for everyone, even when working remotely.
Consider the following:
- Meeting Reason – Before you decide to schedule a meeting, make sure you have a strong reason for why you need to have the meeting. For example, you can tell your team you want to decide on a project, or you are having a meeting to get feedback on a logo design. Being clear about your intentions will help everyone come prepared for the meeting.
- Engaging Meetings – You need to be able to engage your audience while presenting. For example, using exciting visuals can help capture your audience’s attention. Because you aren’t in the same room as everyone, you will have to take an extra step to ensure your audience is paying attention.
- Record/Take Notes – When people work remotely, they may not all be in the same time zone. This can cause a problem when trying to schedule meetings. To ensure everyone gets the information they need, consider recording and taking notes of the meeting. For example, most virtual meeting software allows you to record the meeting. Designate someone to take notes. Then, you can send a link for the recording and notes to anyone who couldn’t watch the meeting in real time.
When you and your team work remotely, you want to make sure your meetings are valuable, engaging, and accessible.
Working remotely has many benefits; however, staying visible can be more difficult. There are several ways you can stay visible and effectively communicate while working remotely.
Consider the following:
- Video On – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica and Mandy agreed one of the easiest ways to boost your visibility while working remotely is to keep your video on during meetings or when meeting a client. This is because seeing someone makes a personal connection, and shows you care. For example, if you want to communicate to your superior how much you care about a project, keep your video on and practice positive body language while you are in a meeting. You may be one of the few people to keep their video on, which will help you stand out to your superior.
- Share Your Thoughts – Because you aren’t able to walk into your boss’s office, or talk to a co-worker, you have to find ways to communicate your thoughts. One way you can share your thoughts is by replying all. For example, most people are sent mass emails about something happening within the company, or about an upcoming project, etc. When this happens, you can hit reply all and share a thought. This can be super short like, “That’s great!” Or “Congratulations!” When you do this, your name will appear and keep you top of mind.
- Speak Up – Even though you’ve turned your camera on, you still need to speak up during a meeting. These meetings may be the only chance to engage with your superiors. Use this time to boost your visibility. For example, you can use the chat function to ask a question. Or, if allowed, raise your hand to speak in front of everyone. You can even email the person in charge of the meeting and see if there is time for you to share. Speaking up will help boost your visibility while working remotely.
Even though you are working remotely, it is critical for you to stay visible to those within your organization.
3. Self-Care Communication
To stay productive while working remotely, you must communicate with the people you live with and your team. This communication will help you take care of yourself to focus on finishing your work without working around the clock. There are several ways to communicate this.
Consider the following:
- Sticky Notes – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, an audience member asked how she could communicate the importance of her working hours to her family. Mandy suggested using sticky notes. For example, you can place a red sticky note on your door when you are in a meeting and can’t be interrupted. Or, if you are checking emails, you can place a green sticky note on your door to communicate it is okay to be interrupted. This communication will help your family respect your working hours and help you focus on your tasks.
- Walking Meetings – Almost all of your meetings will be on video when working remotely. This can lead to virtual meeting burnout. Consider communicating with your team that you would like to have a phone meeting instead to avoid this. For example, you can go for a walk while listening to the meeting. This will help you get some sunshine and self-care, and you will still be able to participate in the meeting.
- Office Hours – Communicating your office hours will help you stay focused and prevent working around the clock. For example, one way you can communicate your office hours to your team is to share your calendar showing when you are available for calls or meetings. You can also write out your schedule for your family to show them when you are available during the day. Clearly communicating this to everyone will ensure everyone is on the same page.
It is easy to always be in work mode when working remotely. Because of this, it is critical for you to clearly communicate with your team and family when you are available and when you aren’t.
Effective communication is imperative when working remotely. The more you can communicate with your team, the more visible you will be and the more success you will find.
If you want to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Mandy’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.
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