2020 was a whirlwind but it doesn’t seem like any of that is going away soon. Working from home has become a necessity for most businesses during this time. The most difficult part about working from home is the lack of face-to-face interaction which in turn has caused communication errors. I have some great strategies to help you maximize communication with your coworkers from the comfort of your own room.
Listen to each other
Many people underestimate the skill of listening. This is the most crucial factor in having effective communication with your team. Without these skills, you will never be able to adequately communicate. The two simply go hand in hand so it is imperative that you listen to who you are speaking to and are responsive in return.
Host open meetings
The minute we hear that there will be a meeting we instantly zone out but this doesn’t mean it always has to be boring to the point where everyone’s eyes are practically shut closed. Hosting open meetings can provide all persons who are involved with a chance to share their thoughts and opinions. In turn, this engagement ensures a more interactive experience and allows for all to practice effective communication.
Emailing is still effective
Although emails are a thing of the past, they still provide stability to most businesses. While companies have integrated alternate communication platforms such as Zoom and Slack, emails can still be efficiently used. Sending confirmation emails to one another can be used as a deterrent of miscommunication. For example, you have spoken to a college about a scheduled meeting, send a confirmation email and add it to their calendar to avoid any mishaps.
Incorporate visual aids
A common misconception in the workplace is that training is boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporating visual aids like videos, gifs, and other graphics is one of the easiest ways to keep engagement up with your team. In return your employees will pay closer attention to what is and is not acceptable. Ending the training sessions in quizzes or incentivizing employees with a prize can also encourage them to participate in learning.
Set scheduled hours
Working from home is beneficial if managed in the correct manner. This allows one to have a balanced social and work life which is the ultimate goal for most people. If this time is not managed correctly, it can result in a reduction of effective communication. In order to overcome this negative, it is simple; set scheduled hours. Obviously, your schedule is not always going to be the same but setting aside a time where everyone is available online allows people to interact efficiently and receive immediate feedback if need be.
Practice encouragement and feedback
No one wants their work to be criticized without any substantial feedback. Offer your constructive feedback and valid reasons and suggestions. It is important to remember that everyone is on a team and you are responsible for supporting and encouraging each other. When presenting feedback, make sure you’re expressing yourself kindly and being considerate. If you are being rude, they will stop listening and loathe coming to you for advice.
In conclusion, it is important to remember how effective communication can really make or break your team when working from home. Communication is key so implement these easy strategies and watch your team become little chatter boxes with great success!
Chase Fryhover serves as a Director at RETS Associates, a national real estate executive search firm. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org