5 Remote Team Communication Best PracticesThe Flow TeamLast Updated: December 17, 2020
As more and more teams shift toward working remotely, the need for better communication practices is becoming essential. Communication—work-related or not—is often easier when you work in the same physical office space. Have a question? You can stop by your teammate’s desk for a quick chat. Need your colleague to review your work or have a word on the changed project timelines? You can always do it over a cup of coffee or on a lunch break.
When your team members are spread across different time zones, however, this real-time communication is more of a challenge, and it can impact a team’s productivity and collaborative dynamics. This is why following team communication best practices become critical while sharing a virtual workspace.
Team Communication Best Practices for Increased Productivity
Effective communication is one of the key traits of successful remote teams. As a team manager, you are responsible for facilitating team communication to improve overall productivity and motivation. To accomplish this, you’ll need a few key tools at your disposal.
- Task management: As a team, you want to deliver quality work while avoiding last-minute rushes. A task management app can help your team stay on top of everything project-related—streamlining workflow, assigning tasks against due dates, sharing project timelines and resources, and inviting feedback and collaboration without unnecessary back and forth conversations.
- Video conferencing: Whether it is face-to-face calls, company training, or department meetings, a video conferencing platform makes it easier to check on your team and initiate free-flowing conversations.
- Internal chat and messaging: With instant messaging, you can share project updates or resource links as well as casual conversations with your teammates. You can also tag team members over group messages or directly send them private one-on-one messages.
While these tools help improve the quality of communication among your teammates, you’ll also need to follow some team communication best practices. Here are 5 to get you started.
1. Establish communication guidelines
Your team members might prefer different communication styles, but that should not come in the way of maintaining transparency and a positive remote work culture across the team. By encouraging direct communication, you can ensure that communication does not get lost or misinterpreted among your teammates. Establishing communication guidelines to respect individual differences and manage expectations for response times can help facilitate honest conversations among your team members. All of these, in turn, improve interpersonal relationships and build trust among the team.
2. Engage via video conferencing
Face-to-face conversations are a critical part of communication. In a remote work environment, you can’t truly understand the problems faced by your team members or the support they need by communicating exclusively through emails and chats. By scheduling regular one-on-one or group meetings through video conferencing on Zoom, WebEx, or other tools, you can bridge this communication gap. These face-to-face virtual meetings not only make conversations easier but also help you connect with your team members.
3. Use chat channels for quick communication
Quick chats with your team don’t need to involve long email trails or unnecessary meetings. Whether you are initiating task-based conversations or just communicating for fun, internal and instantaneous messages can be best exchanged over dedicated chat channels that allow for both private and group messages.
4. Choose one communication type for each message
When team communication happens over multiple channels like texts, emails, and chats, too many notifications can prove to be distracting. So, it is important to choose one dedicated communication channel for each type of message. For example, instant messaging can happen over a chat app while longer messages or larger files can be sent through emails.
5. Leverage an intuitive platform for communication and collaboration
When it comes to facilitating team communication and collaboration, there are several tools to choose from including Slack and Google Suite. However, you need a virtual workspace that can make both working and socializing with your team easier with features to view project timelines, assign tasks, chat, and others. Switching between different platforms for communication, collaboration, and overall task management can add more stress and chaos to your team. This is why you need an intuitive platform that is designed not just for communication, but real-time collaboration as well.
Team communication is a success only when you and your team can effectively address the challenges of virtual team communication and collaboration. A user-friendly, all-in-one task management platform can help you implement team communication best practices and redefine virtual communication with your teammates.
Implementing Team Communication Best Practices Through an All-in-One Platform
A collaborative virtual space for your remote team members keeps everyone in the loop while working on a project. As a manager, you want to successfully administer the distributed workflows of your team while improving team dynamics through better communication. A centralized task management platform can help you track the progress of the delegated tasks while a chat application can help you understand the roadblocks your team is facing to accomplish those tasks and provide support accordingly.
An all-in-one project management platform with robust features facilitating both communication and collaboration serves as a complete package—helping you manage overall workflow and enhance the quality of team interaction with minimal distraction. Furthermore, with a built-in or an integrated chat application, it becomes easier for you to implement team communication best practices and improve team engagement.
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