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10 Ways to Overcome Remote Work Communication Challenges

Updated: Apr 19



Remote working abruptly gained momentum during the COVID era. But it has already been 3 years since, and life is almost back to normal now.


Or is it really?


Certain businesses realized the advantages of remote working, especially in terms of cost saving. This has brought in the introduction of permanent remote working or the hybrid work culture.


So basically, you have workers who are working from different parts of the world. This brings up one major issue, and that is - efficient communication.


In this article, we will be discussing the remote work challenges due to ineffective communication and strategies to build effective communication channels in your existing office environment.


Remote Work Communication Challenges

Communication plays a key role in the smooth functioning of any business. While working in a physical office, you have the leniency to walk across to your colleagues, call or text them, and even have dedicated time for meetings and discussions.


Such privileges are not available while working remotely leading to the rise of a number of challenges. These challenges include -


The difference in time-zone

Remote working does not guarantee that all your employees will be working in the time zone. Geographical differences make it difficult to have meetings at a feasible time for your employees.


Misunderstanding

Emails and text messages are handy when it comes to remote communication. However, the long text sometimes does not convey the actual message. Further, delayed responses to emails also lead to hindrances in the smooth flow of projects.


Lack of trust

When remote workers do not have direct face-to-face interaction with their colleagues, they are not able to build an environment of trust. Lack of trust directly hinders the communication capabilities between remote workers.


The alienated feeling

Remote workers complain about the feeling of being left out. This happens due to irregular conversations with colleagues and the lack of physical interaction. It is necessary to hold your employees on the same page for an efficient work progression.

10 Strategies For Overcoming Remote Work Communication Challenges


Now that we know the most common challenges that arise in remote working, let’s build practically implementable strategies that will help in improving communication among your remote team members.


Setting up a guideline


The first step for effective remote communication starts with a guideline.


How about a guide that defines the rules and regulations on the usage of email, and video meetings? This will provide a base for your team members to build conversations.


Further, you can have separate guidelines for availability, a timeframe for email responses, and a continuous method for project updates. This will enhance transparency in the remote work environment.


Listen to your employees

Sometimes, listening is all it takes to convey a message to your employees!


Wise leaders always practice the concept of listening. When it comes to remote working, your employees do not have a window to exhibit their emotions.


As leaders and managers, you need to actively listen to them. This encourages them to work with enthusiasm and put in their best efforts for the overall improvement of the organization.


Utilizing digital tools

Emails and text messages are outdated!


Gone are the days when Emails and Slack messages were efficient for team communication. With advancements in technology, your team members want a centralized dashboard for communication as well as task management.


You can effectively use PM tools such as ProofHub, Asana, Basecamp, and other such tools for communication as well as task management. This process helps eliminate confusion caused due to ineffective communication.


Schedule timely ‘check-ins’

Set up a repetitive schedule where you allot time for one-on-one or team meetings.


You could have timely check-ins daily, weekly, monthly, or in any time gap as per your requirement. This builds a culture of continuous interaction and helps you deliver effective feedback to your team members.


Transparent expectations

As a manager or leader, keep your expectations clear and transparent.


When you define individual roles and responsibilities, it becomes easy for your employees to concentrate on their tasks. This plays a key role in effective deadline management and the smooth progression of your project.


Further, employees work with ease when they are aware of what is expected from them. They are free from the transparent bubble that weighs down their progression.


Team building activities

Remote workers generally develop a phobia over meetings, because of the monotonous nature and reason behind such meetings.


You must put in effort to make the meeting lively. When you organize team bonding exercises, your employees will be able to understand and build a true connection with their colleagues.


By building a team culture, you encourage your team members to work together, thereby, enhancing the overall productivity of your team.


Implement continuous feedback

Just like setting up KPIs for other factors, communication should also be effectively judged on specific parameters.


With a clearly defined KPI and continuous feedback, you will be able to build a team with highly communicating members, capable of collaborating among themselves.


Additionally, with improved and mature communication you are able to ensure a smooth progression in your tasks.


Organize training sessions

Your employees require grooming!


You just cannot expect your employees to be perfect in all disciplines and work like robots or machines. When you invest in their development and training, you are effectively enhancing the outcome and productivity of the team.


Further, you should ensure that your employees are able to use the communication platform or the task management tool with ease. Training them on these basic aspects will enhance the overall productive output of your team members.


Over-communication

Although communication is necessary, there is a fine line that separates communication from over-communication.


When you start communicating too frequently over petty things, it quickly converts into micro-managing. This is not a good sign for the team members.


It is essential for you to maintain that effective communication ratio for a healthy team and efficient progression of tasks.


Organize physical meet-ups or retreats

Obviously, there is no better way to enhance communication, than by organizing regular meet-ups.


Remote team members are generally scattered all across the globe, so organizing a physical meet-up would be challenging. However such meet-ups will contribute positively to the overall morale of the team.


By bringing your team members together, you are creating an environment for interaction and team bonding that will eventually build trust and the concept of working towards a shared vision.


Bottom line

Although businesses are starting to get an effective hold over remote working, it is essential to solve all these issues early on. This will help you in setting up a successful team with a steady and smooth flow of tasks.


Technological advancements provide businesses with the ability to manage teams with ease. It is essential for managers and leaders to exploit the potential of technology positively and eliminate remote communication challenges in your team.


Author Bio:


Vartika Kashyap is the chief marketing officer at ProofHub, a powerful Clickup Alternatives. She is a strong-headed woman who always puts her innovative inputs into project management, collaboration, balancing work and life with technology and more. She is active on various platforms, including Linkedin, the e-learning industry, and more, to share her expertise. Off hours, she enjoys motherhood and reading about mental well-being.



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