In all my growing up years I have always been fascinated with the metaphorical idioms used in our communication. One of the most intriguing one is that of ‘an elephant in the room’ – an obvious problem or a difficult situation that people avoid talking about or skirt around. While there are situations that one can avoid, current environmental context does not permit us to skirt around the problem that is glaring at us – how to manage work seamlessly without being physically present on the office floor.
While working remote is increasingly becoming the norm with 24×7 connectivity, today’s context is making it the need of the hour! While managing employee morale and keeping panic at bay are critical aspects, so is working seamlessly in whichever location one is based in. Considering this mode of working has its pros and cons, listing down top five communication tips. While they may seem very simple, they can be game changers when implemented effectively:
- Exercise the three Cs – Consistent, Clear and Concise:
The three C’s is the magical wand in achieving maximum results with minimum efforts. No matter how you are communicating or with whom if you follow consistency through regular communication, clarity in your messaging and instructions and are concise by being on point you will never go wrong.
- Respect deadlines:
When we work remote, often we lose perspective of people’s schedule, timelines and the deliverables they are struggling with. This can make collaboration difficult, but it’s not impossible. Remember that your colleague is equally busy and adhere to the deadlines that have been arrived at.
- Don’t assume:
When you’re not chatting face-to-face, you may be tempted to make assumptions about what your colleague or superior is really thinking. Without visual cues, this can be challenging, and it may lead to negative exchanges. Best way to avoid ambiguities or misunderstandings is to have a clear discussion to air out any differences.
- Leverage technology:
Today besides smart phones which provides easy access to connect anywhere, everywhere we have various technologies that can be used effectively to have remote discussions. Video calls and skype meetings are increasingly gaining popularity as it brings the entire network closer and helps in better exchange of ideas.
- Don’t lose the personal touch:
While work is extremely important one cannot neglect the personal connect. Make room for small talk, understand what the colleague is going through, support by giving them an opportunity to share their problems or concerns, be the listening board. This will help strengthen the bond leading to a better understanding in working together.
By following these suggestions, you can kick off remote working with a stronger focus on effective communication, even if you are the only virtual member on your team. As you do so, you’ll likely find that improved clarity and efficiency of your messaging not only leads to higher productivity, but also makes your workdays more pleasant and less frustrating. That makes it a goal worth achieving, whether it comes from you or from your manager.
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