Communication Tips for Remote Workforces in the COVID-19 Era

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In our current times, it is essential for companies to foster workforces with nimble communication structures. The pandemic has tested so many facets of running a company, and those who are successfully adapting have made communication a key focus, ensuring that remote, in-house and international teams have established technology and systems to connect and collaborate with limited or zero in-person contact. Last year, at the same time, if you had asked business leaders if they thought this type of communication model was possible for their organizations, most of them would have said no. But now, with many workforces working remotely, we have seen just how resilient and creative teams can be, especially when given the right tools.

As we are moving full steam ahead into a realm of online communication, we’ve got a few tips to help your teams stay connected, organized and on-track. Here they are:

Harness the Cloud

Remote access to internal databases can only get you so far. Remote teams need more than just a place to save or find assets. They need to:

  • ask questions about those assets
  • collaborate on projects related to the assets
  • make multiple notes, edits and changes to the assets
  • assign ownership to assets
  • track changes to the assets and document the timeline of edits and versions

With cloud-based technology, teams are realizing that they can do all this in addition to working with entire departments live in an online project space. For example, with monday.com’s project boards, you can view the entire project from a bird’s eye perspective or drill down to the collateral or documents in real-time. Designated teams or individuals who are working on these items are noted and their deadlines and status updates are all visible—ensuring there is no miscommunication about where assets and files are, and who is supposed to be working on them.

Use Online Chat and Instant Messaging to Keep Track of Important Conversation Details

Phone calls aren’t entirely necessary when online chat provides a space for not only conversations but the documentation of them. In many cases, this means team members don’t need to ask questions about items or topics that have already been discussed, as these notes can be found in the chat history. Similarly, important notes from chats can be copied and pasted into plans and documents, making the process of turning online discussions into definitive plans simple.

Make the Most of Digital Whiteboards for Brainstorming and Collaboration

The days of nearly dry, acrid-smelling whiteboard markers are over. This collaboration tool has been re-created online, offering all the same functionality as physical whiteboards without the fumes. Teams can congregate together on a whiteboard chat and put their ideas simultaneously onto the same board. They can draw, chart, write and scribble like they used to, and all of this info is automatically saved for future use. For some, the physical intimidation of standing at the front of the room is also removed, spurring a wealth of innovative ideas from a completely flat whiteboard room hierarchy where everyone has a seat at the online table.

Track the Tasks and Cultivate a Culture of Ownership and Accountability

When things go well, everyone always wants to take credit. When things go poorly, no one does. How do you know who is really responsible for either of these scenarios? You assign roles and ownership. This ensures if there are delays or problems, you can visually see where they are occurring and who has claimed ownership for completing the task. Likewise, if there are achievements, you can see who made those happen too.

Assigning ownership has benefits beyond getting projects completed too. Studies have shown that when employees are empowered as leaders or with responsibilities, they perform better at their job, are happier with their work and feel committed to their organization, according to an article in The Harvard Business Review. What’s beautiful about seeing the accountability across the organization is the fact that even the managers become part of this ecosystem, showcasing their duties and responsibilities that also need to be met. They can ‘walk the walk’ in a sense—and by doing so, foster trust and respect from their team.

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