Remote work is more common than ever in the United States, and the percentage of full-time at-home employees is only expected to grow as technology improves. There is a myriad of benefits to having an entirely remote company. From a greater work/life balance to reduced overhead expenses, there are few reasons not to at least begin considering remote work for your business.
Of course, remote work has its challenges, and employers must learn how to effectively communicate. So many companies shy away from remote work because they simply do not understand how to handle the business aspect. How do you know if employees are doing their job if you can’t see them busy at their desks? How do you stay on the same page with people working in different parts of the country, possibly in different timezones or even on completely different schedules?
These tips will help you improve communication with your remote team, boosting your company’s culture and morale.
Establish Ground Rules
Just because people work from home doesn’t mean their job doesn’t have requirements and expectations. Enforce mandatory weekly meetings, and require employees to be available online for a certain period of hours during the day.
Make sure that communicative boundaries are in place. For example, how should time-sensitive information be handled, and how should people reach out to you in an emergency both during and after standard work hours?
Keep Communication Open
Pay close attention to how many one-on-one conversations are at play in your Slack channel. If too many employees are branching off to talk to one another, important details may not be shared. There’s nothing wrong with colleagues collaborating in a digital environment, but make sure that people are active in the public chat as well.
No one should be going behind anyone’s back, or even worse, over their head.
Keep It Real With Video Conferencing
Remote workers may sometimes feel disconnected from their company. When you never speak to your own boss face-to-face, it’s easy to feel isolated and, ultimately, uninspired. Having weekly video conferences helps establish a real connection. There should also be time cast aside for team building; a virtual lunch session where employees log on and eat together without any pressure to present or partake in a work meeting can do wonders.