Communication Tips For Working Remotely

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Written by: Cristina Marcos
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We live in an interconnected world where communication and exchange take place on a global level. It’s not unusual to wake up in New York, have a video call with someone in París, speak with a coworker who’s in Madrid and end the day with the rest of your team that’s working around the globe.

That’s what makes remote work ideal for the needs of our times, especially in this difficult situation where the the Coronavirus Covid19 has required that people all over the world shelter in place.

In this new context, companies need to be increasingly digitized and especially agile and adaptable. Every day, more companies that utilize remote workers are created and those already in existence are migrating towards remote work models. This implies that the job market and job requirements are going through a transformation that requires flexibility and that workers have access to tools that allow them to develop their professional skills in any part of the world.

What is remote work?

Remote work is a relatively new work model that allows workers to do daily tasks off site and even in another timezone. While remote work cannot be applied to all professional sectors, in the future, many more jobs will be able to be done at a distance.

Remote work

In the culture of remote work, we’re seeing more than just those working for startups, which have traditionally been the most flexible companies in terms of employees’ location. Now, many meetings, events and training sessions are being held online, and large and small companies are adapting to use new formats. Of course, some sectors like those of elearning and online classes, took advantage of digital possibilities early, creating digital jobs.

Working remotely has its advantages, but what are its implications?

Remote work, which has numerous benefits for companies and workers, requires that you keep a series of requirements and values in mind:

  1. The structure of the company must allow for remote work, which requires planning and flexible processes.
  2. Companies’ and people’s degree of adaptability when implementing new processes will be a way of measuring future success. In the words of Albert Cañigueral: “we live in a society permanently in beta.”
  3. Remote work should form part of the culture of the company, which results in improved Employer Branding overall. Companies should trust their workers who should in turn be transparent with the company.
  4. The tools needed for successful work should be given to workers. Technology is especially important here.
  5. Relationship models change when those relationships happen online. We communicate through a screen, where physical contact loses relevance.
  6. Communication with workers should be transparent and inclusive.

Tips for written communication for telework jobs

Given the nature of remote work, we must be able to modify and manage the way we communicate to make sure our messages don’t get lost.

What you used to say by going up to a coworkers desk is now said through a chat platform or email. This means that spoken communication is more frequently mixed with written modes of communicating. Since we can’t resort to non-verbal communication, we need to send simplified, friendly messages in writing to guarantee that they’re understood and taken well.

Woman work at home

Plus, when we take into account the quantity of information we consume each day, it’s clear how important it is that our messages be easy to understand, direct and impactful. If you send a document, add illustrations such as infographics, tables, etc. Highlight what’s important, and make it stand out. This will help whoever is receiving your work to retain the information.

Tips for online meetings and training sessions

Having virtual meetings or classes isn’t always easy, especially when you have a lot of people connected at the same time. So remember to:

  1. Choose a video call platform that’s simple and user-friendly.
  2. Check to make sure your internet connection is running and stable.
  3. Respect turns and keep your microphone off when another person is talking. If you’re the teacher or speaker, you may want to ask those connected to the call to silence their microphones at the start to avoid adding unnecessary noise.
  4. Keep your audience’s attention by avoiding monologues at all costs. It’s easier to tune out online.
  5. When necessary, don’t hesitate to use visual elements or props.

Remember: Be visual

Whether you’re going to use written communication or a video call, keep in mind that visual elements are more memorable than others. Visual communication becomes vital when your goal is to make your information easy for your audience to consume.

This doesn’t mean that your underlying message has to be simple. Here, our focus is on how to present information while helping our audience to stay engaged and follow along. When working remotely, make sure to add visual elements to your talks and presentations: use infographics, presentations, maps, etc. That way, you’ll strengthen your message, and you’ll have something you can send your audience after so they’ll remember everything you covered.

A changing standard means changing communication

Remote work requires and reflects a changing standard in the job market where each worker is responsible for their tasks and results. Companies, in turn, facilitate this new reality by becoming more flexible and adaptable

Large companies are looking to startups and organizations with digital DNA for models to follow. This kind of company, which is more flexible and less location dependant, has interiorized this culture since the beginning, making remote work an easy option to offer. As a start-up in the digital sector, Genially has different offices in different parts of the world, but the distance doesn’t stop our team from staying connected. While some of our coworkers work remotely on a daily basis, the rest of the team can complete its professional tasks remotely if they need to without any problems.

Distance communication needs to be especially efficient, a goal reached through efforts of both companies and their employees. Communicating clearly in a digital environment isn’t always easy, but if we simplify our messages and add visual elements to go along with them, we can make up for some of the non-verbal communication lost at a distance.

The world is changing, and thanks to new technologies, it’s easier every day to join the revolution of the digital era. What do you think? Leave a reply in the comments, and if you’ve enjoyed this post, feel free to share it on social media.

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