Many employees felt the strain of distributed working during the pandemic-induced remote working boom.
Indeed, 10 percent of workers from the ages of 18-35 experienced a decline in the information given to them by management. They also claimed the frequency and effectiveness of communication dropped.
If you have distributed teams, ensuring efficient communication should be a top priority. Without the right tools, you'll struggle to build or maintain relationships, communicate important information, and create a collaborative culture. You'll also provide less effective customer communications.
With that in mind, here are three ways you can boost communication across your dispersed teams.
1. Create a video first culture and turn your video on
We get it - it can be intimidating to turn your video on during a conference call.
But, if you want to replicate the connection of face-to-face interactions and build a video first culture then getting acquainted with your webcam is a must. In fact, almost 90 percent of remote employees say video conferencing helps them feel more connected to their colleagues.
So, don't be shy. Give your colleagues a wave and a smile to make the tone of your calls feel more informal.
With a platform like Microsoft Teams, you also can take your video communications one step further by incorporating instant messages. This can be particularly helpful if your meetings are full of people and you want to avoid overlapping conversations.
2. Make room for authentic conversations
If you want to build good relationships between your remote colleagues, allowing room for small talk and chit chat is essential.
Saying a simple 'good morning' on a phone or video call doesn't cost a thing.
Beyond work calls, however, try to implement some additional social calls, such as remote trivia nights or happy half hours. Get creative with it!
3. Collaborate in real-time
To avoid distributed teams working in silos, adopt cloud-based applications that support real-time collaboration.
For instance, document processing tools such as Microsoft Word, OneDrive, and SharePoint allow multiple people to review and comment on documents at once or even roll back changes.
This not only empowers your teams to work together, but can speed up project deliverables and save time too. (Think of all the feedback calls you can avoid!)
Connect your distributed teams
'The future we envision for work allows for infinite virtual workspaces that will unlock social and economic opportunities for people regardless of barriers like physical location. It will take time to get there, and we continue to build toward this.' – **Andrew Bosworth, VP Facebook Reality Labs**
'Distributed' doesn't have to mean desolate.
While communication can be difficult for your remote teams, it's not an insurmountable problem. So, instead of relying on infrequent in-person meetings, adapt the way you work.
Beyond the adoption of hosted telephony, video conferencing software, and cloud-based collaboration tools, you can make small, everyday cultural changes that will boost comradery across your distributed workforce.