Effective communication is key to making any business successful, but is even more crucial when working remotely. Since 2009, the number of virtual employees has grown 159%, with 16% of companies worldwide now 100% remote. As companies continue to shift to a culture that provides “work from home” flexibility, communication will play an even larger role in our everyday lives. Check out 4 ways you can connect with co-workers to make sure you never miss a beat.
1. Hold Virtual Meetings
While working remotely provides a sense of flexibility, stay engaged with co-workers by holding video meetings. Doing this weekly or even daily enables employees to visually connect with the people they work with and communicate what everyone is working on for the week. Providing teams with a space to discuss what everyone is working on and to ask questions will improve overall workflow and performance.
- Pro tip: Set the expectation to keep webcams on during virtual meetings to create face-to-face connections.
2. Use Communication Applications
Email is a vital part of working remotely; but having a dedicated communication application is an essential tool for employees to quickly and effectively reach their managers and peers. It keeps every team member more organized and connected. Applications like Slack, GoogleChat and Microsoft Teams allow you to keep a thread of your conversations on one database through structured chat rooms. Many of these services allow you to create threads between the company as a whole, co-worker to co-worker, or divided by specific teams or projects.
- Pro tip: Use communication applications to commend others on a job well done by mentioning them within the public chat rooms. Not only will this boost morale among co-workers, it will also make employees feel seen and appreciated even if they can’t encourage each other face-to-face.
3. Utilize Project Management Tools
In addition to using communication apps, utilize project management tools to increase workflow. Programs such as Workamajig, Trello, Basecamp, and Asana help manage deadlines and deliverables for each team member. Using these all-in-one platforms not only gives an overview of the department as a whole, but clearly shows what each individual is working on, their progress on specific projects, and how they are collaborating with others.
- Pro tip: Many of these softwares have a time-tracking feature. Whether mandatory or not, this feature allows you to see where you can be more efficient and show managers how you are using your time.
4. Establish Rapport Among Employees
Even though you might not be meeting in person each day, establishing rapport among co-workers should be at the forefront of how you structure your online space. Using different thread conversations active throughout the work day gives team members a space to share their creative ideas, helpful feedback and questions. Encourage everyone to participate and use their strengths in order to collaborate with others for the overall success of the company and workplace relationships.
- Pro tip: Sending company “swag” to employees when they join the company or during the holidays will help them feel valued and allow them to feel a part of the team.
Effective communication can be practiced even before you enter the workforce. Earning your degree remotely can help you establish good work and study habits that translate well as you prepare to embrace work-from-home opportunities. ACU Online allows students to earn a degree while virtually connecting with their peers and faculty members to make the most of their learning experience. Check out acu.edu/online or contact us at 855-219-7300 to learn how we’re educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Become a student and join our vibrant, online community.