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Work From Home Tips: Communication Barriers

You have probably heard it before, but it’s true that strong communication skills are critical if you want to succeed as a virtual employee. Learning how to keep your team engaged and continue working effectively together when you are apart the biggest challenge workers face right now. Communication is really the foundation of good remote work. It helps you stay on the same page as your teammates and supervisors, and with the added pressure of the unique situation we find ourselves in, communication will help keep teams productive and cohesive.

1. Get Clear About Expectations from Your Workforce

In the absence of seeing your team and colleagues on a daily basis, it is easy to take your normal communication levels for granted. When you work from home, you must be proactive in keeping lines of communication open, so no one feels isolated or left in the dark. In order to adopt the most effective means of communicating and to tailor your approach according to the context, the first step is to consider the dynamics of your team and to identify what the specific needs of team members may be. Issues can range from poor IT or communication skills, cultural or language barriers, difficulties of location and time, identity issues, and feelings of isolation. Ask about work hours, meetings, assignments, and deadlines. Figure out people’s preferences to communicate, and then try to communicate in the way that meets their needs. Being proactive is one of the best communication skills. It is helpful to make time for more informal and casual communications. Respect their time differences and always assume good intentions for them.

2. Ask What You Need

You can build good relationships with questions. Building relationships in the digital workplace comes down to forethought and preparation. Say what you want to achieve so that you can make a clear opening statement as an introduction to a conversation. You have to understand yourself and your goals before starting a conversation. Seek feedback, opinions, consultation, and collaboration. Figure out their expectations of you as an employee; what skills you should seek out, and how can you help to meet your project goals. Ask for advice at this point in your career. Without thinking about workplace conversations and communication strategically, you may not have the workplace relationships you desire. Remote work has a way of making this kind of gap glaringly obvious. As an employee, you have the opportunity to spark these highly effective conversations with your managers. And believe it or not, they need you to do so. High employee experience is strongly influenced by a good relationship with the manager, and it has a range of other positive effects for the manager, the employee, and the business.

3. Keep Track of All Communications

balancing updates and e-mail overload; manage & prioritize; plan.

Often, people assume communication is the same online as it is face-to-face. However, while virtual communication allows us to “communicate faster, easier, and at our own convenience”, it lacks feedback, empathy, connection, control, and emotion. In a face-to-face interaction, “we speak content, and we signal emotions, attitudes, and intent through our body language.” This is difficult to achieve virtually, leaving most virtual communication misunderstood. So, you have to always keep track of all communications. Balance your updates and e-mail overload. Manage, prioritize, and plan your work so that you won't get messy with your workflow.

With remote work becoming a more viable alternative to the workplace, better communication practices need to be in place. By using some of the tips above, CFOs and managers create better communication practices in the workplace and avoid prolonged deadlines during busy periods amongst their teams. Broadly, these time and space differences also mean that you are more likely to experience distractions and interruptions, given that you tend to allow work and family activities to coincide. We, Recruit Hero are in this together with you. Reach out for help if you need any. Don’t forget to keep updated with other tips for working from home by following our social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also, for those who are whether already job searching or are newly laid off because of coronavirus, good news for you! We provide you the resources you need to find the job and company you love during this uncertain time. Register at Recruit Hero today!


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