With coronavirus at the forefront of everything, most organizations are still working remotely. This entire period has been an experiment for organizations & for employees — an experiment working remotely. Beginning with the onset of the pandemic, for most organizations, working remotely has become a trend.
Right now, remote working — or, working from home–has become more than a trend. It’s now a necessity for companies all across the globe. As a result, there are thousands of team leaders and managers who find themselves suddenly managing a completely remote team. Honestly, that can be scary, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever had to do so and didn’t have a lot of time to prepare.
In a number of ways, this is working perfectly, but there are aspects of it that need to be addressed. Most organizations and managers are managing their teams pretty perfectly. But, do you think your team is delivering when it comes to communicating productively?
As a manager, you need to understand whether your team is communicating productively or not. There are certain situations when you can be sure that your remote team is not communicating productively. While it was easy to communicate and make sure that your team is playing hardball on every single project at hand in the office, this could be a little difficult working from home.
But, don’t worry, we have done a small survey to understand when your team is not communicating productively. Let’s dive deeper to understand:
- There is no communication at all throughout the day.
For a healthy & productive workflow, it is important to talk to your coworkers. No messages exchanged throughout the day could be a sign that the team is not communicating as productively as it should be.
Communicating often would make you more comfortable seeking help when you need it from other team members. If you are responsible for managing the team make sure the team is actively asking questions and communicating with each other.
If nothing, a simple forwarded message or GIF would keep everyone active ready to seek help & help others. But, it is also important to check on your team members, if they are not overdoing it!
- Your team members are not showing Gratitude/appreciation for each other.
One of the important ingredients of healthy official communication is “expression of gratitude & appreciation” for each other.
This not only acts as an appreciation for the other members, but it also forges a connection, which makes it easy for everyone to communicate with each other.
You should often congratulate each other on small or big accomplishments. This way you’ll create a space with rejuvenated energy where it’s fun to work even on bigger projects.
- Too many meetings show poor communication.
Too many meetings also would not mean that you are communicating productively. In fact, it’s a symptom of unproductive & meaningless communications.
Think before scheduling every single meeting — compare the results of the time spent on this meeting with that of the work that could be done at this time. If the latter produces better results, try communicating across the agenda through emails.
If there has to be a meeting make sure you are not waiting too much time discussing unimportant things. Keep it short & productive.
Another important thing to take care of when you are scheduling a meeting is — making sure that everyone is present whenever the meeting is being scheduled.
- The meetings are being scheduled without setting the agenda in advance.
When you are conducting without setting an agenda in advance, it’s going to do nothing but waste your time. This is another sign that you are not doing the communications effectively.
You must make sure that the agenda for a meeting is set beforehand so that the members spend time productively. To self-regulate the member, you can arrange a five minutes chat session — this would make the meeting way productive.
The best thing would be if you could share the meeting agenda with the team in advance! This will give the members time to get ready with preparations.
- The body language will Reveal if the meetings are productive.
The trivial things like the body language could reveal if the meetings being conducted are productive or not.
Pay attention to the body language of your teammates — it will reveal if the communications are getting results or not.
Pay attention to — the body language, eye contact & how everyone is speaking — a lethargic, uninterested sound would mean unproductive meetings.
- There is no collaboration between team members.
A team cannot perform unless there is a collaboration between the members. Look for the team spirit and whether the members are collaborating when there is a need. As a manager, if you see that there is no collaboration during or after the meeting — know that your team is conducting unproductive meetings.
No collaboration means that your team members don’t feel comfortable reaching out to each other for help. This could also mean that they do not have enough tools to communicate & collaborate.
For instance, a member is assigned to create Youtube video ads, he must discuss and collaborate with the other team members to create a list of powerful Tactics to Create Marketable Youtube Video Ads through different communication channels.
- There are no Norms for Online Communication.
Do you know why you have been so stressed about communicating with your remote team? It’s because you do not have your norms set for online communication.
By online communication norms, we mean that there should not be random break & lunch hours. Everyone should be on the same page — work hours & break hours must be fixed — so that everyone knows what could be the best time to communicate & when not to expect a reply from the other end.
Keep it a collective communication and everyone in the team should know about any latest developments or an ongoing project. Setting remote communication norms would help your team grow and efficiently in a number of ways.
- Emails look too convoluted
When emails look too convoluted — you’ll have to schedule a remote meeting for everything — this, in turn, will do nothing but waste your time.
Keep your emails simple, short & specific! Don’t try to extend it unnecessarily. If your primary channels of communication are emails, make sure that every single email being sent is simple & easy to understand.
As a manager, you have to have the knowledge of when the team members are not communicating effectively. For effective communication, make sure that there isn’t “absolutely NO communication” throughout the day, members are expressing gratitude to each other, there aren’t too many meetings, and emails are simple. Establish important remote meeting norms — so that the time spent makes sense.