10 best remote work communication tips
Working remotely comes with many challenges. It can lower the productivity of teams and individuals.
Also, it can be lonely and depressing for some workers who are used to going to work every day to a lively spacious office where they can easily collaborate with their fellow coworkers.
For these reasons, clear and effective remote work communication is highly important, especially for teams that work on big projects for weeks or even months.
Here we have gathered some of the best remote work communication tips that will help you stay on track and allow you to maintain or possibly increase your productivity.
Table of Contents
- 1. Become familiar with your company’s remote work policy
- 2. Improve your written communication
- 3. Be careful with overcommunication and redundant details
- 4. Don’t shy away from video meetings and calls
- 5. Find out what are your colleagues communication preferences
- 6. Be a proactive communicator
- 7. Be careful with sarcasm and humor
- 8. Assume good intentions
- 9. Use project management software
- 10. Be respectful and kind - we are all human
1. Become familiar with your company’s remote work policy
Among the remote work communication best practices, It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your employer's remote work requirements.
This includes things like how and when you can be reached by your colleagues and superiors, are your work hours going to be strict or flexible, and so on.
Make sure to respect these requirements in order to show that you are a reliable person who can be trusted, even when you are working from home.
2. Improve your written communication
This is probably one of the most important working from home communication tips. When you work remotely, you are dealing with a lot of written communication.
Be it emails or instant messaging, it is a good idea to pay attention to what you write and how you write it. Your goal should be to focus on clear, concise, and consistent writing.
Here are some general good practices:
- Write in short and clear sentences.
- Use simple words and phrases to convey your thoughts.
- Start with the most important things.
- Check your writing for mistakes.
- Use basic spell check and correction software.
3. Be careful with overcommunication and redundant details
When communicating online, especially with written communication, it is important to stick to the most important things. Too much information and details can shift the focus and become a major distraction.
Overcommunication is bad communication. So always ask yourself what are the main topics and aspects that need to be addressed and what can be left for a later stage of the work that needs to be done.
This way you won’t overwhelm your colleagues and/or clients with too much information.
4. Don’t shy away from video meetings and calls
If you find yourself writing an incredibly wrong email, then perhaps it would be better to do a video meeting or a call.
Keep in mind that these are also professional communications and you should look, talk and sound your best.
Prepare for such meetings and calls in advance, knowing exactly what you will be talking about, and consider taking notes.
Keep the chit-chat to a minimum and focus on the most important aspects of your work and/or the particular project that you are discussing.
5. Find out what are your colleagues communication preferences
Another way to show that you are a good team player is to find out what are the communication preferences of the people you work with.
And respect them, of course. Some folks prefer instant messaging while others would rather jump into a conference call.
Also, it would be best to figure out as a team the proper channels of communication for various matters.
For instance, email is most suitable for important department- and company-wide updates while project discussions can take place during conference calls and group chats.
6. Be a proactive communicator
As part of your effective communication while working from home it is important to show the people you work with that you care about what you are doing.
Therefore, choose the active approach. Ask the questions, send the emails, leave comments, engage in the conversation. Become an active voice within the digital workplace that you have created.
Don’t shy away from giving your opinion or asking questions when things are not clear.
This way you will show that you are somebody who truly cares and works towards success.
7. Be careful with sarcasm and humor
Memes and casual chit-chat surely have a place within an online environment. But practice caution when it comes to work.
Lighthearted jokes and sarcastic remarks might come across as rude or inappropriate depending on who is reading them.
Perhaps, first take the time to get to know your colleagues and only then reveal your comedic genius.
8. Assume good intentions
Likewise, if you are the receiver of a joke or a sarcastic remark, remind yourself that no malice is intended. After all, does anybody really win by being hateful?
Of course, with time you might actually realize that you are dealing with a not-so-pleasant person. If that is indeed the case, then you should talk to your superiors right away.
Such behavior will probably only get worse with time and cause more harm. It can be quite demotivating for some people and harm the flow of communication.
9. Use project management software
If your work is done within a team, then you should definitely resort to some project management software. Doubly so if you are the manager of the team.
This way you can easily track the work of your team and witness the daily progress that you are making. Nowadays, there are many project management tools and platforms that you can opt for.
They are a great way to optimize your communication and even increase your productivity.
10. Be respectful and kind - we are all human
Remote work communication can become quite mundane and robotic at times. So don’t neglect the human factor. Take the time to greet people and ask them how they are.
Wish them happy holidays and so on. And most of all, remember to be kind and respectful. Nobody is perfect. Just be nice and people will meet you with the same.
- Good remote work communication allows you to maintain or even increase your productivity, even when working from home.
- Take a proactive approach and work toward developing optimal communication habits.
- If possible, meet with the people you work with in person from time to time.
- Use project management software if you are working with a team of several or more people.
- Make sure you have good internet speed for working from home.