Productivity

How to Improve Communication for Virtual Teams

Written by Sophia Smith

The changes of 2020 have impacted both individuals and companies alike. Virtual teams and working from home became more common.  The pandemic is a source of lessons for business leaders looking to advance their team engagement and communication.

Your employees have all the tools and strategies at hand to develop strong and stable bonds, honest communication, and versatile manners in which to exchange experiences. From social media, to the implementation of various software solutions, your business can use technology to advance and improve internal communication for the long term.

Organise agenda-driven meetings

Video conferencing is a pandemic essential. It’s a seamless solution that fosters a strong internal connection among employees. Video conferencing will also help you to run efficient meetings – provided that you prepare properly.

To avoid wasting time, having one participant dominate the conversation, or any similar issues, you should always organise your virtual meetings and set an agenda that assigns projects, clarifies expectations, and leaves a few minutes for issues and advice.

Use PM tools to divide and conquer

It doesn’t matter if you have only one staff member or if you have several different departments in your company. When they are all working from home, real-time collaboration depends on the cloud, and for that, most companies should use project management (PM) tools.

By leveraging PM software via the cloud, your remote teams can easily delegate work to other team members, always knowing when they have room in their workload. They can easily send real-time alerts, work on files and brainstorm without causing delays in delivering work and reaching milestones.

Manage time and shifts effectively

Many employees working from home have struggled with time management. Supervising your team in the office is easy – you know where everyone is at any given time, especially if you have a smaller organisation. With larger teams and hybrid business models where some employees work virtually and others are in the office, you will need greater visibility and real-time supervision.

To have a good sense of where your teams are and how the workload is being distributed, more companies use the time and attendance solutions that provide better team visibility. You can use various software solutions designed to give you a real-time overview of your team’s work and schedules, which will help with smarter resource allocation and allow you to seamlessly integrate your remote teams with your on-site staff.

Build remote cohesion through appreciation

Appreciation is key for successful companies. Showing that you value your employees makes all the difference in how those employees feel when working remotely and communicating with each other. It helps them understand their role in growing your business and it empowers them to keep advancing.

Moreover, you need to make sure you express appreciation through more than just the occasional pat on the back. It’s up to you to create a healthy home office culture so that  virtual teamwork is enjoyable from the get-go. Invest in quality equipment such as laptops, offer your employees the flexibility to design their own schedule, and listen to them when they come to you for advice. Sometimes a simple alteration in how you communicate can transform their motivation and push them forward.

Offer variety in communication

As we’ve previously established, regular, weekly meetings are a must to keep everyone informed and give teams direction. That is no excuse to make those virtual meetings the only format of business-wide communication. Leave some time in your schedule for exchanging feedback with each employee, even via virtual get-togethers. Talk to your employees to see what kind of interactions might help boost company morale, be it informal Slack chat, or monthly happy hour sessions for team-building activities.

Virtual communication is versatile. Make the most of the tools you have at your disposal, but keep your options open. An employee might come up with a creative way to build employee engagement with new software, or may have a great idea about how to structure feedback and performance reviews.

No matter how diverse your team is and how powerful your sales strategy might seem, if your internal communication is suffering, your long-term success will also suffer. Take a moment to reshape how your in-house teams communicate and how they collaborate with each other as well and with your external collaborators.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Sophia Smith

Sophia Smith is a lifestyle and social media blogger, a content creator and a graphic designer. She has contributed to a number of publications including Women Love Tech, Leader Maker, Legal Reader, Businessing Mag, Monterey Premier, and Hive Life. You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter

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