3 Tips for Effective Remote Communication with Your Employees
If you're looking to make your workforce leaner and more efficient, you're not alone. Telecommuting is a viable option for employers whose needs include remote workers. The benefits of telecommuting work both ways; employees who have children and those looking for a more flexible work schedule can find the telecommuting lifestyle very attractive.
The explosion in mobile computing -- including laptops, tablets, smartphones, and various hybrid tech tools -- has made telecommuting easier to pull off than ever. But this added convenience comes with its own set of challenges. Not to worry, though. Your favorite Atlanta IT company is here with 3 tips for effective remote communication with your employees.
1. Don't Leave Them in the Cold....
It's easy for employees working remotely to feel left out of the loop. Sure, the independence of working from home is great (Ground-up Fruity Pebbles don't look nearly as out of place on footie pajamas as they do on Calvin Klein suits). That said, telecommuters don't get to experience the same sort of camaraderie and esprit de corps that their cubicle-bound counterparts do. It's important to make them feel as included as possible. Make sure they are kept up to date on general office communications that are pertinent, and make it a point to see that information vital to their specific duties is relayed in a timely manner.
2. But Don't Breathe Down Their Necks
That's right. Give them their space. I can hear you now: "Wait...didn't you just say to make them feel included? Which is it?!"
Here's the deal: You're the boss, right? And you either allowed your employee to work remotely or you hired them specifically to work remotely. Soooo...let them work remotely. Unless they give you a reason not to, trust them to do their jobs. Stay in contact with them to the degree that's necessary -- no more and no less. Calling for hourly updates on a project that's not due for two weeks is not going to endear yourself to your employee; it's probably just going to cancel out any increased job satisfaction that gives said employee the motivation to be working from home -- and possibly for your company -- in the first
3. Don't Underestimate the Value of Face Time
In spite of all the means of communication we have at our disposal -- email, texting, online collaboration programs -- that can make the ability to actually look at someone seem superfluous, sometimes it's still important to see who you're talking to, if for no other reason than to be reminded that you're dealing with other people, as opposed to just bits of information being volleyed to and fro in the Magic Fairy Digi-Realm™. (Yep, trademarked. So don't even think about it. But do buy the Magic Fairy Digi-Realm™ t-shirt, coming soon to an overpriced retail outlet near you!)
On occasion, use videoconferencing software in place of a phone call or an email. Just be sure to be familiar with the program, so that valuable communication time isn't wasted on fiddling with settings or figuring out the tech tools mid-call.
Can you think of other tips for remote communication with employees? Please leave them in the comments!
Image credit: Suzanne Shahar