8 Ways to Communicate Effectively While Working from Home
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The core of good relationships in a team is effective communication. When in-person talks have already been challenging, virtual communication can also be more tricky for remote workers. That’s why learning the proper way to communicate virtually is necessary.
Expressing thoughts through words are prone to misunderstanding. If you do your job from home, you need to incorporate the right tools and attitude to give responses and express your opinions to communicate appropriately..
As a part of soft skills, communication is essential for anyone. The following discussions cover the weight of ways to help you communicate while working from home or remotely. Keep reading!
#1. Clarify Communication Channels
The first rule to build effective communication when working is clarifying your communication channels. You may need channels to support you in communicating appropriately with clients or other employees.
For instance, email might be used for formal communication. Meanwhile, chat tools like Discord, WhatsApp, Slack, or Microsoft Teams for quick questions or discussions. For example, you can share explainer videos with your teammates about upcoming projects.
Consider using different chatting apps for personal communication and work-related matter. This tactic helps maintain a good work-life balance. Clarifying which channel to use for different types of communication can help to ensure that communication is effective and can help to avoid confusion.
Ensure that everyone is comfortable with the communication channels. If someone prefers to communicate through email, respecting that preference is important.
#2. Use Collaboration Tools
Today, many collaboration tools offer a lifetime free version, which can be suitable for freelancers or small teams. Some of the most recommended collaboration tools are Asana, Trello, or Basecamp.
Each tool may offer exclusive features but has some basic functions. Collaboration tools help you track progress, assign tasks, and share files. You can easily ensure everyone is on the same page and quickly informed about related projects.
Most importantly, collaboration tools can also help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications, as everyone can access the same information. This way, you can have seamless team communication.
#3. Be Responsive During Work Hours
Imagine if you didn’t receive a response after sending a message for a while. It can be unpleasant, especially if you ask for an important matter. That’s why being responsive while working is important.
It’s also a way to show professionalism. Try your best to be responsive during work hours. Ensure all your communication channels, including your email, chat app, or others, are active.
#4. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Regular check-ins facilitate effective communication and prevent misunderstandings between team members. They provide a way for individuals to exchange information and for managers to ensure that their direct reports clearly understand their job responsibilities.
Scheduling regular check-ins with colleagues or team members helps you ensure everyone is on the same page and that projects progress. You can do check-ins through email, chat, or video calls, depending on what works best for everyone involved.
#5. Set Virtual Meeting Regularly
Virtual meetings improve internal communication and foster the development of higher-level skills among employees. It also helps establish a more solid foundation for building effective organizational communities.
Choose a specific time that works for everyone involved and provide an agenda in advance. During the meeting, encourage everyone to participate and provide opportunities for feedback and discussion.
Moreover, when it comes to video hosting platforms, YouTube, Zoom, and Google Meets are the most used apps. But there are also other tools that offer engaging and interactive features.
#6. Provide Regular Updates
When your team is not physically present in the same place, communication may not be effective, leading to misunderstandings, delays, and missed opportunities. Regular updates can be a solution to prevent unwanted results.
You can communicate progress, challenges, and any changes to timelines or goals. Progress updates should include details on completed tasks, milestones achieved, and any other relevant developments.
Regular updates help keep everyone informed and create a sense of accountability among team members. When team members know their progress is being tracked and reported, they are more likely to focus on their goals and work more efficiently.
#7. Be Mindful of Your Tone
Being aware of your tone is necessary when communicating with colleagues or team members. In virtual communication, the tone is conveyed only through words, and it’s easy for the recipient to misinterpret your message. So, choose your words carefully and consider their impact on the receiver.
Avoid using slangs, jargons, or humors because people can misinterpret your message. Sarcasm and irony are also difficult to convey in virtual communication. Instead, use clear, concise language that conveys your message without leaving room for ambiguity.
Furthermore, be mindful of your tone when responding to messages from others. Avoid responding in anger or frustration, even if the other person’s message may have upset you.
Take time to calm yourself down, construct your thoughts, and choose your words carefully so your response conveys your message clearly and respectfully.
#8. Be Open to Feedback
Feedback helps you understand how others perceive your messages and highlight areas where you can improve. When receiving feedback, always listen actively and ask questions for clarification.
Maintain yourself to be open-minded and avoid becoming defensive or dismissive of feedback. Even if you get negative feedback, consider it an opportunity to be a better person. You can ask for specific examples of the behavior or message the feedback refers to, so you can understand it clearly.
Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or guidance from your colleagues or team members if you’re not sure how to improve your communication style based on the feedback you receive. Keep in mind that input and feedback are a two-way road, and providing constructive feedback to others when appropriate is essential.
Adjusting to remote work can be challenging for some people, especially in building effective communication. If you show good respect and attitude to your clients and other employees, you can have good relationships in your workplace.
Whether you’re a manager, team leader, or freelancer, the above points can help you build effective and efficient communication. From using reliable communication tools and being aware of your attitude, the discussions can help you show a professional manner.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro