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11 Nov

5 Tips for Better Remote Employee Communication

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A big concern surrounding remote work for many businesses is the communication gap between remote employees and on-site employees. However, with the job market as competitive as it currently is, we can expect to see more and more employees working remotely, whether permanent or temporary.

Remote work is so desired, in fact, that research shows 99% of employees would like to work remotely at least some of the time. Despite this desire, an employee communication gap can hurt a business. The 2020 State of Remote Report shows one third of companies has lost a customer due to internal communication issues. On top of this, 30% have missed important deadlines.

While this statistic may seem concerning, remote work adaptions have been successful. A separate study said 73% of businesses deemed their remote work programs successful and 55% of organizations plan to extend their work-from-home policies.

If communication is managed properly, remote work can prove to be rather successful. But the question still remains: What must be done to ensure there is no employee communication gap while some work remote and others on-site?

Here are five tips to help break communication barriers in the workplace, wherever the workplace may be.

Set Guidelines

If you allow employees to work remotely in some capacity, there must be guidelines in place to ensure regular work functions.

Without a doubt, all employees need to be available during working hours, whether it be on a communication platform like Slack or Teams, or by phone. If your on-site employees aren’t able to contact your remote employees, there’s going to be an influx of late or incomplete work.

 Furthermore, remote employees should follow all of your company’s policies. By mandating this, you are able to promote a company culture centered around fairness and transparency.

Project Management is Key

In order for your employees to be on the same page for all assignments and projects, consider using a project management system such as Asana, Wrike, or Trello. Even if you have a project manager, these tools can be a great resource for them to communicate needs to all employees.

Management tools can help keep workflow processes moving and can serve as a communication platform for remote and on-site employees who play a role in any given project.

If you don’t have a project manager, it’s vital that you recruit one. Without a manager, employee communication will decline and the materials you need may not be up to standard.

Conduct Regular Evaluations

Evaluations serve a greater purpose than just seeing who is completing work successfully and who is not. An employee evaluation can provide insight into how your workforce interacts and communicates.

If an employee’s work is often late, it may be due to a breakdown in communication with other employees who participate in certain projects and tasks. An evaluation also gives employees the opportunity to give their feedback on how workflow processes are working and where they see room for improvement.

Consider using an employee evaluation form to ensure all employees are being evaluated the same way.

Be Proactive

As a business owner or manager, it’s important to be proactive with your remote employees and your on-site employees. The better understanding you have of individual tasks and projects, the better you will be able to explain expectations and answer any questions that may come your way.

To this point, you need to be certain that all of your employees know they can come to you with any roadblocks they may have in their efforts to successfully meet the goals of the company.

Be Patient

Although many companies have already adopted remote work policies, it can still be very new for others. While transitioning to flexible work settings, you need to allow your employees time to adjust. There will be some growing pains and hesitation, but this is only natural when adjusting to unfamiliar concepts,

If you need further assistance with employee communication, or any other human resources-related tasks, consider working with a professional employer organization (PEO). A PEO can provide tools and resources you need to elevate your HR efforts.

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