Untangling remote communication pains
It’s been almost two years since Covid forced many of us to shift to remote work. I won’t deny it: I liked it, at first. Flexible working hours, no commute, waking up late–what’s not to like? Then along came the challenges. In retrospect, I should’ve seen it coming. It’s only natural that such a huge change would have consequences on our personal and professional lives. When it comes to workplace communication, and after discussing the topic with friends and colleagues, I’ve noticed the following challenges apply to many of us:
- Lacking collaboration
- Creative drought
- Communication silos
- Lack of feedback
The good news is I believe that, as all of the challenges stem from the same root: virtual over face-to-face communication, they can mostly be addressed and resolved, at least to a high degree. It’s important to remember that even if and when Covid itself is over, our professional communication will only become more virtual, whether because of distributed teams or the new working standard of working from home (which, like it or not, is probably here to stay).
Here are three tactics I find particularly helpful to tangle remote communication:
- Weekly team meetings 🗓️
A weekly team meeting is a great starting point. You can use the time to discuss projects you’re working on, initiatives you need help with or anything else you have in mind. The key here is to hold these meetings regularly, same day and time, to allow everyone to attend them. You’ll be surprised by how informative these meetings turn to be.
- Retro sessions 🔄
If you have long-term projects you’re working on, these sessions are an excellent opportunity to discuss them in retrospect. The goal is to allow everyone to speak their mind openly and transparently. You can not only draw actionable items from retro sessions but also nurture inclusivity and allow everyone to be heard, which, in turn, is valuable for their motivation.
- 1:1 meetings 💭
These meetings are another opportunity to nurture constructive feedback, this time on a personal level. Just like the weekly meetings, it’s crucial to schedule one-on-one meetings on a regular basis, both with your manager and employees (normally, once a month should do). Use the opportunity to discuss priorities of projects, assistance required, deadlines, milestones, etc.