Communication is central to team building and productivity – hence, business success. It’s not only a crucial element of business operations but also to put the best foot forward with your employees, especially those who work from home. 

Effective communication is also vital in the times of crisis – for instance, during the economic regression or pandemics like Covid-19. It can boost the team’s morale to achieve immense profitability or can sink the company, if not done properly. Business leaders must connect and communicate timely and perfectly for increased empathy, performance, and productivity among the remote teams.

Remote work is not a new phenomenon – global outsourcing is a pretty good example to consider, but the current pandemic has greatly increased its importance.  

According to Global Workplace Analytics 76% of employees worldwide prefer to continue working remotely from their homes post covid-19.

Here are the ways to ensure flawless communication with remote teams.

Bursty Communication Style :
When your teams are distributed across different areas or time zones, schedule bursty communication. What does that mean even? In a bursty communication, the entire team connects online to communicate and respond quickly at a common day and time (for instance, Thursdays from 2-3pm, PST). Teams can perform better when they are already prepared for these meetings compared to the randomly called communications with no set agenda.

Whatever communication channel you use if teams connect synchronously during times of burstiness, they can achieve higher performance and engagement because there is a predefined agenda to follow and all team members are ready to respond immediately. The rapid exchange of ideas and information allows the remote teams to schedule their activities with focused collaboration and therefore seamlessly gets the desired outcomes.

Voice-Only Communication:
Now, it’s the best way possible to enhance empathic accuracy compared to multisensory and vision-only communication. In remote working, video interactions appear too tempting and it is good in the sense that it helps to build close relationships at work. However, it tends to decrease the focused attention of remote employees. Facial recognition is important to establish trust with someone, but since teams already know each other voice-only connectivity fulfills the need to communicate when required.

It’s experimentally proved that people can perceive other people’s feelings more accurately with the video feed is disabled, or when the lights are turned off – because it reduces the likelihoods of distractions. With the presence of vocal cues, people can focus more on the conversation content. Moreover, voice-only communications allow the introverts to be more interactive during the conversation. So, next time, prefer audio over video.

Remove Emotional Ambiguity:
One of the biggest deterrents in team’s engagement and productivity is not clarifying the emotional intent while communicating. The vague digital communication provides more room for misinterpretation – leaves the people spending unproductive time to comprehend the intent behind the message received. The unclear or short messages can lead to negative biases. For example, some words like ‘OK’ can have multiple interpretations such as acceptance, apathy, aggressive, or submission. Often people interpret such messages as sarcastic. 

You need to be more elaborative and exhibit positive connotations and emotions while texting to other people. Keep the intended meaning of your digital communication by expunging the emotional ambiguity. You can use emojis to clarify the emotional intent and decrease the generational gap at work.

In brief, all work communication must begin and end with improving the company’s stakeholder experience in mind – including employees, partners, customers, and the community you serve. Empathy is mandatory when you need your workforce to be more communicative and productive. Keep your written and verbal communications simple yet descriptive to convey the right message with true emotional intent.