Working from home has become standard practice for many people — but, even if many members of your team have recently returned to a more traditional office setting, it could still be markedly different from the one to which they were previously accustomed.
For example, the company’s workforce might now be divided across multiple offices — while, even within just one of these offices, workers might have become so used to social distancing that they are not giving it up in a hurry. All of this has strengthened the importance of long-term communication in a work context.
What’s Potentially Problematic About Working Remotely?
“Remote work — whether temporary or permanent — requires different skills and types of experience than in-office jobs,” Neal Taparia, founder of the startup Unscrambled Words, tells The Muse. So, even when in-office jobs and remote ones come with similar responsibilities, they call for different approaches.
“You can’t tap on someone’s shoulder for help when working remotely,” explains Taparia, whose team at Unscrambled Words is primarily distributed. Hence, you will need to become skilled in using corporate communication tools when you have to signal that something is wrong.
How Can You Overcome Communication Barriers When Working Remotely?
You might already have all of the software necessary for blunting the threat of these barriers. Even when your communication is largely digital, you can still facilitate it through various practical means — as revealed by executives interviewed for Rolling Stone.
Neil Moore of Simply Music cites the “game-changer” of sending video emails, explaining: “Potential clients consistently say they’re genuinely impacted by receiving a personalized video email.”
Meanwhile, Codie Sanchez of Contrarian Thinking has revealed: “With platforms like Google Docs and Sheets, we can track data and share ideas all in one place. With Slack, we can communicate quick questions or comments the same way you would in an office.”
Surreal Brewing Company’s Donna Hockey claims that her own company uses technology “to keep in touch with customers and get real-time updates to them on when they can expect their Surreal Brews to get to their doorstep.” However, what if a range of communication tools could be essentially merged into one?
Unraveling a Communication Conundrum
On your business website, you probably display many contact details from which clients are able to choose when they want to get in touch with you or a member of your staff. However, one problem with having all of these options is your staff potentially being faced with many different inboxes they would need to keep checking.
Even if you are set to embark on a collaborative project amongst your own in-house staff without drawing in any organizations or clients from outside your company, you could find that, too often, you are slow to respond to a message simply because it took a while for you to realize it was even there.
To help prevent communicative hiccups like these from occurring, you should consider implementing a unified communications system like Horizon Collaborate, which would tie various communication channels into one intuitive portal.