Today we live in a world where technology has made communication globally so much easier than in the past.
People communicate through emails, mobile phones, texting services, video conferences, video chat rooms and social media channels anytime, anywhere and from any place as long as they have an internet connection.
This is what has made outsourcing so attractive to so many businesses. The insecurities that businesses have had in the past with not having their employees physically in the office have changed and technology has laid the path for this.
Effective communication with your remote employees is critical as it will keep you up to date with important matters, it will also help keep your online personal assistant accountable, feeling trusted, and able to reach their targets.
Here are the different types of communication channels that you can apply in your business to deal with remote workers, and how to implement them so well that your business can run even without you!
This is the best form of communication when dealing with remote workers. You can build rapport, and messages can be received correctly.
Video calls can create a sense of focus between you and your remote worker. There is nothing better than seeing the person you are talking to.
Video calls do take more effort to do, so it is important that you schedule meetings in advance so that you respect each other’s time and effort.
Simply send an appointment through e-mail to notify them of when you would like to schedule the meeting.
Make sure that you have rules when video calling. Ensure there are no distractions and make sure one person talks at a time. It’s all about promoting respect and focus to make the most of you and your remote worker’s time. Also using noise-cancelling headsets will help prevent unnecessary noises from taking over your call
The same rules apply to voice call communication as to video calls. They are easier to set up, but you can lose the opportunity to gauge each other’s reactions from facial expressions, so calls shouldn’t be treated as an overall replacement!
When speaking on the phone, ensure that you remain focused on the person on the other end. They will know if you are multitasking while talking – whether you’re checking emails or on your way from A to B. A person’s distraction can be heard in their voice. Set aside time to make your phone calls to your remote workers so you can devote your whole attention to the conversation.
Emails are not always the most appropriate form of communication. It is a potentially sensitive message that may be misunderstood if relayed through email.
The pros that emails bring are the history and memory that is stored through the conversation. Video calls may be interactive and engaging but emails tend to be more beneficial than lengthy messages.
If you’re struggling to convey emotion or tone in your email, it might be better to pick up the phone. It’s now very rare to find a person writing a letter because that will involve posting it to a postal office and paying delivery fees, which is not the case when you use electronic mail.
Text messaging services
Text messaging is a great way to gain a quicker response. Did you know that 90% of text messages are read within 10 minutes? And if you send a message that falls into that 10%, you’ll be happy to know that on average, people will look at their phones 150 times a day. With two-way text messaging, each remote worker can engage in multiple text conversations at once, and they’ll be able to reply to new conversations while the first users take time to reply.
It is also a great way to keep your remote workers informed about updates for your business, new services, and any information you think could be useful for them.
Social networking platforms
Social interaction networks are a great way to communicate with your remote staff. However, it is important that you have a good social media policy in place to maintain indicate of the use of social media in the workplace.
The good thing about social networking platforms is that most people have accounts and are active in using them.
Some tips to help you with all forms of communication
- Remember that English may not be your remote worker’s first language. Speak clearly and carefully. You may ask them to recite back to you at times to ensure that the message that was sent was received accurately.
- Use Simple words to provide clarity and try not to use any slang words. This may be very confusing at times depending on where your remote worker lives.
- Keep your meetings short and stay on target. Having a clear agenda prior to starting your meeting will help.
- If there is more than one worker on the call, speak one person at a time.
- Be sure to spend some quality time talking and connecting with your remote worker regularly in order to achieve the desired results.
- Make sure you schedule your communications.
- Feedback is a gift so do ask for it.
As time goes on, more emerging technologies will continue to change the way we communicate, and it will be up to you to embrace them or not.
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