Beyond the Watercooler: Keeping Your Remote Team Up-To-Date

While the WFH life isn’t a new idea, the speed at which many companies had to pivot and adapt to remote teamwork has left many managers and executives shell-shocked.

As the pandemic continues to rage across the globe, it's clear that the way we work has changed forever. The effectiveness and efficiency of remote working surprised even the experts. While many workers are clamoring to get back to the comforts of the office full-time, others never want to go back to wearing shoes every day.

While the WFH life isn’t a new idea, the speed at which many companies had to pivot and adapt to remote teamwork left many managers and executives shell-shocked. How can leaders accomplish their goals when access to their teams is drastically different - maybe forever? The first step is finding a new normal with how you communicate with your team.

Building A Robust (And Flexible) Communication Strategy

To keep your remote teams up to date in the remote world, you need to implement strong communication guidelines.

Just because you aren't sharing the same office space, don't discount the value of a face-to-face meeting! Find times to have small video conferences and regularly share pre-recorded video updates to positively impact your team's morale and productivity. Not seeing smiling, encouraging faces can really take a toll on team unity and confidence over time.

Just like when we all shared the same office, not every bit of new information or update should necessitate an in-person video meeting. Knowing what kinds of information should be written vs. recorded can help boost employee productivity while at the same time keeping everyone informed about the things they need to know.

Of course, some updates don’t need to be face-to-face at all - a simple email or update on your team chat is enough.

When designing your internal communication strategy, clearly define what types of communications need to use each medium.

Increase The Diversity of Your Team Communications

While efficiency may argue that all communication should come from the director, manager, or CEO, working remotely is a great chance to allow various team members to take a turn to share updates.

When organizational communication only comes from the top, it’s easier to tune out. But when the face and voice behind messaging come from different people, it keeps your communication exciting and fresh. It will also help build unity and morale as each member feels that their voice is heard and valued - no matter where they are working.

A great philosophy that builds enthusiasm and inclusiveness is “the person who did the work should get to celebrate it.” We’ve seen big companies like Apple raise their internal team members to the stage for their work on new and notable products at their keynote events, as well as the celebration of unsung heroes like developers and writers at E3 and other technology events. The same concept applies to any business.

Share the Good & Bad News

One of the problems that plague many WFH teams is the sad reality that when communication becomes more complicated, only the most pressing, stressful, and often negative information gets through. Getting this right is an important communication technique for remote teams to master.

Ensure you keep team morale up by ensuring your watercooler congratulations and encouragements continue to happen - even if it’s online. Add a time for celebrations in your team meetings and all-hands meeting to foster a remote work environment that is open and transparent.

Boost Project Management with Team Communication Software

There are lots of communication tools available to help teams to stay in close contact, no matter where employees are. However, it can be overwhelming to have to navigate too many applications and programs. Instead of piling on communication software and project management suites, find a suitable application that can accomplish both!

Tools such as Breve are created with the remote worker in mind. With Breve, you can quickly create video updates and content that shares relevant information related to projects, products, and more with ease. With integration to almost any popular team messaging application, you can keep your teams updated and in communication - ensuring that you keep everyone on the team happy!

When designing your internal communication strategy, clearly define what types of communications need to use each medium.

While the WFH lifestyle could be adding a bit more stress to the average manager, the advances in business tools and accessibility has made it easier than ever to stay in touch while our teams work across town - and across the world.

The sooner you master these skills, the better - because remote workplaces are increasingly the wave of the future. By taking advantage of the tools at your disposal and adding new technology such as Breve, you can keep your teams updated and productive in ways you never thought possible!