Success at Remote Work Hinges on Good Communication Being Cultural
In a survey conducted by Pew Research in October 2020, 54% of current remote workers indicated that they would want to continue working from home (WFH Meaning) all or most of the time. This number does not vary much from the results of a survey by McKinsey & Company, which shows that 52% of workers prefer a more flexible working model.
As the new business landscape continues to shift towards remote work, incorporating good communication into the company culture becomes even more important.
Why Communication Culture Matters Now More than Ever
Communication is important in any workplace, and even more so in dispersed workplaces where remote teams do not see each other in person that often. However, maintaining good remote work communication becomes even more challenging with disparate teams. It is often hindered by external factors such as different time zones, varying cultures, and contrasting work styles. This is why it is essential for business organizations to create a company communication culture.
With open and transparent communication ingrained in your company culture, your employees feel part of the team regardless of where they are working from. They feel valued and stay longer with you. This decreases your employee turnover rates and lowers your recruitment and onboarding expenses.
Most importantly, a strong communication culture enhances collaboration that leads to higher productivity. No one misses out on important information and work processes flow seamlessly. Remote team members work in sync, resulting in increased efficiency and organizational success.
Ways to Build a Good Communication Culture
You can leverage digital tools to facilitate better communication within disparate teams. Keep in mind though that tools alone can’t build good remote communication. It has to be based on culture to be truly effective.
Here are a few ways to build a good communication culture in your organization:
- Keep communication channels open. Be clear on which channels should be used for specific issues, especially for urgent concerns.
- Encourage an environment where employees feel free to express their opinions and give feedback. This motivates workers to contribute more to the team.
- Touch base regularly. Schedule daily or weekly check-ins and monthly meetings. Make them short so as not to disrupt work but still substantial enough to make your employees feel valuable to your company.
- Acknowledge communication so no one feels ignored. Respond to messages or comments on tasks. Even a simple thumbs up assures the sender that the message was received and read.
- Remind everyone to be aware of their written tone. Messages can be misconstrued, causing rifts within the team. So, make sure that messages sent do not come off as rude or demeaning.
There are many more ways to create a communication culture, but these five are great start-offs. Building a good communication culture is vital for effective remote team communication, which can enhance productivity and experience. Whatever strategy you use, what’s important is that it can foster an open and transparent environment within your organization.
Pitfalls of Bad Communication Culture
While it significantly impacts business growth, communication culture is often overlooked. When this happens, it creates a domino effect that results in dismal productivity.
Lack of communication breeds isolated and untethered workers. When your workers do not feel any connection with you and the rest of the team, they tend to feel lonely and unhappy. This leads to low morale and lack of motivation, which then results in underperformance and low productivity. Ultimately, this affects your bottom line negatively. To avoid this, you must find the best remote work tools to maintain a good communication culture.
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Communication
To determine which communication tools to use, you must first understand the two basic communication modes used in the workplace – synchronous and asynchronous.
Synchronous communication happens when two or more individuals communicate in real-time. In offices, this typically happens in meetings, casual chats in the pantry, or phone calls. In remote settings, this is done virtually through video conferences. This mode is more instantaneous and dynamic, which makes it great for active discussions and issues that require urgent decisions.
On the other hand, asynchronous communication involves an interval of time between exchanges. A person does not receive an immediate response to messages. This mode includes emails, text messaging, and project management tools. While they are not as dynamic as synchronous communication, they are great for teams working from different time zones.
Understanding these two modes and when to use them can help you improve team collaboration. Use synchronous forms for building engagement and discussing pressing concerns. Utilize asynchronous forms to keep remote workers in the loop.
Leverage the Right Communication Tool
Once you have established a company communication culture, support it with the right communication tools. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, and other such tools can all be used for exchanging information. However, having disparate tools can disrupt workflows and decrease productivity.
To enhance communication and improve efficiency at the same time, leverage the advanced system of a digital workplace. A digital workplace such as Kissflow provides a unified platform for communication and collaboration. It allows you to manage all your business management processes in one place. Its user-friendly interface enables remote team members to view their workload, access documents, share files, monitor the status of a project, and communicate with each other.
Strong Culture Supported by Technology
Remote work and flexible work conditions will enable businesses to adapt to the new business landscape. These work arrangements will enable you to reduce disruptions caused by external challenges. However, you need to implement effective strategies to thrive in a remote work setup. One of these is building strong company culture with clear communication supported by digital tools.