How can businesses manage their remote workforce through efficient communication?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage global health and economy, most businesses are beginning to accept the fact that they need to change their work culture to help sustain operations during such difficult times. One of the most successful ways that businesses small and large have followed to remain operational during the pandemic was by implementing remote workforce management at a larger scale.
Almost all staff of several organizations except those in critical roles that demanded physical presence at the office were asked to work from their homes. Several companies expect this form of work from home culture to last throughout the rest of 2020 or even extend beyond into the next year. With remote work culture becoming a mainstream norm, employers need to understand the importance of communication when a majority of their workforce is working independently out of their homes.
Here are 5 best practices that you need to incorporate to effectively communicate with your remote workforce:
1. Set Guidelines for Communication
When almost everyone works remotely to deliver business services, it is important for employers to set standard communication policies and protocols to prevent any disconnects or inconvenience from occurring due to lack of physical proximity.
Your staff needs to be made aware of the different communication channels that are available, which to use for different scenarios, and how to approach others by respecting their privacy while working from homes.
There needs to be a proper understanding of business hours and the need to complete any official communication cycles within stipulated working hours to ensure that employees get to spend quality time with their families as well.
Read More: Effective Work From Home Tips – Infographic
2. Ensure a Seamless Communication Platform
The first step to empower your remote workforce to stay connected with their peer groups or the larger organization as a whole is to ensure the availability of world-class communication platforms.
Having an email tool alone will not be enough to facilitate seamless communication.
From instant messaging to social media-inspired intranet feeds, your business must set up a comprehensive platform that allows employees to stay connected, informed, and engaged throughout their work schedules. A digital platform can unify communication efforts, help co-ordinate multiple tasks simultaneously, and help employees to easily gain access to support from their peers or management.
3. Proactive Work Communication
It is important to ensure that employees are not left out of communications related to work updates or new service requirements. You cannot expect employees to put in their best effort if you reach out to them at the last moment with requirements which may even include direct customer interactions. Managers need to plan work schedules in advance and communicate the same to employees for them to plan and manage workloads efficiently.
4. Encourage Video Calls
When employees stay away from the office for months together and work remotely, it is natural that they feel a sense of incompleteness in their work schedules. The frequent tea break chats, lunch and dinner outings, workplace fun activities will all be missed terribly and this can add up stress levels. As the situation doesn’t permit employees to catch up with their peers directly, the best solution could be to encourage meetings and discussions to happen over video conferencing.
It will be much easier for employees to work together or maintain their relationships when they frequently see each other and interact with video conferencing. Video calls bring in a sense of togetherness virtually for teams who are distributed at different locations.
5. Transparent Leadership Communication
As you work on strategies to remain sustainable in your business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is equally important to keep your employees updated on the progress of the same. You need to assure them on aspects such as their job security, business performance updates, and other important strategic initiatives that you plan to take to combat the scenario. It is important to keep your employee communications transparent and ensure that they can freely reach out to the highest management level should a need arise for support.
Your employees are your biggest asset and it is important to establish a clear communication channel for them to alleviate their fears. This communication could be established through newsletters, video broadcasting of leaderships, Q&A surveys, feedback collection, etc. which could all happen on a weekly or monthly basis.
The new workforce management culture induced by COVID-19 is sure to pave the way for a future of open work policies wherein employees can work from anywhere they want and only ensure that quality work is delivered on time. As businesses, you need to have in place the proper communication and collaboration channel for your workforce to operate seamlessly during remote operations. This is where InfinCE can be a game-changer in your business. Get in touch with us to explore how InfinCE can create the best remote working digital infrastructure for your business to tide over a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.