Though virtual workplace and communication technology has been on the rise for some time now, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted that momentum into hyperdrive. 2020 and 2021 were the years of Zoom tutorials and “umm… you’re on mute.”
While some organizations have returned to the office, others have adopted a hybrid or remote work policy. In this new age where web conferences are here to stay, there are several underrated communication skills your team should practice.
Honest, Transparent Communication
Because of the nature of communication skills in the virtual workplace, web conference and telephone meeting attendees are missing a key component: body language.
Without subtle cues and nuances, it’s difficult to pick up on moments when someone is feeling rushed, overwhelmed, nervous, or even disengaged. This makes it more important that virtual team members keep all communication honest and open. Unlike being in person, others cannot rely on passive hints. It’s always best to just be upfront and transparent with the way you feel, what you mean, and what you expect.
Asking for Help
With both tech and communication barriers, it’s safe to say someone will need help along the way. One day, it will be you. To make things easier on everyone, be clear in stating support options. Each meeting or project should have a support lead. This is a person designated to be on call to help others with technical issues, invalid meeting links, login directions, and more.
In that same vein, don’t be afraid to speak up when you are having trouble. It’s totally acceptable to need assistance, and keeping it to yourself will only delay the inevitable.
Mind Your Tech
In a remote setting, you’re only as good as your tech. Outdated drivers, a computer in need of a reset, or a slow internet connection can make a bad impression on your clients and colleagues. What’s worse is some software and tools these days are only compatible with the latest updates, security settings, or minimum internet speeds. Be sure your hardware, software, and connectivity are up to the task to avoid embarrassment and frustration.
Not sure if your internet speeds are up to the task of working from home? YK Communications can help with that. Our bandwidth and internet speed experts can help decide which speed is right for you and verify availability at your service address. Just give us a call at 361-771-3334 or email us at email@example.com.
Frequent, Clear Updates
At the office, it’s easy to catch someone up on the latest project struggles over the coffee pot or water cooler. Without those social prompts and interactions, check-ins can seem few and far between. Be sure to make time for adequate, timely task and project status updates. Doing this will help keep you accountable and make sure others can set expectations or jump in to assist when needed.
When it comes to virtual project management, it’s always best to overshare. So, if you’ve got something to say… say it!
Lastly, but maybe most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with your team. Working remotely doesn’t have to be stale. A virtual happy hour, in-meeting games like Dialpad Meetings’ Buzzword Bingo, or a simple ice breaker question in a Slack channel can make all the difference.
Get to know your virtual workmates and share those moments with them to boost morale, bring that “human touch” to the remote workplace, and create a sense of togetherness.
We’d love to read some of your ideas for feeling more connected while working remotely. Leave a comment below or share on your favorite social media platform tagging us so we can hear it!
BONUS: YK Communications spent 2020 like so many others – working from home. Check out this video that showcases how our team made the best of it: