With remote working taking off around the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and slowly building up years before this, more businesses have implemented remote working into their daily operations. This also means that more businesses are becoming subject to the many problems remote work can cause.
This doesn’t mean that remote working is problematic, it’s more that it’s just a new way of working that many businesses, staff, and employees are not used to. Awareness and proactivity are needed to overcome these problems.
Like in any physical business, communication is one of the biggest areas to affect the success of remote working. If your business can nail down communication, you’ve already resolved the main bulk of problems that can arise. This is why we’re going to focus on the five most common communication mistakes your remote working team needs to avoid.
1. Forgetting to Cater to Time Zones
If you’re working with a remote team that works all over the world, you need to remember that people are working in different time zones to you, and this fact needs to always be taken into consideration. Whether you’re handling and hosting meetings or events or you’re sending out emails and setting deadlines, think about when the other people in your team will be able to work with them.
Forgetting this consideration is a sure-fire way to make your remote team feel unappreciated and forgotten about. Remember, the ‘right’ time zone doesn’t exist, so work with your team to set appropriate times for everyone involved, no matter what aspect of your business you’re working on.
2. Thinking Multitasking Will Work
It’s easy to get distracted while remote working, especially since many people are working at home. Let’s imagine the typical person who’s sitting at home, perhaps in a dedicated space to work. They have their pets and partner coming into the room, as well as kids who need attention and phone calls that need answering.
This is all very distracting and will lead to productivity levels sinking and mistakes being made throughout the workloads. When setting up remote working environments, you need to think about working in a dedicated space where you won’t be disturbed, and you’ll be able to focus properly, at least for a couple of hours.
If you’re a remote team leader, you need to be promoting this kind of mindset, as well as educating yourself on tips and tricks to help your team implement this into their own lives where possible.
What’s more, when you’re talking to your remote team, don’t multitask and do pay attention. It’s incredibly annoying to be talking to someone while they tap on a keyboard at the same time, so don’t be that person.
3. Making it All About Work
In a physical office, you’ll have time or dedicated areas where people will take about other things in the world, like social lives or trending topics, or basically anything that isn’t work. However, this becomes harder with remote working, which is why it’s important for leaders to set aside social chatter time, also known as water cooler chat.
“Make time to be social and to get to know everyone in your remote team. Check in with how everyone’s doing and see what else they have been up too outside of world. This is a great way to promote a healthy team relationship and creates a much more positive attitude where people will be happier, more productive, and more willing to dedicate time to be a valued member of the team,” shares Lisa McDonald, a marketing writer at Oxessays and Bestaustralianwriters.
4. Micromanaging or Over Tracking Activities
No matter what team you’re working in, whether you’re in a physical office or a remote working, micromanaging your team is one of the worst things you can do. However, there’s a fine line between micromanaging and tracking what your teams are up to and what activities are being carried out and by whom.
For example, if one employee is working eight hours a day and smashing through a ton of work, but another team member is only working two hours a day in little chunks here and there in order to achieve the bare minimum, this isn’t fair, and you’ll need to do something about it.
Of course, you need to know this is happening in the first place to know it’s a problem, which means you’ll probably need to look into remote working management applications or remote PC monitoring solutions.
“Your team needs to work together to decide what kind of software is suitable for your team and what rules you’re setting down on how many hours people need to work. A great way is to host a meeting dedicated to this purpose and then to get employees to check in how much time they’re working,” explains John Hammond, a business writer at Eliteassignmenthelp and Ukwritings.
5. Not Promoting Equality
If you’re in a video call while remote working, you need to make sure everyone is on a video call. This is a great point offered by the Trello team, who say that if one person is one webcam, everyone is on webcam.
This is to promote a sense of equality and to ensure everyone is on the same boat. Of course, this might not always be possible due to technological constraints, and some people may be self-conscious of what they’re wearing or the state of their home, but this is where relationships grow, and trust is formed within the team.
The more you can implement this, the closer your team can become and the more effective it will be. It will take time, but it’s worth investing effort into this point.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to think about when it comes to remote working and trying to ensure the overall experience is as positive as possible for everyone involved. Be mindful of what you and your team are focusing on in order to counter any problems that arise, and your team can, therefore, be as successful as possible.
About The Author
Molly Crockett is a teamwork consultant and writer for Big assignments and Pay for essay, where she shares tricks and tips to help remote teams make the best of the opportunities available to them. She also writes for Academized review.