Communication And Meetings In Times Of Remote Work
Remote work, supported by new technologies, has put on the table the value of effective communication between staff. It is essential to keep the staff motivated and cohesive, as well as to overcome the feeling of isolation.
Despite the confinement dictated by the Government and the subsequent adoption of teleworking as a formula to continue with business activity, many employees confess that at times they feel alone and isolated. The situation is not easy and, among other challenges, team leaders must promote networking and the creation of an environment, despite everything, as collaborative as possible. It is something key to get ahead.
The current moment makes it especially necessary for leaders to show off their communication skills, something that is evident in each of the meetings they hold with their teams through Skype, Klaxoon, JoinMe, Hangout, Zoom, RingCentral, FaceTime, WhatsApp, BlueJeans, and Microsoft Teams. In these virtual meetings the information must be clear and concise.
Similarly, at the end of the appointment, each employee must be clear about what responsibilities they must assume and the time frame they have to work on them, as well as with which colleagues they must collaborate and where to document in case of doubt. Of course, communication must be two-way, manager-employee and employee-manager, practicing feedback and active listening at all times.
Use visual resources, such as interactive panels or task managers, to write down the tasks, responsibilities and deadlines that arise in the meeting, and collect the conclusions in a report that will later be distributed among the attendees that will serve as a reminder and to do a follow-up of what was agreed therein.
Meetings Of One Hour Maximum
Virtual meetings are the best way to stay connected in environments that increasingly value work flexibility. In addition to saving time and money, they serve to convey guidelines, find solutions, and communicate changes. This is highlighted by Richard M. Lent, author of “Leading Great Meetings: How to Structure Yours for Success,” which emphasizes five key aspects:
- The organization, as happens in face-to-face meetings, for which a specific checklist can be used
- Keep watch, as a virtual meeting should last no more than an hour to keep participants focused
- Individual connections, facilitating communication and involving everyone in the discussion
- Objectivity, keeping the focus of the meeting clear at all times
- Technology, ensuring that all participants have the appropriate technical means
In these video meetings it is also necessary to take care of non-verbal communication, as highlighted by the Harvard Business Review magazine and the strategic consultancy Bain & Company, who point out how, in these types of meetings, faces must always be visible. “You can maximize the effectiveness of video conferencing by seeing each other’s facial expressions and body language when you are in video conference mode.
Therefore, each participant must sit near their webcam to help recreate the atmosphere of a face-to-face meeting, as well as maintain direct contact with the camera, pause to look at the interlocutors, take notes and maintain an energetic attitude ”, they aim. In turn, you must maintain an upright posture, a sign that one shows interest, be as concise when communicating and speak in a tone of voice a little higher than usual.
How To Reinforce The Motivation Of The Workforce With Remote Work?
Harvard Business Review and Bain & Company also put on the table the need for leaders to show empathy with their collaborators, worrying about how each of them is before entering the subject, as well as facing the most difficult issues, something that will serve to reassure a staff that now moves in an environment of uncertainty and, why not, to find common solutions.
These last tips will, in turn, serve to maintain the motivation and commitment of a staff that has already been confined for nearly two months and teleworking from home. To further contribute to this, consulting firms also suggest.
- Transform panic or insecurity into action, guiding people who are especially concerned, making the crisis an opportunity and turning that feeling of panic into motivation and inspiration.
- Go from rhetoric to action, putting aside speeches to employees and launching initiatives and calls to action that inspire them.
- Finding the balance between firmness and fairness, showing the team that they understand the difficult situation in which they find themselves and making them see at the same time that each of them is strong and capable of carrying out the required tasks.
- Create a united team, bringing everyone together virtually and reminding them that staying together is the best way to face any challenge.