When you need an employee, they’re often down the hall, around the corner, through the conference room, and to the left, neatly tucked into their office or cubicle. When all of your employees are centralized into one physical location, communication is very easy.
However, sometimes your employees aren’t right down the hall. The Internet and many apps and tools have enabled companies to hire remote employees or to operate with remote teams. While there are many benefits to this model of work, communication isn’t always as simple as wandering over to an employee’s desk to ask a question. And calling impromptu meetings is almost impossible.
Managing your virtual staff takes a lot of time and effort. Gathering all of your virtual employees for meetings, project planning, and work discussions can become difficult when you have to reach out to a number of people scattered across different regions and time zones. Whether you’re having trouble with communication among your virtual staff or not, these tips can help your team achieve successful communication.
Creating “Office Hours”
Sure, your virtual employees probably function best on their own time. But this isn’t always productive for communication. Establish set office hours for all of your employees will promote better communication. Have your employees designate specific times during which they will be available for communication, whether it’s by phone or through various electronic messaging systems. This practice also makes managing your virtual employees easier, as you know when they should be working and available to collaborate with team members.
Choose Specific Communication Tools
This one is pretty obvious. However, choosing the right tools enables you to set up very distinct services that all your virtual employees will need to use. This allows you, as an employer or manager, to keep up with everyone on one or a few messaging services. Don’t overdo it, though. Stick to one main system with a couple of auxiliary communication tools. You don’t want to overburden yourself or your staff with tons of apps and software downloads. Keep it simple.