Communication is always one of the most important tools for business success, and it can encompass so many different interactions. Communicating with customers, employees, management, and your coworkers all probably make up the majority of your working day. When you’re working remotely, it can seem like a hard task to stay connected and communicate effectively.
Whether you’ve had to spend more time communicating electronically because of COVID-19, or you’re just looking to brush up on the topic, we’ve put together a list of a few tips to help your electronic communication stay effective and professional.
Communicating styles can be different for each company, but it is important to keep everyone on the same page, both internally and externally. Different styles can vary from really formal, to conversationally casual.
Keeping everyone on the same page with internal communication can help avoid issues that come up with miscommunication. If employees communicate differently with each other, it might leave someone feeling disrespected, or like their coworkers are being cold to them. By establishing the type of communication expected, it can help everyone understand what’s appropriate.
Communication electronically with customers and on social media should also be consistent. By defining the style of communication, you can be sure that every customer is getting the same style of experience.
The quality of the content you are communicating is always important to remember. It doesn’t have to be lengthy messages, but make sure you are still communicating with a purpose.
For example, firing off a quick response to coworkers with just an “ok” doesn’t give them a lot to work with. It can be just as quick, and way more effective to let them know exactly what you mean.
Some alternatives to “ok”:
Just saw your email, will address this after lunch. I will be sure to take care of that for you. Feel free to move forward with this project. Let me think on this, and I will get back to you. I will talk to you then.
Communication will change based on the types of communication tools you are using. For example, a texting chain or chatroom isn’t the place to send a long report of the work you have been doing. It will likely be lost as future messages continue to come in, and it may not be relevant to everyone who would be seeing it.
When communicating electronically, it’s important to have different avenues for people to communicate in. Here are a few ideas that you could incorporate into your internal electronic communication.
Text chains and chatrooms: For casual updates, such as “taking a break for lunch” so people are all on the same page.
Video calls: for longer explanations, and project updates
Social media: A more casual way to interact with customers to share updates, and promotions
Newsletters: These can be either internal or external, and can help send out important information as well as fun and entertaining stories.
It is important to not lose the personal touches that in-person communication can give us. When we are having a conversation in person, we give a lot of cues to help each other know what we understand, what we are excited about, and more. When we are communicating electronically, it is important to vocalize things in such a way that we may have not done it before.
It is also important to do this to provide feedback to each other while working remotely. Letting people know when they’ve done a good job may seem like a small detail, but it can go a long way towards reaching a supportive virtual culture.
Take the time to provide feedback on projects, as well as in daily communications, and you will surely see the benefits of it.