Nothing can truly replicate physical communication with colleagues, but if a business wants to remain successful whilst employees are working from home, they have to accept that online communication is key. After all, if employees don’t know what everyone is doing, mistakes will inevitably follow. So how do you remain in the loop whilst working from home?
Utilise group-messaging software on your computer
Using work emails is great for important updates, but for simple requests other platforms need to be used to avoid clogging your inbox. Skype is perfect for this, providing group chats (in order to quickly address an entire set of employees), as well as individual chats for more specific conversation. You can upload attachments on it (again, often quicker than email) and if the written word isn’t doing itself justice, you can even video chat to get your message across.
Use the cloud
Applications like Dropbox are essential when staff work separately. By being able to upload documents to a cloud service, anyone with access can view and edit them, and the others in the group will be notified of this. By doing so, you don’t have to worry about the tedium of sending individual documents to each colleague, and at the same time avoid any concerns of missing things out.
Meetings with colleagues and management should occur at least once a week. By seeing each other as a group, you can discuss things that were lost in the shuffle whilst at home, and any major concerns can be voiced – after all those kinds of things are always easier to be tackled via an honest, face to face approach.
Be specific in requests
Sometimes with several people talking at once, things can get lost, and this is especially the case with text-based conversation. Therefore it’s a good idea to be specific to be sure your message gets across. Having organised group chats is a good start, so only the relevant people are seeing the messages, but often one-on-one chats are the only way to grab attention.
Communication is key to any successful business, and this becomes all the more important when working from home. Be sure to upload anything relevant, specify exactly what you need, and ensure your colleagues understand your requests – good communication in the present means fewer problems in the future.