4 Communication Tips for Remote Work

At beams, we know the challenges of communicating with colleagues spread across different time zones and work schedules. When face-to-face contact is limited, maintaining open lines of communication is difficult but essential. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of four best practices we’ve developed to help you communicate more effectively with your asynchronous colleagues and avoid the dreaded Zoom fatigue.

1. Establish clear communication norms

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Set clear guidelines for when and how colleagues can contact you by defining your working hours and preferred communication channels.
  • Define and communicate your working hours: Let your colleagues know when you are available to manage expectations and reduce the likelihood of missed messages.
  • Specify preferred communication channels: Clearly indicate which tools to use for different types of interactions (e.g., email for formal updates, Slack for quick questions, Asana for task discussions) to streamline communication.
  • Encourage mutual sharing: Motivate team members to share their working hours and preferred channels, fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

2. Leverage written communication channels

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Utilize written communication channels like Slack and Notion over video calls to avoid fatigue and enhance efficiency.
  • Prioritize asynchronous tools: Opt for Slack, Notion, and similar platforms instead of defaulting to video calls to allow team members to access information at their convenience.
  • Enhance information retrieval: Written communication can be easily referred back to, making it simpler to track and retrieve important information when needed.
  • Facilitate clear thinking: Writing allows you to articulate your ideas and reasoning more effectively, making it easier for others to understand your thought process.

3. Prioritize clarity and brevity

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Keep written messages concise and clear to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Focus on brevity: Keep messages concise and to the point to prevent misunderstandings and ensure your main ideas are communicated clearly.
  • State objectives and actions clearly: Clearly outline the purpose of the message and any required actions, making it easier for recipients to understand and respond appropriately.
  • Use structured formats: Employ bullet points or numbered lists to break down information into digestible parts, enhancing readability and comprehension.
  • Provide specific details: When giving feedback or instructions, be specific to avoid ambiguity and ensure your message is understood as intended. Practice low-context communication.

4. Improve the quality of your meetings

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Make sure your meetings have a clear agenda and consider eliminating recurring meetings.
  • Set a clear agenda: Always have a well-defined agenda before entering a meeting. Share this agenda with all participants in advance, so everyone knows what to expect and can prepare accordingly. This helps keep the meeting focused and ensures that all relevant topics are covered.
  • Limit attendance: Only include team members who are directly relevant to the meeting's purpose. This avoids unnecessary distractions and allows for more streamlined discussions.
  • Set time limits: Be mindful of the meeting's duration. Establish a start and end time and stick to it. If a topic requires more discussion, schedule a follow-up meeting rather than extending the current one indefinitely.
  • Follow up with action items: At the end of each meeting, summarize the key points discussed and clearly outline any action items with assigned responsibilities and deadlines. Send out these notes to all participants promptly.
By improving the quality of your meetings, you can ensure they are productive and valuable, reducing the need for excessive meetings and freeing up more time for focused work.

Wrapping up

By implementing these communication strategies, we can overcome the challenges of remote work and create a more efficient and connected virtual workplace. Effective communication is the cornerstone of our success at beams, enabling us to collaborate seamlessly, regardless of where we are in the world.
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See how beams can improve your asynchronous workflow.