Communication is the life of any business, especially when you work from home. In fact, some very hot startups such as Basecamp and Bufferapp operate with a completely remote staff. How do they keep the communication flowing? Follow these fìve tips and learn how to improve communication between your coworkers.
Your office setup
Find a quiet place for work and remote meetings. Working in a noisy coffee shop is setting yourself up for failure from the start. If your house or apartment building is noisy, consider getting a co-working membership. This allows you to rent shared office space by the day, which is much less expensive than a monthly lease. So if you know you have a meeting, you can zip off to the co-working space for some quiet time.
Get a fast and stable internet connection to avoid dropping calls. But even if you have a fast connection, that doesn’t guarantee your co-workers will be able to hear you well through that tiny computer microphone. When you are working remote, a good headset is vital to avoid echo during online conversation.
For long sessions, have plenty of water handy for drinking. Keeping water by your side helps you avoid getting up in the middle of a conversation. Small things like these go a long way.
A good set of software tools are available to overcome the challenges associated with remote working.
AlertWoo, is a service that notifies you of timely emails via SMS. This will help you be more responsive while working from home, without constantly checking your inbox.
A time zone converter to work with clients and colleagues from all over the world. TimeZone.io allows you to add each team member’s time zone and keep track of it.
Of course, a cloud-based team communication app such as Slack or Skype is a must-have.
Finally, Trello is a helpful project management app for assigning tasks to distributed teams.
Keep yourself visible
A big and intimidating issue for some in remote working is staying visible. No one is aware that you are working, unless you inform them. Remote workers need to be much more careful while at home as they are always unseen.
Start the day by building a relationship to let your clients or boss know that you are available. Even if this involves simply saying good morning or making small talk, it’s worth it for them to know you’re there.
Stay in touch with your colleagues and clients by setting a daily or weekly calendar reminder to chat with them. Even if you don’t need anything from them, let them know you’re available for assistance.
The key takeaways are to get in front of your coworkers and be prepared with the right tools. By honing your skills, you can stand apart from other remote workers, who are terrible at communication. With these tips, you can easily work from home and learn how to communicate with ease.
Want to get out of the house? Check out Wanderboss, a remote work-travel program.