In 2020, millions of working Americans became remote employees. Following shutdowns and health ordinances associated with the global pandemic of COVID-19, companies that could offer work-from-home options embraced the distributed workforce.
A recent survey by FlexJobs indicated that 65% of respondents favored the option to work from home. Additionally, a similar Gartner survey of company leaders found that 80% planned to allow remote work — for at least parts of their workforces — after the pandemic. While these changes may have started as methods to protect the health of employees, as many as 47% of responding companies said they plan to introduce permanent work-at-home programs, flex days and hybrid scheduling for their employees.
For employees who are new to a telecommuting environment, the challenges can be considerable. There may be numerous distractions, blurred lines between work and private life, and a feeling of being isolated from coworkers. All of these serve to create a disorganized and unproductive workforce.
As a business owner or a team leader, it’s important to recognize these hurdles, and to have a plan in place that sets employees up for success. And, the most powerful tool you can harness is a solid employee communication plan.
Use Clear, Actionable Messaging
Whether your employees are working from home or dispersed in the field, your messaging should be timely, clear and to the point. This may include instructions for specific teams and departments, or you may have company-wide notifications that become necessary or time-critical for operations. Whatever the case, it’s vital that your message reaches the right people quickly.
Having preformatted templates can help save time and keep your messaging on point. Additionally, a familiar and predictable platform goes a long way to ensuring communications are clear and understandable. Being transparent about expectations and next steps is an important part of keeping your entire team on the same page.
Enlist the Help of Reminders and Planned Messaging
We’re social creatures by our very nature. And, working at home can leave some employees feeling isolated and out of the loop. Using planned messaging with your team can alleviate confusion and simplify processes when workers are not in a common location. With planned messaging, you can remind staff of upcoming events and deadlines. Additionally, you can alert employees to potential issues, targeting specific teams, locales or departments.
Using quick, predictable messaging for daily check-ins is particularly effective when 2-way messaging is utilized. This allows work-at-home employees to feel more connected and informed.
Did This Have to be a Meeting?
While video conferencing has become an invaluable tool for remote work environments, there may be temptation to overuse the platform. Multiple or lengthy video calls, throughout the day, can hinder productivity and fatigue employees who have high-demand positions.
Instead of calling a meeting for every update, a group message may be more efficient. This technique can also help strengthen overall accountability and follow-through. A group message can act as a receipt, letting team members know expectations and next steps. It can also assist managers in documenting task- or process-driven communications with their teams.
Put it All Together
Whether your company intends to work at home for now or work at home forever, enlisting a no-nonsense approach to team communication can help you maintain productivity, employee performance and satisfaction, and mitigate the challenges associated with dispersed workforces.
Regroup Mass NotificationⓇ provides an affordable, reliable complement to your communications plan that delivers an abundance of features and flexibility. It is the perfect addition to any remote work environment and will help you keep your workforce informed and together.
Ready to learn more? Schedule a no-obligation demo of the Regroup platform, and see how it can help your business stay in touch.