Successfully Communicate when Working from Home

Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the rise of social distancing, most workplaces have transitioned to working from home. Being that employees cannot interact face-to-face and must rely on remote methods, it is important to be familiar with how to successfully communicate in these unprecedented times. How can we improve our communication skills while working from home to increase our productivity and job performance?

Form strong relationships

One key way to improve communication is to form strong relationships with co-workers. These are the people that will help you to succeed in your job. We can use these close relationships to aid us in the completion of our job duties. Be a friendly face that your co-workers can rely on for support. Engage in conversation that can include outside work talk. In the end, these relationships will enable you to communicate effectively as you have built a back and forth comradery. You do not have to become best friends or even communicate outside of work, but by constructing personal relationships, you will have a much easier time in your efforts at communication while working from home.

Leverage technology to your advantage

Technology is the reason we are able to work remotely during these significantly different times. Many people who work from home find themselves lonely or looking for additional sources of communication. If you find yourself struggling to get in contact with co-workers, use the technology that is given and present to you. Schedule a short Zoom chat to be able to video conference. While talking on the phone is a great form of communication, adding video enables people to view and provide visual cues. People can get their points across more clearly and solutions can be found much quicker. Use technology to provide feedback and use screen sharing capabilities when meeting as a means for all parties to remain on the same page

Invoke a consistent communication style

Good communicators are consistent with how they interact with others. They are direct and are able to get their points across clearly. Determine the medium that you are going to communicate by. It is always smart to use multiple platforms such as email, video chat, or telephone to allow for easy exchanges and allow people to choose how they respond. You may even be able to use multiple mediums depending upon the people and situation.

It is important when communicating remotely to be dynamic and expressive. Think about how you can show enthusiasm over video conferencing. A consistent communication style enables co-workers to efficiently converse back and forth. If you notice that your manager or co-workers are not following a certain communication style, try to set up a meeting to discuss the best way to stay in touch with each other. Your manager will appreciate your willingness to keep the lines of communication open while away from the office.

Follow-up and leave an impression

Be sure to follow-up on any communication regarding projects, meetings, and other time sensitive requests. Leave an impression that you are proactively engaging with colleagues. Being that you are unable to communicate with co-workers face-to-face as a result of COVID-19, be sure to take any and all opportunities to reach out. This shows that you are available and willing to interact with people in order to best complete the tasks at hand.

What steps will you take to make sure that you are effectively communicating while working from home? Think proactively and realize that people are still learning how to navigate their daily lives during these uncertain times. Communication may not come easily to all people, so if you are able to help bridge the gap between radio silence and over-communicating, you will notice that your team will have a much easier time successfully completing work.

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