In today’s work teams it is increasingly common for each member to find a different place in the world, separated by thousands of kilometers. And the distance sometimes leads to situations of misinterpretation, etc. So it is convenient to know these tips so that communication in virtual teams is productive.
In most of the projects it is necessary the participation of a multidisciplinary team in which the members have specific training in different areas, we find situations that were impossible a few years ago.
For example, a task must be started by a person in one country, supervised or continued by another person who is thousands of miles away and then applied in a third location, probably far removed from the previous two.
More and more companies are using these new tips of working remotely, for the ample advantages that they suppose, so much for the employers, as for the workers and the productivity However, for project managers this new way of working can be a challenge, not only in terms of project management but also in how to maintain an adequate communication among all team members.
Here are some tips to improve communication on remote work teams.
- Let no one separate from email
In order for the communication to be effective, it is necessary to look for some means of contact that can be consulted anywhere in the world by all members of the team, regardless of the time zone in which they are located.
If the time differences are large, they can make some seemingly more direct means of communication, such as telephone or video conferencing, unfeasible. Getting people to sync with very different schedules can be virtually impossible.
However, email is left in the inbox and can be read at any time .On the other hand, to avoid delays in work, it is necessary that all team members are permanently connected to their email , so that as soon as they are available, they read the messages and stay updated.
You might also be interested in Inconvenient to use email for project management. Be flexible with cultural differences: grant the benefit of the doubt. If the team is composed of people from different countries or cultures, some of them probably have some difficulties of expression in the language used for communication. This may generate some ambiguous or confusing messages. Similarly, nonverbal language or some attitudes can be misinterpreted and misleading, when in reality it is simply cultural differences.
To give an example, in the countries of the Arab world or in some areas of China it is considered that burping at the end of the meal is a gesture of good education and gratitude to the host, expressing satisfaction for the dishes tasted. However, in our culture, it is considered vulgar and rude.
Therefore, in case of doubt, it is preferable to always think positive, to assume that the peculiar attitudes are due to idiomatic or cultural differences and not to think that behind these behaviors is concealed the bad intention.
- Better to communicate in excess than to stay short
Especially at the beginning, when you are not yet fully acquainted with team members, it is better to communicate in excess than to stay short.
It is sometimes difficult to understand exactly where we are going or what we are building. Asking questions permanently helps us all walk in the same direction.
Again, the importance of effective and permanent communication through e-mail or platforms that keep all team members in contact is highlighted.
- Express yourself positively and unambiguously
If the main means of communication is going to be electronic mail, it avoids double meanings and ambiguities that appear in written language. An ironic or sarcastic remark in natural language can be easily detected by accompanying intonation or non-verbal language. However, the same written comment can be misinterpreted as an offense or hurt the feelings of the recipient of the message.
Therefore, the simplest solution is to express directly, transmitting the message without giving rise to ambiguities.
If we want to add to the message an emotional or affective tone, we must highlight the positive aspects, transmitting them directly and being able to rely on the use of emoticons or expressions that transmit, without a doubt, positive attitudes.
In this way we can substitute, even partially, the transmission of positive feelings that is lost when there is no communication in person. Although it may seem that our communication is less professional, if they remain within limits, these feelings are important, because they favor the good relationship and a certain degree of complicity among the team members.
- Provides suggestions, not criticisms
Just as in the other aspects treated, not having a direct face-to-face relationship can be a problem when commenting on the results of working with remote teams. For this reason, a “I do not like” direct can muddle not only the present work but the future relation between the members of the equipment.
For this reason, the mere criticisms that focus on the negative must be replaced by constructive criticisms, thus succeeding in replacing current failures with successes, offering alternatives and maintaining an open attitude towards new proposals.
Likewise, not all criticisms have to be negative. You can also comment on the positive aspects of the work done by the partners, thus achieving a positive feedback that generates optimism in order to face the following tasks.
An advice. When you want to express something positive, do it in the moment , in hot. That way you will give free rein to the feelings and the affectivity that produces the satisfaction of a good result. However, when you have to express a criticism or a negative comment, do not do it at first, let it cool down. In this way, you will know to put the problem or the error in its context and you will express constructive criticism that goes beyond the initial reaction of annoyance or annoyance.
Make sure everyone is assigned various tasks.
If a task is stuck in a bottleneck because someone does not respond to the emails or because the person in charge does not know how to continue and needs advice, the wait generates frustration to team members who cannot continue with their task.
In addition, the time they are waiting for a solution that takes time to arrive, is wasted time, which could have been dedicated to other tasks.
The way to solve this problem is to assign to each worker or group a task list sorted according to priorities, so that, if one of them is blocked, they can jump to the next one and use the time until there is A solution for the locked task.
Therefore, at ITM Platform we work to offer you a cloud computing solution that will make your life easier. By being able to access it from anywhere in the world and from different devices, we favor that all your equipment is connected at all times, shortening distances and increasing business productivity.