Communication Tips for Remote Work During COVID-19

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If your workplace has been forced to go remote due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, you may be wondering how to communicate business changes with your workforce. Praveen Kanyadi, Cofounder and VP of Products at SpotCues, explains how managers must help employees communicate better during this period of isolation to ensure work maintains a steady flow and stress levels among employees remain low.

“From communication challenges to connectivity issues and process disruptions, remote working can cause disruption at the workplace, creating fear, anxiety, and chaos at different levels,” Kanyadi says. “First and foremost, leaders must identify all areas that would be impacted through remote working and come up with a communication plan for each of them.”

Kanyadi offers some suggestions regarding the areas that are either directly or indirectly impacted by employees working remotely:

  • Impact on organizational processes—A lot of existing business processes may require field visits, paper processes, physical inspections, physical signatures, etc. With remote working, some of these processes may have to be reengineered or altered. It is important to have communication regarding the impact on these processes and articulation of how the new process would work.
  • Impact on policies—Communication must be made around changes in policies, such as a work-from-home (WFH) policy, travel policy, etc.
  • Tools, protocols for operational/team communication—Management should recommend tools for daily communication within teams/departments and provide information on how to access these tools, how to sign up, etc. This should also include protocols for schedule, availability, lunch breaks, etc.
  • Impact on business—Make clear, transparent communication on how this outbreak is impacting the company’s operations, supply chain, revenues, etc., and what the strategic steps are that the organization is taking to address these challenges.
  • Safety-related—Communicate information related to safety, especially for organizations that require some part of their workforce to operate from physical locations.

Next, Kanyadi says, it is important to identify the ideal top-down communication channel to communicate this information to employees.

“It’s important to pick a communication channel that enables direct communication from management to all employees,” adds Kanyadi. “This includes connecting with the frontline workforce directly. It also needs to enable two-way communication to collect feedback and data from the floor.”

While working remotely, there are a variety of applications and programs that allow employees to stay connected; however, this can cause employees to suffer from lower productivity as they try to navigate all the communication channels instead of being focused primarily on one or two chat apps.

How to Streamline Communication to Avoid App Fatigue

Streamlining work processes and communication channels is critical to help avoid app fatigue and a decrease in employee productivity.

“Increased digital communication could also lead to information overload, especially while using messaging channels,” Kanyadi says. It is critical to create some templates and protocols around communication. Kanyadi offers a few ways to streamline communication and increase productivity. Read more here…

Source: HR Daily Advisor

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