Amid recent health concerns, many employees must work from home. However, many are having trouble adjusting to their new work environment. This is due to distractions from kids and/or pets, lack of work equipment, and limited face-to-face communication.

For the employees that prefer face-to-face communication, the switch can be challenging. Learning how to communicate is key when working remotely. Being physically apart while trying to complete tasks that require collaboration is tough.

Good communication is the best way to make remote working effective. Here are five tips to help you navigate this challenging change:

  1. Use video calls for communication. Since you can’t meet with your team in person, video is the next replacement. This way communication can be clearer, and you can see your favorite co-worker(s)!
  2. Avoid micro-managing. If you have direct reports, you may feel the need to constantly check on your team since you’re not with them physically, but this isn’t an effective work method. Not only is it distracting, but it also can make your employees feel as if you don’t trust them and makes them feel uncomfortable.
  3. Make realistic and fair expectations. Create an outline of what tasks should be done and when they should be completed. Communicate clearly and effectively about duties that need to be accomplished.
  4. Give more time to complete tasks. Since we’re all working from a new environment, we need time to adapt. Some employees may have challenging living situations, like roommates, excessive noise or kids. Give an extra grace period for assignments that need to be done.
  5. Observe your tone of “text.” A lot of the nuance of day-to-day office communication comes from tone of voice and facial expressions. Without them, words can seem just a bit “heavier,” or even cold. It’s a good idea to respect your co-workers through texts and emails. Make message positive, warm, and helpful to your colleagues.

Implementing these five communication tips will help ease the remote work transition. We’re all going through a difficult time. Remembering to be a helpful, understanding, and patient team member can go a long way.

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