Home office – communication as a challenge
Communication is still not easy today, even if or precisely because we have many technical possibilities. Everyone probably knows how easy it is to misunderstand facts in e-mails, text messages and telephone conferences. Communicating by text is difficult, even with friends, the people you know well. Why? Because body language is missing.
You get nervous if you don’t get an answer right away, feel an email late in the evening as a disruption in your free time. Increasing digitization brings with it completely new challenges.
Communication with colleagues in the home office works with the following 5 tips:
- Communicate a lot!
With regular, short updates you can keep yourself or the employees in the home office up to date. Anyone who is not in the office should still know what is going on there, what the atmosphere is like and what projects are pending.
- Don’t shorten anything, express yourself clearly.
We try to be efficient and believe that we can achieve this by shortening words or generally writing shorter e-mails. Don’t get around the bush, express yourself so clearly that nobody has to spend valuable time interpreting your messages.
- Ask, but don’t bombard anyone with messages!
If you are missing information, get it – but think carefully about the way in which you do this. Manage your team tasks in task management tools such as Asana or Jira, then leave a comment there instead of asking by email and phone call.
- All employees on video call instead of just one.
If a group of people is sitting around a table in the same room, they can see each other. You know (mostly) from body language who wants to speak and when or what someone thinks about a statement. Such micro-interactions are crucial for a good meeting.
But now there is an employee sitting in his own living room. Through a camera that is mounted high up in the corner of the room, he sees the conference room – not really in detail, but just a group sitting around a table. His face, in turn, is thrown against the wall, the size of a man.
How about if all colleagues dial into a video conference from their own computer instead? The faces of all participants can then be easily recognized, everyone is in the same boat.
- Establishes communication rules!
Some like to communicate via WhatsApp, some want to share documents on Google Docs or some want to know clearly whether they should reply or not. Everyone has individual preferences, the only important thing is to remain constant.
- Use written communication for yourself if spoken communication is not so easy for you!
There are people who are more extroverted, others more introverted. For the latter, working in the home office and the associated “other” communication present new opportunities. You feel more confident about saying something or getting rid of your own opinion in an online environment.
- Create space to celebrate results!
Receiving feedback and celebrating successes is motivating. It contributes to work happiness and team building and is important for us humans. But birthdays and company anniversaries should also be celebrated appropriately. Highlights that take place in the private life of the colleague, such as the birth of a child or a wedding, should be noticed. It also works digitally, if you want to.