In today’s world still deeply affected by the recent pandemic, many businesses are still operating a remote working policy. This means that key members of staff might be located at opposite ends of the country, or even internationally. This dynamic can throw up all sorts of communication challenges, but solutions exist.
- Create trustworthy environments. Many times, long-distance communication issues arise when one person is being less than responsive. If you know that you are heading into business with communicative and reliable people, you won’t need to worry so much about your business relationship.
- Schedule periodic in-person meetups, if possible. Long-distance business relationships can become strained over time. As both parties settle into the routine of daily video calls, any creative spark can be worn down by the monotony. If you can, schedule in-person meetups to keep things fresh and trust levels high!
- Lean on communication tools that work best for you. Depending on your organizational needs as a company, there may be some conferencing tools that work better than others. Video conferencing isn’t always a tool that’s frequently necessary, especially with our ability to file share, email, and even send faxes online in today’s technological world. Skype remains the most commonly used video conferencing software internationally and is a viable option. Many companies since the pandemic have however moved over to platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, while Microsoft Teams is ever increasing in popularity.
- Hire effective communicators. The ability to communicate via video calls is something to establish during your interview process. As well as core competencies for the role, evaluate how clearly candidates communicate. Can they hold your attention with their voice and explain things clearly? Do they smile and use humor to build trust?
- Be as flexible as possible. With teammates living across different time zones, encourage everyone to be flexible when scheduling meetings. If you strongly prefer to have meetings before lunchtime, be mindful that this could be too early in the morning for someone on the other side of the world.
- Be respectful of other people’s time. When someone is just a face on your screen, it can be easy to unwillingly dismiss their daily life and demand too many things from them. Everyone is dealing with their own personal stressors every day, so be sure to check in with them and make sure they are feeling fine before discussing work.
Written by Jack Vale