How to Improve Communication With Your Remote Team

This article was first published on Entrepreneur and authored by Ryan Jenkins.

Remote work has worked.

Halo Top, the reduced-calorie ice cream brand, grew from $230,000 in revenue in 2013 to more than $100 million in 2018, and it achieved that growth with all 75 employees working remotely.

Remote work has to work.

Eighty-three percent of office workers want to work from home at least one day a week, and 55 percent of employers anticipate that most of their workers will do so long after the health crisis is not a concern. Global Workplace Analytics predicts that 30 million U.S. employees will regularly work from home within the next two years, which is six times as many as did before.

Remote work has to be worked.

Forty-four percent of high-level executives are “completely confident” that their companies can maintain employee engagement during stay-at-home orders, but only 25 percent of employees feel the same. And 48 percent of high-level executives are “completely confident” they can maintain good communication between themselves and employees during the crisis, while only 28 percent of employees agree.

Workers won’t be returning to the same workplace they left behind. All workers will need to discover new ways to collaborate, connect and perhaps most importantly... communicate. Here are three ways to improve communication with your remote team.

1. Schedule times for “bursty” communication

A “bursty” communication style, where ideas are communicated and responded to quickly, leads to a 24 percent performance increase among remote teams.

A remote team can cultivate burstiness by identifying a common day and time (Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. EST, for example) where the entire team is online and prepared to engage with any team communications. Using communication channels like text, chat or email synchronously instead of asynchronously during times of burstiness enables teams to achieve higher performance. Productivity and engagement increase when team members know someone is ready to immediately respond to their communications.

Scheduling bursts of activity is particularly important for teams distributed across different time zones or who might have varying work schedules. Burstiness differs from meetings in that there is no set agenda, and the central goal is the rapid exchange of information and/or ideas.

Burstiness allows remote team members to align their activities where the result is energetic and focused collaboration...

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