The COVID-19 pandemic is hopefully starting to wind down, but the odds are good that many of the changes to the workplace will remain. One such example is working virtually, as data suggests that many will continue to work from home after the pandemic ends. However, as all of us have experienced, there is a real need to improve internal communication while working virtually. Below we will discuss four tips for improving internal communication in a virtual work environment.
Use video conferencing software for face-to-face meetings
Yes, there are an array of ways to communicate, including text messages, emails, phone calls, instant messaging, and more. However, if you’re working virtually, nothing beats video conferencing. The reasons for this are well documented and plentiful, but they ultimately come down to this: video conferencing is the closest thing to face-to-face meetings. With video conferencing, you can read facial expressions and body language. You can interpret tone and tell if someone is distracted. Video conferencing technology simply offers advantages that other communication methods don’t have.
Meet regularly to check in and collaborate with your team
If you are working virtually, it can be too easy to lose yourself in your own world and become disconnected from your team. This is why there must be an emphasis on regular check-ins, as it can help foster a sense of collaboration you may lose otherwise. Remember, when you switch to virtual, you lose all those casual interactions that we have come to cherish during the workday. Regular meetings can help rebuild connections and ensure that you know what the rest of your team is up to.
Make feedback a priority
Again, it can be far too easy to lose track of regular feedback in a virtual atmosphere. This means that you have to not only allow for feedback but create a culture that values it. This can be done in multiple ways, including dedicated feedback channels, regular feedback meetings, and holding periodic performance evaluations. Furthermore, you must allow your coworkers and employees to give you feedback. Actively seek out that feedback in order to contribute to a positive environment that will allow it to thrive. You also must demonstrate to your team how much that feedback means by actively expressing your appreciation and then acting on it. Making changes based on employee feedback shows your team that you care about them and value their opinions.
Don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments and wins
In a regular office environment, it’s easy to celebrate your team’s accomplishments and wins together. This could include going out to a bar after hours to enjoy yourself or grabbing a special lunch together. That may not be as easy in a virtual environment, but it is certainly still possible. Celebrate your wins by expressing your appreciation for your teammates and employees, and make sure to reward them. Give them a special gift or extra time away from the office. Just do something to make sure that your employees know how much you value and appreciate their hard work and dedication.