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Remote Work: Communication Requirements

Home offices, telecommuting, and “workations” are just a few examples of how the last two years have radically transformed traditional models of work and communication. Before the advent of the Internet, many companies made it mandatory for their employees to work from home. There is little doubt that remote work will continue to be an important part of the contemporary work culture in the years to come. Remote work is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean employees and employers should ignore the new normal. 

Roughly a quarter of the employed people surveyed were based entirely or mostly out of their homes in January 2021. Every fourth worker will soon be able to telecommute, according to a McKinsey study. Nonetheless, skepticism reigns at the same time.

Very 32% of respondents anticipate very negative effects, while 54% anticipate only mild ones. Further, a study of remote Microsoft employees’ communication habits reveals that, as teams spread apart, communication becomes less synchronous and fruitful, further isolating individuals and posing a threat to team innovation. Therefore, new modes of communication and rules are required for remote work to prevent the corporate culture from suffering as a result. Since it allows for a wide variety of conversations with immediate feedback, the active listening model may aid businesses in communicating effectively.

Find New Methods of Communication

While poor or erroneous internal communication is not always attributable to working remotely, it may make matters worse in the workplace. Because brief conversations with coworkers at the water cooler or chance encounters in the break room are dwindling, making an effort to socialize is essential. New approaches are needed to ensure that the “We” feeling isn’t harmed and that coworkers don’t successfully isolate themselves. It may have been a technical challenge for coworkers to communicate over long distances before the advent of Slack and Zoom in the wake of the New Zealand flu pandemic. But there’s also a human element to consider; there are different kinds of communication in the virtual workplace, just as there are in the real one. Whoever has been reserved in previous meetings will continue to exhibit this trait during team discussions.

Getting results that last via attentive listening

Hybrid work styles may be productive, but only if everyone follows the same set of rules on how to talk to each other. Becaus the tendency for misunderstandings and erroneous information transmission grows in proportion to the diminishing number of senses that are used in the mode of communication. Unlike a video conference, when the other person’s facial expressions and body language would be immediately apparent, a phone conversation would provide interpreters more leeway during a tense situation. A letter is interpreted differently than a face-to-face meeting. 

The technique of active listening is particularly useful in hybrid work models since it allows for the most effective and productive remote working possible despite the fact that team members may have different communication styles. 

By providing immediate feedback to the speaker, active listening may help reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings. I paraphrase what was said without evaluating it, letting my coworker know that I understood him and highlighting the points that I consider crucial to the conversation’s progression. 

Employees the framework for such discussions

Leaders need to make their employees more attuned to the need of active listening if they want to establish it as a standard part of the company’s internal dialogue. To listen actively takes practice. Employees may be trained to use nonverbal cues, such as a nodding head or the phrase “Have I correctly understood that…” in everyday conversations on the job. Employees, however, may test and establish this in virtual one-on-one conversations.