Maintaining good communication in the workplace among co-workers is important and it has become a crucial aspect since employees are mostly working from home nowadays due to the Covid-19 pandemic and get to see each other in person only through video calls. Since communication is now mostly written, it has become a challenge for a lot of people to express how they feel. Communication as a whole is a tricky subject to discuss, for some it comes naturally while for others it can be a skill to enhance or work on with help of professional training or guidance. Especially for leaders who have to run an organization smoothly, communicating their wisdom and keeping their employees/co-workers motivated can be a whole lot of work.
While we continue our lives with the acceptance of a new working environment, written communication is considered to be most important. Since ‘isolation’ is now a common concern among employees, especially those who are new to remote work, leaders must create spaces—formally and informally—for their teams to simply connect on a daily basis and exchange information.
As an archaic proverb goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Communication skills define the term “exceptional leader” in every true sense. Communicating your knowledge or simply making a conversation with another person, there are so many factors that can either make you the best leader or the one nobody likes to hear but pretends to because they have to. It is conceivable one of the most important business skills, no matter which industry you belong to. You might think how hard this can be? To communicate? After all, we do it all day long - talking, chatting, texting, emailing. However, to know the difference between formal and casual talks, the difference between talking to your friends and with your co-workers or even your boss, that’s where it gets tricky. You may be flawless when you talk to your close friends, but you might feel a level of anxiety while speaking in an online meeting and 50 of your co-workers are present to hear what you say. Regardless of how much practice we get in general, there's always some room for improvement, especially with your communication skills. In the professional environment, bad communication often undermines our capabilities to execute our business undertakings. It can put you in a bad light and put on unnecessary performance pressure.
According to Conrado Lamas, head of marketing at Signaturit, he says, "Work is infinite. "There is always something to be solved—and when you have an office routine, it's easier to leave what you do at the workplace. When you work from home, your office is where you live. So, I'm constantly closing small pending tasks late at night before I go to bed or early in the morning when I really want to be reading the news."
Let’s learn a few tips to stay on top of our communication game while working from home.
1. Listening is as important as speaking, good communication can often be misinterpreted as the skill of speaking, however, it’s a two-way road. Listening is equally important in order to understand, comprehend and respond. For any person irrespective of their job roles, in order for them to carry on with a topic of discussion, express their thoughts, and even to provide feedback, they must first listen to what the other party has to say. When you become a good listener, you become a good speaker too. It’s a common issue faced by employees working from home, they miss out on important details and end up asking twice about their tasks, all because they were multitasking while on the call with their co-workers. Don’t multitask. Stay focused. Pay attention. Ask questions If you couldn’t understand anything while on the call. You can only reciprocate adequately if you completely understand what the other person is trying to say.
2. The importance of understanding; when to communicate and how much, sometimes over communication can lead to micromanagement, which can make the situation from bad to worse. Constantly checking up on employees for updates that can potentially disturb the workflow and can lead to employee burnout, should be avoided at all costs. Managers should work on establishing norms about the appropriate timings for the exchange of information or status updates. Constant chat notifications or meeting updates can disrupt concentration, which affects the performance at the end of the day. Setting boundaries is important to minimize this disruption and also to avoid longer working hours is important. According to a report from the United Nations International Labour Organization, they found that while employees are more productive when they work outside of the conventional office, they're also more vulnerable to working longer hours, a more intense work pace, work-home interference, and, in some cases, greater stress.
3. Communicate clearly and directly, it’s easy to misunderstand others when you can’t actually see visual cues, vocal tones can be taken otherwise. So, speak clearly and communicate your plans directly with the person you want to work with or are already working with. Be patient and try to explain how you feel in a more considerate manner. As a leader, asking your co-workers or employees to provide feedback, can help you learn so much about how your employees are feeling. Asking for feedback opens up tremendous opportunities for everyone in an organization to express themselves without any fear or anxiety.
In the end, it's all about how well you make the best out of this situation. In a way, working from home is a great opportunity to focus on your professional and interpersonal skills. At Dropthought we believe that to build a sustainable relationship with a customer or with your employees, we must value their feedback. We believe in building a situation based and feedback centric client and employee engagement plan that will not only help businesses to leverage the data collected abundantly but also if done right this can turn into a long-lasting opportunity to keep your employees motivated, your customers intact and keep the revenue bar up and running.
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