A guide to communicating effectively with remote employees

Since the nationwide implementation of social distancing measures put in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, many companies have shifted to operating a remote workforce. Since mid-February, Forbes reports that almost half of all American companies have asked their employees to work from home. For many business leaders, this has resulted in major disruptions to daily operations, and while there are many benefits to working from home for both employers and individuals, not having the opportunity for face-to-face interactions creates practical challenges for effective communication that many leadership teams are grappling with for the first time. In this blog post, we’ll offer guidance and advice for having tough conversations with remote employees.

Become familiar with new communication platforms

As meetings started to migrate from the conference room to a virtual landscape, many of us have had to learn to navigate new communication platforms and applications, such as Teams or Slack. There’s no way around it—video conferences can be awkward. There are more potential distractions and technical difficulties to overcome, and not being able to pick up on the nuances of non-verbal communication is challenging. Becoming familiar with your company’s preferred communication channel for virtual meetings and 1:1 conversations will help you develop a sense of ease with the format and make communication feel more natural.

As with any new system, there will be a bit of a learning curve while everyone adjusts to using the platform. One important problem to circumvent before it happens is technical difficulties. Before an important meeting, try doing a test call to ensure that your camera and microphone are working well. This will help ensure that the virtual conversation goes smoothly and is not interrupted with, “Can you hear me now?”


continue reading »