In the 90s, teleworking (or “telecommuting” as it was known then) became a fairly popular topic. This, of course, is the art of using new technology to work from home instead of at the office. Things weren’t very sophisticated then, and it didn’t take off on a grand scale. It did give birth to an interesting mantra, though. “Work is what we do, not where we are.”
Of course, the required technology has seen quite a boost since those days. Now, business owners seem to be running out of excuses not to let their employees work from home! Which isn’t to say that business owners don’t have legitimate concerns when it comes to teleworking. In fact, we’re going to tackle one of the biggest problems with practice right here in this article.
Someone who is setting up a new business is going to be attracted to teleworking. Being able to do things from the comfort of your own home relieves some of the stress from a very trying process. (Not that working from home is stress-free, mind you.) But your staff are basically what makes your business, right? And how can you properly communicate with your staff when they’re not right there with you?
There are great risks of miscommunication, ambiguity, and “unpersonalized” interactions in this field. All of this can definitely create some problems. When it comes to communication, here are some things that will help you tremendously.
You want an instant message program that allows for efficient group chatting. Some like Google Hangouts is really only good for very brief one-to-ones. A group chat can minimize confusion and bring an element of fun to the proceedings. I know it may sound clichéd, but it seems that Skype still reigns supreme in this field.
Sometimes, you’re going to want to have meetings. You can do this via teleconferences, of course. And you should definitely look into that. But what if the meeting it going to take a few hours? And what if some of you have to meet up with clients? In that case, you may want to look into getting some physical space. You can rent conference rooms for these purposes.
When To Resort To The Phone
Talking to people over the phone is pretty darn inconvenient! Sure, it gets certain messages across very quickly. But people can’t exactly multitask when they’re on the phone. Not to the standard you’re going to want from employees, anyway! Still, phone calls will come in handy. You should make a point to deliver employee feedback over the phone on a monthly basis. This helps with feelings of isolation, and also improves performance in the long run!
One of the things that people who work from home often miss is the sociable atmosphere. It’s the sort of thing you tend to take for granted when you’re actually at the office! You don’t want to create feelings of social isolation. So why not consider the occasional meetup? You can go bowling, have some drinks, or whatever else it is fun people do these days.
Question: Do you telework at your business? What are you doing to improve the communication flow today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.