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Communication and Connection: Resources for Remote Teams

Communication is one of the essential skills for any person, but in remote work, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively is often the difference between success and failure. 

You’ll need to find a way to collaborate with people who are potentially in completely different timezones. This means communicating your needs, any issues with a project and feedback through tools rather than face-to-face. But that doesn’t have to mean email. There are plenty of ways to make communication more dynamic and engaging — even online. 

There’s also the issue of connecting with your team, developing positive relationships and sharing experiences. At first, this may seem compromised due to lack of proximity. However, like with most things in remote — it just requires some creativity. 

International communication

Tips For Communicating With Your Overseas Employees: Insights From An International Business Expert
When working with employees and coworkers in other countries, there can sometimes be cultural or language barriers to overcome. Dr Dan Caprar, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney in International Business, walks us through some of his best tips for international communication, and what to do when you don’t understand. 

Tools

Without the ability to walk over to someone’s desk, run into them in the hallway or schedule a face-to-face meeting, remote workers rely on tools to help communication run smoothly. 

How Zoom Video Communication Can Help Your Remote Team
At Shield, we all use Zoom for video calls both internally and externally. Here, we chatted to Michael Chetner, Head of Asia Pacific at Zoom who shares his tips on integrating video communications for your business.

Keeping Your Remote Worker Happy – A Guide for Employers
Prioritising employer wellbeing is incredibly important in remote environments. You won’t always be able to tell when something is off, so these tips can help to set up a structure that promotes connection, open communication and support. There’s also a list of tools that can assist in these goals. 

Connection 

It’s been well documented that remote workers often struggle with feelings of disconnection and isolation. If you are going to establish a remote team, you’ll need to keep this in mind and look into ways to promote connection within your team. There are plenty of options, but it’s crucial you go through an experimentation phase to see what works for you and your team. Otherwise, it’s easy to discard when something isn’t quite working. 

What your remote workers aren’t telling you
It’s not always easy to communicate issues to your superior, whether they be entirely work-related or not. This article walks through some of the main problems facing remote workers, including loneliness, desire for community and trouble switching off, as well as some potential solutions for managers. 

Bridging the Connection Gap Between Remote Teams
We recently produced a seven-part podcast series looking at this very topic! We unpacked the barriers to connection that remote workers face, the wider impacts of prolonged loneliness, where the responsibility lies for connection within remote teams and some potential solutions from both an employer and individual perspective. It’s worth listening through the series, but if you’d rather read we’ve also summarised the content into articles. Here’s the first one, but The Responsibility of Building Connection in Remote Teams and Leadership and Shaping Company Culture in a Remote Team would also be particularly helpful. 

Our team experience 

Each month we profile one of our Shield team and talk about their daily routines, what they enjoy about working remotely and how they overcome any struggles associated with it. So many of them say they remain connected and engaged with their team, often without ever meeting them face to face (aside from video chat, of course). They often cite group chats, weekly social calls and slack channels as well as overall Shield culture as the reason. 

A Day in the Life of an Extrovert Working From Home – Meet Brenda from ShieldGEO

A Day in the Life of a US Expat Making the Most of Living in Spain – Meet Rosalyn from ShieldGEO

A Day in the Life of a Remote Working Parent – Meet Katrina from Shield GEO

Summary 

Despite needing to use tools like Zoom for video calls and asynchronous platforms like Slack, Trello or Notion, to communicate with a remote team, it doesn’t have to mean a lack of connection. 

With a little extra effort and a willingness to try new things, remote teams should be able to communicate, collaborate and connect effectively long-term. 

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