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What Is Remote Communication: The Ultimate Guide

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It is increasingly common to hear about remote working or remote meetings. That is one of the major outcomes of the pandemic, the acceleration of work processes. Remote communication, a way of relating to each other through electronic devices and software, has appeared with it.

Remote communication is here to stay. It has seen an improvement in employee productivity, and both distance learning and telecommuting have seen a reduction in absenteeism. , both distance learning and telecommuting have seen a reduction in absenteeism. In this article, you will discover a complete guide to remote communication.

Summary

  • The transition to an information society is one of the key issues at the heart of the European Union’s policies as a fundamental axis of competitiveness policies (1).
  • It is a society that stands to gain the most from good practice in remote communication. It is the personality of the employee or student him/herself that will influence performance, there will be those who can manage their schedules well and stay more motivated.
  • Remote education and work are becoming widely available. Developing the ability to communicate remotely is a great tool that we must have today, in order not to be left out of the educational and, later on, the labor market.

What you need to know about remote communication

Remote communication allows you to keep in touch with people outside face-to-face communication, using technological tools. The world as we knew it in terms of communication no longer exists; nowadays, remote communication is one of the most sought-after modes of communication.

What are the characteristics of distance communication?

Remote communication has been developing for years, and new modes of communication are appearing all the time. One does not always replace the other, but rather they complement each other. Here are two types of communication that we believe should be taken into account when implementing any form of communication. It is key to have the right long-term remote working strategy (2).

Various types of remote communication

The countless devices and technological tools provide us with different types of communication:

Phone communication

Nowadays, there are different apps to stay connected by phone. One of the most common ones is WhatsApp. It is a tool that is constantly evolving and improving. It has more and more features to work with.

Communication by messenger

Among the most popular apps are WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram, etc. They are integrated tools. They have various features for use in the workplace, mainly private chats and group chats.

Audiovisual communication via video calls

Google Meet and Zoom tools are the most popular, and evaluating their functionality, they are the best for meetings. They have tools such as scheduling, recording, hand raising, chat, etc., which is a great help when conducting an online meeting.

Non-verbal remote communication

Clearly, in online meetings, all non-verbal (specifically physical) communication is lost. This is why the use of emojis in meetings is very important in order to add more reality to meetings.

Distance communication or face-to-face communication: Which is better?

Distance or face-to-face communication is better depending on the case:

Face-to-facerequires trustimproves connections personal issues confidential information dismissal
Remotepunctuality issuelong distancetopics that changetopics to be analysedquick response

Communication, whether it is remote, hybrid or face-to-face work, needs to be very good, in order to work as efficiently as possible between individuals and teams. In fact, you can see in an office that people send text messages or emails to each other and are in the same place. So they use different technological tools, regardless of whether they are doing remote, hybrid or face-to-face work.

Do companies need remote communication?

Remote communication is already a part of business. Even when employees are next door, they send emails to each other. In fact, the new generations are so ingrained in these tools that it makes no difference whether they work face-to-face or remotely.

However, it is very important that they are constantly updated with the necessary tools for efficient remote communication.

What are remote communication skills?

It is very important to keep the team that will be part of the remote communication trained to achieve the best possible meeting. For example:

List the topics to be discussed

Develop a guide with the topics to be discussed for the day, in order to focus on them at that meeting. There are two options if topics arise that are not on the list: they can be postponed and scheduled for another meeting, or they can be added to the list of topics for the same day.

Determine meeting time

Defining the end time is what will make the meeting run as long as planned.

Define meeting participants

When scheduling the meeting, it is ideal that everyone involved is aware of it. Therefore, scheduling meetings by sending emails and allowing the person to put “I will attend” is of utmost importance, and in turn, adds to the person’s agenda.

Define the purpose of the meeting

Every meeting has an ultimate goal beyond each specific topic. The meeting host needs to know what the main purpose of the meeting is. This way, he/she will conduct the meeting correctly and efficiently.

What are good practices in remote communication?

Among the best practices, it is essential that the internet connection is good. For this, we can provide the highest connection speed, as a benefit, from the company to its employees. At the same time, defining start and end times for activities will help the employee to be more efficient, regardless of working by objectives. Also, telling about the company, its vision and values, will help the remote employee feel more like part of it. On the other hand, it is important to communicate with the right tone, calls, messages and emails.

It is essential to use a single platform to communicate with your team. We recommend Slack as a comprehensive communication tool. Here you can report on all company events, both privately and as a group. We do not recommend using more than 1 platform, as it creates confusion and the message can get lost along the way.

Ways to improve remote communication

Developing a culture of remote teamwork is essential. This will improve productivity in your team. Employees tend to be happier if they have more flexibility and autonomy to choose where they work. This translates directly into less stress and higher work performance, which ultimately means higher productivity for the company (3). Creating a schedule will allow organisation for all team members.

Below you will find different tools to improve remote communication.

Decide between the “Freelancer”, “Hybrid”, “Remote” model.

  • Freelancers: These are professionals who work on their own accounts. They do not have an employment relationship with a contract with the other party. Normally, freelancers are dedicated to developing specific projects for a specific period of time. They have more freedom of schedule.
  • Hybrid: This approach is somewhat hybrid. It means that they work from home and on certain days of the week they have to come to the office. This working model combines the characteristics of both, giving the employee flexibility by alternating days in the office and days at home in the same week (4).
  • Remote: This approach refers to 100% remote working, where the company supports the remote infrastructure of its employees, and they are located in different locations.

On the other hand, the remote approach allows your teams to work remotely at certain times. This means that your team must work in the office environment on certain days of the week. If your company has a remote approach, you don’t need to invest a lot in digital infrastructure. All you need to do is buy some relevant and appropriate remote communication tools that meet your business requirements.

Manel Fernández – Collaborating lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

In this type of virtual meeting there is a greater concentration on the topic being discussed, and complementary aspects, such as position, clothing, accessories, greetings at the beginning, etc., are less important”. He also points out that non-verbal language is less relevant when having a virtual meeting, which could also contribute to reducing stress levels caused by being in person.(5).”

Use effective remote communication tools

It is essential to have a remote communication tool, as a good flow of information and a correct process flow will depend on it. These tools must include the possibility of scheduling meetings, audio calls, video calls, screen sharing, sending files, private and group chats, and raising hands, among others.

Schedule a convenient time

It is essential to have an agenda that everyone can access and that meetings can be scheduled, with participants choosing to “participate” or “not participate”.

Keeping an agenda is vital.

Define the process

Proper workflows are essential so that nothing gets lost along the way and no “broken phones” emerge. A correct procedure helps all participants to have a guide on where to go if needed.

Remote communication requires clarity. Everything must be correctly conveyed. Tasks, objectives, and expectations have to be clear to everyone. Firstly, instruct on the use of the remote communication tools you will use and in turn, establish a direct line to whom they should communicate live in case they need to. As stated in the Harvard Business Review, remote work increases productivity (6).

What is communication like in distance education?

More and more educational centers are offering distance education. Globalization has led to the fact that someone who is located in a remote part of the world can receive education from wherever he or she wants, whenever he or she wants. These institutions have been growing for more than a decade. They have developed comprehensive programs in different formats:

  • Semi face-to-face: It has a face-to-face and home-based integration. It is a hybrid.
  • Distance learning: The program is 100% distance learning. They have programs developed by the institutions, with well-trained teachers to provide classes in this format. One of the ways of learning is through videos, which gives you the advantage that if you don’t understand something, you can watch it again until you have a better understanding of it.

Communication is developed using different programs, usually developed by the educational institutions themselves. They are tailor-made programs for each client. But what is most clearly seen in this type of communication are the old emails, which to this day are an excellent communication tool between student-teacher.

At the same time, there are other types of programs such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Todoist, Google Keep, etc. All of them collaborate in the interaction at the moment between the student-teacher. They are fundamental tools when it comes to achieving a correct flow of information between the parties.

See other best Productivity Software

Conclusion

Virtual collaboration makes companies more productive, as it saves costs, workers are more motivated and efficient, and it also allows for the recruitment of new talent. In short, the future of companies lies in virtual collaboration. It is therefore essential to start the transition now (7).

Clear, transparent and communicative messages are of paramount importance. This will ensure that remote communication is highly efficient.

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