When you’re in the same building as your employees, you can easily communicate information in person when necessary. However, when it comes to communicating with remote employees, you have to rely on other means. Just which mode of communication is best? It largely depends on what kind of information you’re trying to communicate and the level of urgency in which you want to communicate it.
Below are just four different modes of communication and their benefits.
When you need to send over information but don’t necessarily need a response (or at least not an urgent one), emails are a good form of communication. They allow you to send over large amounts of information at once. Such information is less likely to be misunderstood or forgotten than it may be during a phone call as the recipient can go back and reference it. You also have the option to send over documents and media.
Emails are best avoided in situations where you may need a quick response. If you want to ask multiple questions that require multiple responses, you may find that other forms of communication are also better as email chains can be confusing (especially when lots of people are involved).
A lot of companies find that instant messaging is a great way to communicate with remote employees. It allows for quick text conversations in which hyperlinks and files can be easily shared. Instant messaging can be done between two people or groups of employees via a group chat.
It may not always be the best form of communication when you need to send large amounts of information. Emails are also typically better when it comes to information that may need to be referenced in the future – it’s easier to search a past email sent months ago than it is to scroll up a IM conversation going back months. There are many different instant messaging platforms to choose from including remote workforce apps with integrated instant messaging.
Phone calls are a good way to communicate with remote employees while on the move – you can have a phone conversation while driving by using hand-free bluetooth technology, which you can’t do with instant messaging. Phone calls are useful for when you want to receive an urgent response or hack a quick back-and-forth conversation. You can also schedule phone calls to talk about things in detail for times when you want to come across more personable.
Phone calls are more interruptive and information cannot be referenced back unless you’re recording every phone call. When it comes to many general interactions, they’re often less favoured compared to other forms of communication. A good business phone system will allow you to get more out of phone calls – this guide tells you what you need to know about your business phone system in 2022.
Video calls can provide a level of face-to-face interaction that is similar to an in-person conversation. Unlike a phone call, you can talk to lots of people at once more easily. Video calls can also be useful for presenting visual information. They are a great tool for everything from interviews to general staff meetings.
It is best to schedule video calls where possible so that your employees can make sure they are presentable – impromptu video calls could be seen as a little too invasive. Make sure to choose the right video call software.