Setting Expectations for Communications with Remote Teams

Communication is key in a Remote Team. Because it doesn’t happen automatically by sharing the same space in an office, it needs additional attention to ensure remote teams communicate effectively. This may entail setting some expectations around how you want the team to communicate including:

  1. Communication Frequency – Let the team know how often you’d like them to check in or touch base with you and each other each week. This will give those that tend to work silently a goal to strive toward.
  2. Communication Schedules – Set a weekly schedule for a team call as well as individual calls with each team member. This gives them a set time when they know they can share ideas, as well as get individual attention from you. It will help them plan for a more effective discussion if they know a consistent day and time.
  3. Working Hours – Remote employees may often work more varied hours than those in an office. However, it is OK as a manager to set key work hours that you expect them to be available for communication between team members and with you.
  4. Email Response Times – When you send an email to your team asking for feedback or information, how soon do you expect them to respond if you don’t set a specific deadline on the email? Within 6 hours? 1 day? 1 week? Set a team standard for when everyone should respond to emails from co-workers and you so there is no confusion on expectations.
  5. Communicating Goals and Progress – To help hold team members accountable to goals, post those goals, along with the team’s ongoing progress and obtainments in a place that everyone can view and share. Use this “Dashboard” to display the ongoing metrics and use it for discussion during weekly calls.

Setting clear communication expectations keeps the team engaged even when not in the same location. It will ensure there is no confusion on what is needed to keep them successful.

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