Good communication is vital in all of our jobs – and things can be misinterpreted and go wrong quite quickly when we don’t communicate effectively. When working from home, one of the main challenges is being able to communicate with colleagues, managers and even clients in a clear, coherent and time efficient way.
Part 3 of our 3-part ‘Working From Home’ blog series takes a look at communication and how you can make it work for you.
1. Be clear and concise
This is a basic one, but often when using email, (particularly if we’re stressed or in a rush) we can forget important details or fail to fully explain what we mean and so things can be misunderstood easily.. Make sure you are giving all the relevant information and in a format that makes sense to the reader – even more so when you are asking them to do you a favour!
Tip: try using straightforward language, that’s also to the point. Don’t try to make jokes or write anything which could potentially be misinterpreted by the reader. Always check that there are no typos before sending.
2. Don’t assume
It can be easy to make an assumption about what someone is trying to explain or discuss – particularly when he or she isn’t physically there to ask.
But clarification is key to completing tasks successfully and, if you are making assumptions about what you should be doing, it’s possible you could get it wrong.
Save yourself the hassle and ask, ask and ask again. You may think you are being annoying by asking more questions, but in the end, it will save you both a lot of time!
3. Use communication and planning tools
These days, new technology is making it so much easier for us to communicate with each other. Using project management tools such as Asana or Slack enable you and your colleagues to message, comment and set tasks for each other easily, helping you all to get the information you need in one place. Similarly, Skype and Zoom can be great alternatives to emailing or phone calls. Using video chat will allow you to see your colleagues face to face. It may seem daunting having your face displayed on a screen, but we communicate a lot with our face, posture and hand gestures. If you’re having trouble making things clear on email, this could solve the problem!
Don’t forget to mix it up from time to time. What works for you may not work for everyone. While working from home, try a variation of methods to effectively communicate. You may even find a new found love for video chat!