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Remote Working & Communication: The Impact of Covid-19

Communication is the key to success. 

Without good communication between the various moving parts of a business and your customers, sales will struggle and costly errors can easily be made. At least some level of communication is required for any business, big or small, to survive. 

Since the beginning of 2020, organizations have faced unique communication challenges as a result of remote working. In this article, we explore some of these challenges and what businesses can do to overcome them. 

Types of Communication Channels

When it comes to business communications, there are three areas that all communication channels fall into, these are:

  • Internal communications where employees or departments communicate with each other via channels such as software, instant messaging, and shared documents 
  • External communications where the company communicates directly with those external to the business such as customers and other interested parties via channels including chatbots, phone and content marketing
  • Internal & external communications include channels of communications that can be used in both cases such as blogs, social media, and email.

Understanding that communication is happening automatically across all three areas, will help businesses understand the importance of considering their communication methods and their effectiveness. 

Why Communication is Key 

It is easy to see communication as a ‘soft’ area that happens naturally and does not require special attention. Yet when you consider the fact that poor communication can lead to costly mistakes and good communication can lead to huge wins, you will understand why it is so important to your overall business success. 

Communication is crucial in knowledge sharing between employees. When communication is poor, it is easy to miss opportunities and duplicate efforts. 

Good communication is also beneficial to your culture, helping your employees feel connected and supported by others within your organization. When an employee can communicate their knowledge effectively, it also helps develop pride and self-gratification within your workforce, further improving internal motivation. 

The Impact of Covid-19 

There is no denying that the pandemic has had a massive impact on the way that businesses operate. One of the biggest challenges that businesses have come to face at this time is how to maintain and improve the quality of internal and external communication when physical contact is drastically restricted. 

This has led to businesses leaning heavily on technology solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack to help reduce the friction caused by their teams working from home rather than physical locations. 

The forced changes to communications and working situations have also led to many businesses testing different working arrangements. These arrangements often include more flexible working hours and as teams return to their place of work, the option to work in a hybrid style of office and home working. 

It appears that businesses are reacting positively to these challenges, with a huge 78% of those recently surveyed having added new channels of communication since they have moved their teams to remote working. This, in turn, has translated to wide employee satisfaction, with 85% reporting that they have felt supported by their company during his transition. 

Better Remote Working 

Even though some sense of normality appears to be on the horizon, the likelihood of widespread remote working disappearing is very low. It is reported that nearly 52% of businesses are expected to allow some level of remote working once restrictions have been relaxed. 

So, how can be businesses continue to benefit from this new way of doing things? 

It is clear from this article that remote working relies heavily on the continued adoption of smart communication tools such as Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. As these tools continue to develop, businesses should seek better ways to share knowledge seamlessly via online methods.

It is also important for businesses to remember that remote working can lead to employees and customers feeling disconnected and alienated. Holding regular online meetings, whether professionals or social, can help maintain motivation and facilitate communication across the board. 

Resources are also harder to access when working from remote locations. Businesses should focus on developing cloud-hosted resource bases which can easily be accessed from anywhere by anyone who has an internet connection. 

Communication and Covid-19

The pandemic has made all businesses reassess their communication and the importance of interacting with others, both in professional and social situations. Although many organizations have found the challenges created by Covid-19 incredibly difficult, they have also opened up new opportunities for businesses to change the way they work for the better. 

Seeking to adapt quickly will both increase the success of your business and improve the experience of those who work for and buy from you. 

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.